Why I Miss Community Theatre

Adam T Perkins and Summer Williams performing in The Bear

I’ve been reading Sirekat’s posts about the various cabaret acts, she’s been attending over the last few weeks. I know it’s not quite the same, but it’s made me miss the theatre community I was part of back in Perth. Community theatre is not a thing here in Singapore. It’s either professional or semi-professional, with no amateurs allowed. The closest you can get is to study theatre at a tertiary level (there are lots of options), but even that is just a pathway to professionalism. It’s a pity, because I think it’s an opportunity missed.

What is Community Theatre?

In case you’re not familiar with the concept, community theatre, as the name suggests, is theatre made by community members. Sometimes that means the participants are all part of one group, but mostly they attract a diverse range of people. Not everyone has acted or been part of a theatrical production before, although a few I’ve been part of have included seasoned professionals. It’s like any other community group, except this one puts on shows.

Summer Williams, Bid, and Adam T Perkins in The Bear

Most groups are open. You just need to put your hand up to get involved, although most of the actually roles require auditions. Some productions are self-funded. Some receive grants from the government, or through some form of trust. Most of the participants are volunteers, although often the actors and main crew will be on a profit share arrangement.

The Benefits of Community Theatre

For a writer, it’s a great way to test out new material, or old material, or anything really. To take risks, and try something completely new. It doesn’t even need to be a fully completed work. Groups will hold moved-readings, where the actors will read from the script as they perform. Sometimes that will be before an audience, and sometimes it will just be for the community members.

For actors, it’s often their first time treading the boards (at least since school). I’ve met some amazing actors that had never acted at all before until, they auditioned for a role in community theatre.

Likewise for the rest of the crew, whether the directors, producers or people operating the spotlights. It’s a great way to get involved and be part of something bigger than yourself.

I’d love if that was a possibility in Singapore.


I’m skribe. I’m a writer, a film-maker and an actor. While I’m originally from Perth, Australia, I currently reside on a tropical island, the Lion City of Singapore. Fingerprint: 79A1 DC6C D367 8A31 135A 7AFA 940E 4231 D7B9 B15C If you like what you see buy me a coffee.

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  1. 2024-06-30

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