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Theatre and the Politics of Culture in Contemporary Singapore
William Peterson

2001 • 297 pp. 25 illus. 6 x 9"
Theater & Performing Arts / Asian Studies / Cultural Studies

$24.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6472-6

Explores the vibrant relationships between theatre, cultural politics and social attitudes in a country whose history has many lessons for Western scholars.

While the politics of Singapore continue to receive a larger share of media attention than the country's small size might seem to justify, very little has been written which attempts to link the government's cultural policies with any artistic practice. As a country that is increasingly being held up as a developmental model for other Asian nations, Singapore's relationship with its arts and culture demands scrutiny. Using Singapore's vibrant, English-language theatre as a lens, William Peterson examines the cultural implications of the much-celebrated Singapore model of political, economic and social development.

The author begins by providing a framework for the understanding of the government's role in creating arts policy. Peterson then explores the "discourse of crisis" in Singaporean political spheres and its effects on the theatre, Singaporean attempts to "find" and stage culture and nationhood, festivals in Singapore, Singapore's lively, indigenous musical theatre scene, and themes of interculturalism, gender, and sexual orientation in Singaporean theatre.

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Reviews / Endorsements

"Fascinating. Peterson makes a convincing argument for the benefits of studying such a culture by reminding us that Singapore has been seen in both regional and international terms as a model country whose politico-cultural history may have many lessons for Western scholars. The book explores the relationships between theatre, cultural politics and social attitudes in ways that are increasingly recognized as crucial to contemporary theatre studies." —Helen Gilbert, Department of English, University of Queensland

William Peterson is Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at California State University, San Bernardino. He has lived and worked in Singapore, helping to create and implement the country's first university-level Theatre Studies Program. Peterson has contributed to Contemporary Dramatists, 6th ed. (1999), Disorientations: Intercultural Theatre from an Australian Perspective (1999), and Second Chance: A Cross Cultural Theatre Casebook (1996). His articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Theatre Insight, Journal of Dramatic Theatre and Criticism, and Asian Theatre Journal.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:52:27 -0500