Life! Theatre Awards marks 15 years with a new identity

Next month, The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards will celebrate a milestone 15 years of honouring local theatre with a brand new identity.

Telecommunications company M1 will be coming on board for the awards as title sponsor, a partnership which will see the event renamed M1-The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards.

Mr Ivan Lim, director of corporate communications at M1, said: "We believe in the power of the arts to move and connect people, as well as to enrich our society, and this has driven our passionate long-term support of Singapore's arts scene through partnerships with home-grown arts groups."

Aside from the awards, the company also partners arts groups such as The Necessary Stage, T.H.E Dance Company, Frontier Danceland and The Theatre Practice.

This year's event, which will take place on April 20, will be held in collaboration with the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, at the venue's Recital Studio.

ST 20150317 5LIFE17 1150897m

The ceremony, which will be hosted by popular actress Pam Oei, is part of the Esplanade's The Studios: fifty series, which features 50 Singapore plays.

Ms Yvonne Tham, assistant chief executive officer of the Esplanade, said: "We hope audiences will come to reflect, imagine and understand the world around us, our society and ourselves, through these notable works, many of which have been recognised by the Life! Theatre Awards.

"So when we were invited to collaborate with Life! Theatre Awards this year, we were most happy to support."

The awards this year honour a total of 40 nominees across a dozen categories. A quarter of those nods go to theatre company Wild Rice, which picked up six nominations for its annual pantomime, Monkey Goes West, and four more for the drama, The House Of Bernarda Alba.

Pangdemonium has also done well, with a total of eight nominations for comedy Fat Pig, the musical The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice and the drama Frozen.

The awards are judged by a six-member panel comprising Lasalle College of the Arts provost Venka Purushothaman; online arts journal The Flying Inkpot's co-editors Kenneth Kwok and Matthew Lyon; as well as arts reviewers from The Business Times, Lianhe Zaobao and The Straits Times - Helmi Yusof, Tang Hwa Kwee and Corrie Tan.

On the awards' 15th anniversary, Ms Helen Chia, editor of Life!, said: "Over the years, so many great productions and talented thespians have made us laugh and cry at the theatre.

"The Life! Theatre Awards have grown in tandem with the development of our exciting theatre scene, and we are happy to shine a spotlight on the best and brightest, as we celebrate our personal milestone in turning 15."

lting@sph.com.sg

For all stories and photos of the M1-The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards, go to www.straitstimes.com/life-theatre-awards-2015