About Us

Established in 1987, The Necessary Stage (TNS) is a non-profit theatre company with charity status. Our mission is to create challenging, indigenous and innovative theatre that touches the heart and mind. TNS has the honour of being the only arts company in Singapore helmed by two Cultural Medallion recipients: Artistic Director and Founder Alvin Tan and Resident Playwright Haresh Sharma. The company is also the organiser and curator of the annual M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.

TNS is supported by the National Arts Council under the Major Company Scheme for the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023.

2020 sees TNS celebrating its 33rd year of creating challenging, innovative and indigenous theatre that touches the heart and mind. Having presented more than 100 original plays in Singapore and abroad, TNS remains focused on breaking new ground in original local content and intercultural exploration.

For its Main Season, TNS produces an average of two plays a year at our black box and other venues. The plays are original, mostly devised pieces created in a collaborative process that is based on research, improvisation before scripting, and input from all members of the production.

We are also committed to international exchange and networking between Singapore and other countries, through staging the company’s plays abroad, inviting foreign works to be presented by the company in Singapore, through dialogues, workshops and training opportunities as well as creative collaborations leading to interdisciplinary productions.

TNS has also curated and presented the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival from 2005 to 2014. From 2015 to 2019, the Fringe—as it is affectionately known—was led under the Artistic Directorship of Sean Tobin, who helmed the curating of the Festival. The Fringe will be curated by TNS from 2020 onwards.

TNS has also been unwavering in its efforts to nurture new talents and local content, through various platforms including youth- and senior-oriented training initiatives, commissions at the Fringe Festival, and laboratory and developmental platforms such as The Orange Playground, The Orange Production, and most recently in 2020, the TNS Devising Platform. The company also has a comprehensive online archival portal at tnsarchives.com, providing the public access to its 30 years of history.

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