The Lesson

Artist: Drama Box

Drama Box is a non-profit theatre company from Singapore. Formed in 1990, Drama Box has become well-known for creating and producing socially engaged works that offer opportunities for dialogue and provoke its audience to think differently about the issues presented. Singapore is a densely populated, land-scarce City State known for its rapidly expanding urban development. In the constant cycle of tearing down and rebuilding of spaces, social bonds, resting places for the dead and even nature have often had to make way in the name of progress. Recurrent questions in the work of Drama Box are: What are the forces that shape our space? Is there room for a shared heterotopia?


Guided by the belief that engaging the community on important issues is critical to creating a vibrant and progressive society, and that every member of society should have the means to participate, Drama Box has chosen to keep most of its community performances free of admission charges.


About ‘The Lesson’

In any place where land is limited, space – both physical and psychological – comes at a premium. The Lesson asks questions about what forces are at work in shaping our space, and whether there is enough space for a shared heterotopia. The audience of The Lesson is presented with a scenario whereby a new development is planned for an old housing estate. However, there is little space left and therefore constructions in the area must be demolished. What will stay, and what will go? The audience enters this scenario and participates in the decision-making process. Under the guidance of the Singaporean facilitators, the audience will learn about the costs, risks, stakes and sacrifices that come with creating a community.


The Lesson will be performed in GoLi, an inflatable pop up theatre built by Drama Box and that travels to different community spaces in Singapore. It was created with the objective of creating an alternative space for dialogue, in response to the lack of space for public discourse on social issues in Singapore. It also seeks to transform the space it inhabits, and to bring with it arts events and activities to different neighbourhoods.

The Lesson was first performed at the Singapore International Festival of Arts 2015. This marks the first time that GoLi has travelled overseas.


Drama Box's presence at ICAF is made possible with the support of the Singapore National Arts Council and Singapore International Foundation. 



Thursday 30 March 18.30
Friday 31 March 18.30