Our Theatre Aspiration And Its Sustainability In The Digital Era

Malaysia's theatre aspiration and its sustainability in the paperless and boarderless digital era,

In case you haven’t noticed, Malaysian theatre has been making a comeback. Social medias are always being choosen as the trusted medium, dominates coffee shop conversation and even produces recognisable stars. Better still, say the theatre companies and its institutions, it is easier to becoming more inspirational to stage a play in this paperless and boarderless info-digital era.

Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur,
Istana Budaya : The center palace of art and theatrical performance in Malaysia

Malaysian Theatre In The Boarderless Digital Era


The diversity of the theatre companies is an equally astounding feature of this resurgence. Malay language theatre has never been healthier and is beginning to attract a crossover audience from the English theatre-going set. Even Chinese and Indian theatres are catching the bug. 

Undeniably, social medias such as blog, twitter, instagram and facebook plays an upmost important influence than the mainstream media on the re-establishment of theatre to the public interest and awareness. From being kept secret, theatre has become public property. It is now subject to unprecented scrutiny and criticism, resulting in an overall rise in professional standards. Malaysian audiences, uncomfortable for some practitioners of the arts, are fast becoming very discerning.  

ASWARA, Bondings,
An honourable experience by ASWARA as a theatre critic for Bondings

The Sustainability Of The Malaysian Theatre Industry


However, for theatre’s continued progress, there are some challenges. Malaysian theatre still needs constant public support and mass involvements. Entertainment laws being such, the prepayment of entertainment tax somehow puts a further strain on a private company’s delicate finances as well. Consistant support from the Government, GLCs and such should also be forthcoming.

This seemingly bottomless interest in theatre has sparked off a healthy debate in the drama industry... namely, can it be sustained?... Interestingly, one word that comes up often in this discussion is 'revival'. The word often refers to what is generally acknowledged to be the golden age of Malaysian theatre industry, the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Malay Theatrical Performance, Malaysia Theatre,
Malay theatrical performance

For now, Malaysian theatre was at its most raw, experimental but creative. However, the insularity that characterised the rest of the 70’s seems to have stopped the early theatre machine in its tracks. It was as if, having wrested the laurels of drama from the then still dominant British expatriates, there seemed to be nothing else to fight for.

Street art and theatrical performance, Pavilion,
Street Art and Theatrical Performance @ Festival Kaki Seni 2012, Pavilion

New Facade Of Malaysian Theatre In The Digital Millenia


Thus, the only favourite question among the critics, spectators as well as the public
 from my experience in the series of collaborations with the theatrical artisans and managerial team of today… is the activity on stage that we see, whether the sprouting inspirations of some dormant seeds of those heady years, or an expression of a wealthier, more energetic but spiritually emptier society? 

This is a question that occupies many of our theatre luminaries. The resurgence seems to have somehow prompted them to ask disturbing question... However from my humble perspective, i do sincerely believe that the theatre industry in Malaysia is just about to reborn and sparkle lively than before in few years to come. A new facinating era of theatre is now at its beginning facade to florish in the new dimention of the paperless and boarderles info-digital millennium era... so what say you?

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Khir Khalid: Our Theatre Aspiration And Its Sustainability In The Digital Era
Our Theatre Aspiration And Its Sustainability In The Digital Era
Malaysia's theatre aspiration and its sustainability in the paperless and boarderless digital era,
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Khir Khalid
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