Skip to main content

Singapore Arts Bibliography

Description and Objectives


The Singapore Arts Bibliography is an initiative of the Ngee Ann Kongsi Library at LASALLE College of the Arts. It is a series of bibliographies covering theatre, music, dance, arts policy, and more, in Singapore. The objective is to create a series of focused, useful list of materials to benefit the pedagogic and research needs of LASALLE'S faculty and students. The exercise will also enable us to systematically identify gaps in extant research, which in turn will help establish future research areas.

The first of the series, The Singapore Theatre Bibliography is a work-in-progress that will help us to establish the framework and presentation of the bibliographies on the Ngee Ann Kongsi Library website.


Content Categories

Works that cover theatre productions, drama scripts, policy, themes, history, stakeholders and so on are included. For ease of reference, we have divided the Bibliography into the following broad categories.

  • Traditional and Contemporary performance in Southeast Asia – a selected number of texts that provide an overview of arts practice in the region.
  • Singapore theatre – including works on early history and general development, language-based practice, high-frequency research areas such as queer theatre, censorship etc.
  • The plays – published plays and manuscripts.
  • Audiovisual recordings of productions.
  • Reviews and Analysis – of individual plays or festivals.
  • Interviews, essays on individual companies/playwrights.
  • Internet Resources.



Singapore Theatre Bibliography will contain the following materials:

  • books
  • book chapters
  • journal articles
  • published plays, manuscripts and typescripts
  • audio-visual recordings of play
  • unpublished thesis
  • selected critically significant magazine and newspaper articles
  • relevant websites or online resources

The Singapore Theatre Bibliography is limited to works written in English and Malay because the library lacks the resources to conduct research in Mandarin at the moment.

Newspaper and magazine articles and production ephemera are not included although the bibliography provides information on where collections of these materials reside.


Listing Profile

  • Each listing will follow the MLA citation format (author/editor; title; publishers; date; page number etc.)
  • Anthologies or books will include titles of individual plays or relevant book chapters where available.
  • Entries are annotated with pre-existing publication abstracts, summaries, excerpts or publishers’ reviews where available.
  • The library and call number of books will be included where possible.
  • Significant books will include bibliographies of selected reviews.


Listing Samples:

Published play and AV recording

Kuo Pao Kun. The Coffin is Too Big for the Hole and Other Plays. Singapore: Times Books, 1990

Recording: The coffin is too big for the hole [digital video disc]: (Retrospective: A festival of Singapore plays 1960-1990) / directed by Ong Keng Sen -- Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore: TheatreWorks (Singapore) Ltd

Play script and contents

Alfian Sa'at. Collected Plays One: The Optic Trilogy; Fugitives. Singapore: Ethos Books: Wild Rice, 2010. Note: Contains four plays, Optic Trilogy; Fugitives; Homesick; Sex.Violence.Blood.Gore.

Goh Poh Seng. The Moon is Less Bright. 1964, TS.

Note: Programme book and typescript of production staged in 1964 by The Lotus Club, King Edward VII Hall of University of Singapore.

Publication and review thereof

Lo, Jacqueline. Staging nation: English language theatre in Malaysia and Singapore. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2004

Review: Peterson, William. Review of “Staging Nation: English Language Theatre in Malaysia and Singapore.” In Australasian Drama Studies, No. 46, April 2005.
Review: Eng-Beng Lim. "Staging Nation: English Language Theatre in Malaysia and Singapore (review)." Theatre Journal 57.3 (2005): 536-538.

Journal Article

Waterson, Roxana. “Testimony, Trauma and Performance: Some Examples from Southeast Asian Theatre.” in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 41, No. 3, October 2010.

Note: Examines memory and performance, focusing specifically on Kuo Pao Kun’s The Spirits Play, Huzir Sulaiman’s Occupation and Theatreworks’ Broken Birds: An Epic Longing.

Online Resources

NLB’s NORA, National Online Repository of the Arts. Requires membership with access to online resources to access. Includes sections divided into genres (Performing Arts, Visual Arts), Features on Cultural Medallion recipients, List of Personalities and Organisations, Galleries etc. The section on performing arts include trailers of shows, scanned pdf of musical notations etc. Not an extensive collection but its in the process of being expanded.