The common argument is that commercial productions are for mere profit purposes and tend to be purely entertainment. Thus, commercial productions are usually not as artistic or do not carry as much artistic integrity as non-profit ones. Three key ideas were highlighted in this article to dispel the myth of commercial performing arts productions as a less artistic product. Firstly, the arts should be all encompassing. Entertainment can happen in both commercial and non-profit productions. Next, the commercial sector is also dependent on being artistically good in order to sustain and survive. Lastly, there should not be any opposition between the arts and commerce. Be it in a commercial or non-profit environment, both processes should work hand-in-hand together. This article also explores how the commercial organizations have to take on the challenging task of audience development.
What does it mean to be a truly independent theatre practitioner? Perhaps an old question that warrants reflection, or, to most people, a dated one that is futile to discuss upon: every theatre practitioner is an independent individual anyway. To the critics having the view of the latter, it is attempt to evade the question that might question their credibility, or not to provide a concrete answer to it in fear of losing to the criticism of subservient associations and affiliations that undermine independent voices; the co-option of one’s body by a larger hegemonic body. This phenomenon is not uncommon in the Singapore theatre scene, for soft power levied by larger, well-funded, monetary-resource endowed companies in terms of providing ready employment to theatre-practitioners, their abilities to provide a sense of artistic identity, their abilities to provide constant employment on a long-term basis, strong reassurance of longevity in regular income; as what the person who coined the term Joseph Nye referred to as primary currencies the institutions’ values, culture and policy practices that can repeal and attract theatre-practitioners to want what they want” (1) (Nye).