Alvin Tan

Alvin is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Necessary Stage since 1987. One of the leading proponents of devising theatre in Singapore, Alvin has directed more than 70 plays which have been staged locally and at international festivals. He has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and in 1998, was conferred the Young Artist Award for theatre. Alvin has also served as a member of the curatorial panel for TransLab, an initiative created by the Australian Council for the Arts to promote intercultural theatre and performance. Alvin was awarded Best Director at the 2011 Life! Theatre Awards for Model Citizens by The Necessary Stage. In 2010, Alvin was conferred the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, in recognition of his significant contribution to the arts. Most recently in 2014, Alvin was conferred the Cultural Medallion for his artistic excellence as well as contribution and commitment to the arts, which have enriched and made a distinction to Singapore’s arts and cultural landscape.

Alvin has also been actively involved in civil society and public intiatives, amongst which include Bird People in Tanglin Halt, an intradisciplinary project on the dilemmas of urban heritage and biodiversity, for which he is the Artistic Director of the theatre component. In 2012, Alvin was also commissioned by the National Library Board as Artistic Director of a time-travelling exhibition on the life and works of Singapore poet Edwin Thumboo. Alvin sits on the Singapore50 Committee, established to coordinate nationwide celebrations for Singapore’s 50th birthday in 2015. Alvin is also a Board Member the National Arts Council, Singapore (from 1 September 2013 – 31 August 2015). Most recently in 2014, Alvin was invited to be on the Syllabus Development Committee for the Arts Education branch of Ministry of Education, to design a drama syllabus at ‘O’ level for implementation in 2017 in schools.


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