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Authors: 韩咏红
Issue Date: 2000
Citation: 韩咏红, HAN YONG HONG (2000). 新加坡独立后的华语戏剧研究 = A STUDY OF CHINESE THEATRE IN POST-INDEPENDENT SINGAPORE (1965-1978). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis document developments in Chinese theatre in post independence Singapore, specifically the era from 1965 to 1978. Discussion is organised into macro and micro sections. The macro section will cover the social and political background of the period, while the micro section will examine the details of theatre performances, the formation and organisation of drama groups, the ideology and aspirations of theatre practitioners, and the social consequences of their activities. The years 1965-1978 marked a unique stage in the history of Chinese theatre in Singapore. During these years, Chinese theatre developed amidst dramatic upheavals and social formation of Singapore society. Immediately after dependence, Chinese theatre experienced a short period of positive development. With the setting up of the first ever professional theatre trainning school, and the combined effort of both the party in power and theatre companies in promoting local works, the years 1965-1968 proved to be one of the promising period for artistic development throughout the history of Chinese theatre in Singapore. The sudden announcement of Britsh withdrawal created anxiety and uncertainty across the country. Feelings of frustration were rampant as people faced with the effects of rapid industralisation of the island. To the vast Chinese community, these feelings were with unhappiness due to the increased prominence of the English language. These feelings were quickly noticed by the Communist Party of Malaya, which already took up a policy of arm resurgence of West Malaysia, is by now making attempts to infiltrate the theare circle in Singapore. With the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution in China, and with the spread of international communism, more and more theatre practitioners were captivated by the radical ideology and turned to believe that arts should take an active role in bringing about drastic social reform. Since 1972, Chinese theatre flourished under the During these years, drama plots revolved around the exploitation of workers, and the importance of unity among workers in their struggle against unfair social conditions. Most theatre performances were bold, intense and emotional. By 1976, theatre activities sees a drastic fall as many leaders of theatre companies were detained by the Internal Security Council. From the period between 1976 to 1978, productons were few and small in scale. By 1978, as Singapore advanced from a labour intensive economy to capital intensive economy, improvement of living standards and wide spread consumerism resulted in a very different social background for theatre development. Chinese theatre. Discussion is organised into seven chapters, chapter one and two explores the subject and aim of our research and the historical background of the period under study. Chapter three to six covers the four different stage of theatrial development from the 1965 to 1978, namely the developmental period, the turning period, the radical period, and the low period. In conclusion, we noted that in the most part of the history of Chinese theatre in Singapore, politics and arts were seen as unseparable. Although this belief proved to have a negative effect on the artistic development of theare, it spranged from the Chinese intellectuals unique "mentality of being suppressed". This mentality, had been one underlying theme in the many massive movement organised by Chinese intellectuals in the history of Singapore.
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