M1 Singapore Fringe Festival

M1 Singapore Fringe Festival
Photo: singaporefringe.com
The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival is an annual fringe theater, dance, music, visual arts and mixed media festival held in Singapore since 2004. The festival features both Singaporean and international artists, introducing the audience to the best of contemporary art.

Although the festival was officially established in 2004, its history had begun almost two decades before that. In 1987 Alvin Tan founded The Necessary Stage, a not-for-profit theater company with charity status. Its main goal is to create innovative, indigenous and challenging theater that touches the hearts and minds of the audience. Having presented more than a hundred original plays in Singapore and abroad, The Necessary Stage remains true to its principles, focusing on discovering new local talent and encouraging intercultural exploration. Since 2004, the company has been organizing the Singapore Fringe Festival modeled after the famous Edinburgh Fringe.

The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival was originally devoted to experimental theater. Over the years, its program has expanded to include all kinds of experimental art presented by artists from around the globe. The festival hosts theatrical performances, live music, art installations, and more. Each year the festival committee chooses a new theme. For example, the theme of the 2016 edition was “Art & the Animal”, while the motto of Fringe 2017 was “Art & Skin”. Of course, participants are allowed to interpret the theme quite loosely, but all works are still required to have some connection with this year’s theme to be eligible for participation.

The theme is announced well in advance so that artists have enough time to apply. The festival takes place in January, and the application deadline for the next year’s festival is current year’s March. Each application is reviewed by the curatorial team which makes up a shortlist of applicants. The Necessary Stage provides the participants with accommodation, pays for all venue, ticketing and production costs, and runs a marketing campaign for all events. However, artists are responsible for all rehearsal-related expenses.

The artists are not provided with a cut of the ticket sales because the festival needs to recoup its expenses. However, the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival offers an artist honorarium for productions with at least two stagings. Generally, very few fringe festivals share a percentage of box office sales with participating artists. Artists don’t come here for money. They take part in the Singapore Fringe to present their work to the local audiences and to exchange creative ideas and experience with colleagues from all over the world.

Singapore Fringe Festival

Photo: singaporefringe.com




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