SINGAPORE, Feb 8 — Barely a week after changing its name from the Singapore Repertory Theatre, the rebranded Singapore Theatre Company (STC) said today that it will change its name again due to negative feedback over its new moniker.
STC will share details of the new name before their next show in August, it said in a statement on its website today.
The company first announced that it would drop the term “repertory” from its name on January 31, prompting some members of the theatre community to go on social media to voice their displeasure at the move.
Veteran arts manager and administrator Juliana Lim said in a Facebook post on February 3 that she felt “uncomfortable” about STC’s rebrand.
“There are many authentic ‘Singapore theatre companies’, founded by Singaporeans that boast decades-long track records of nurturing and staging original Singapore works,” Ms Lim said.
She added that the words Singapore Theatre Company used as a proper noun “seems innocuous but has the effect of negating the identity of all the others and their sustained efforts to build a Singapore repertory”.
Similarly, Ms Kuo Jian Hong, who is artistic director at the bilingual theatre institution The Theatre Practice, said on Facebook that STC’s new name “comes with a tremendous responsibility” to represent Singapore.
“The question is not if a company is worthy of being named ‘Singapore Theatre’, but whether any one company can represent Singapore Theatre,” said Ms Kuo, who is the daughter of the late Singaporean playwright Kuo Pao Kun.
“That may not have been the intention, but objectively it is tough not to read it this way.”
Responding to the feedback in its statement, STC said it has been part of Singapore’s diverse theatre community for the past 30 years and has been showcasing local and international talents in line with its mission of “enriching, engaging and entertaining audiences”.
It added that the rebrand was “meant to reflect our journey as a theatre production company in Singapore”.
“Since then, we have received feedback from our peers in the community about the rebrand. These views greatly matter to us as we recognise the contributions and works of all artists and theatre companies in Singapore,” said the company.
“We believe a united community is necessary for the theatre scene to thrive and therefore will be changing our name from STC,” it added. — TODAY