Discover our newest multi-format theatre by the waterfront.
Breaking new ground for our next generation
We’re moving into our next phase of growth as an arts centre, while building on the work we’ve done since we opened in 2002.
To do even more for our next generation of artists and audiences, we've built the Singtel Waterfront Theatre—a new multi-format theatre along our busy waterfront. The new waterfront theatre fills the gap between our large venues and smaller studio spaces, and enables us to commission, produce and present a greater diversity of productions, especially those that tell Singapore and Asian stories. It will allow homegrown artists and arts groups to scale up their productions for bigger audiences, both in Singapore and overseas, playing a key role in nurturing our talents and bringing people from all walks of life together through the arts.
With the support of the government, through corporate sponsorship and public fundraising, Esplanade raised approximately S$30 million for the development of the new theatre. Of this, S$10 million was from the government and Singtel donated S$10 million, the largest single donation that Esplanade has received since we opened in 2002. In appreciation of the generous gift, the theatre has been named the Singtel Waterfront Theatre for a period of 15 years from the time it opened in 2022.
We broke ground for the theatre’s construction on 18 Jun 2019. In Sep 2022, Esplanade invited various communities of supporters, audiences and artists in Singapore to help the centre finetune this new space through a series of free performances during the trial & orientation programme.
To commemorate Esplanade’s 20th anniversary as well as mark the opening of the Singtel Waterfront Theatre, we commissioned five new works presented as part of In New Light – A Season of Commissions from Oct to Dec 2022. The works showcased the possibilities for collaborative exchanges between artists in the region.
The Singtel Waterfront Theatre, designed by architects61, was awarded Honourable Mention at the 2020 edition of the S.Arch Design Awards that was held in Tokyo. It is also a recipient of Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Public Sector Construction Productivity Fund for adopting Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) technologies.
Follow the journey of the construction of the Singtel Waterfront Theatre through a pandemic.
A sneak peek behind the scenes as the Singtel Waterfront Theatre is being constructed.
A rendering of the interior of the new multi-format Singtel Waterfront Theatre.
Here’s how you can support us
As a charity and not-for-profit organisation, we need your support and generosity to carry us into our next stage as a centre for everyone.
Here’s how you can help us to further develop and sustain the waterfront theatre as a space to benefit our next generation of artists and audiences.
Why this and why now?
There’s opportunity for us to reach even more schools and students. This new space is an additional platform for us to work closely with artists and arts groups to nurture in our future generation empathy, creativity and a relationship with the arts.
Many of the commissioned or produced works at Esplanade have done well and even gone on to be performed overseas. We want to scale up these works and continue to create new productions through a 550-seat venue for greater impact. Moreover, a majority of new works created regionally and internationally are made for medium-sized venues like the one we’re building. This means audiences in Singapore will also get to experience more inspiring performances from around the world.
Many community, youth and arts groups have done well in small venues and are ready for larger platforms. But going from 200-seat venues to a 2,000-seat theatre is too big a step for most so this is where a 550-seat theatre can do its part for artists.
Existing theatres that seat around 500 in Singapore are mostly for hire. A programmed space at Esplanade can actively produce and present works critical to the growth of the arts industry.
Esplanade has always been a place for everyone. Where else can you see performances of all kinds, from international productions to new talent, all in one weekend? I hope that the new waterfront theatre will continue to give these kinds of opportunities to everyone.
Siti Khalijah, award-winning Singapore actress
For more information, please refer to the following press releases.
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Did you know?
Esplanade sits entirely on reclaimed land. If you were to travel back to the '60s to where the centre stands today, you would end up in the refreshing waters of the Singapore Straits.
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