Sanctuary reimagines social relations of the future: The Necessary Stage & HANCHU-YUEI

The Necessary Stage (TNS) will be completing its 30th anniversary celebration this November with a new production Sanctuary. It is an exciting international collaboration with HANCHU-YUEI, a contemporary Japanese theatre company that is known for its eclectic style.

Set in the future, Sanctuary imagines how we grapple with our memories, data, artificial intelligence and social media footprints. As we hurtle forward with technological advancements, how will our social and familial relationships with one another alter? Will surveillance becomes an accepted everyday occurrence, and will our quantified selves truly belong to us—or to whichever power that has full access to data?

Though the stories of seven characters, Sanctuary investigates how technology can potentially erode our humanity, even as it provides more ease of access to goods, services, and communications with one another.

Photo courtesy: The Necessary Stage
Photo courtesy: The Necessary Stage

“It will be a live wire of a performance,” enthused Haresh Sharma, Resident Playwright of TNS.

In the course of developing Sanctuary, TNS and HANCHU-YUEI discovered new confluences in their aesthetics and working vocabularies.

It is precisely this that invigorates and excites Alvin Tan, Founder and Artistic Director of TNS. “Sanctuary will be mind-blowing because we are taking a great deal of risks putting it together. When differences in working styles and systems between the companies surface, these become true tests of our threshold for difference. They challenge us deeply and bring us out of our comfort zones more dramatically than our other local collaborations.”

Suguru Yamamoto, Playwright and Director of HANCHU-YUEI agrees. He added, “I believe that once you allow yourself to believe that these challenges actually feed into the creation, you will find joy in the actual work.”

Sanctuary also features Singapore actors Audrey Luo, Ellison Tan, Yazid Jalil and Sound Artist Bani Haykal. The production will be staged at The Necessary Stage Black Box from November 1-12, 2017.

Photo courtesy: The Necessary Stage
Photo courtesy: The Necessary Stage

Following its Singapore run, it will travel to Tokyo for performances from November 30 – December 2, 2017. 

“Working with artists from other parts the world provides wonderful teaching, sharing and learning opportunities," shared Sharma. "I always appreciate presenting the same work to both Singapore and overseas audience, because they often bring fresh perspectives to the production.”

Sanctuary bookends The Necessary Stage’s thirty years by casting its view onto humanity in our digitised future. As Haresh quipped, “It's not easy creating a new work, let alone one involving two playwrights, two directors, with artists who don't speak the same language and coming from very different societies. But that's why we do it. We're mad.”

Sanctuary runs from November 1-12, 2017 at The Necessary Stage Black Box. Get your tickets from SISTIC now.

Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Correspondent

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.


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