Local theatre darling Wild Rice to launch on-demand video channel

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Many of what once belonged on a physical stage have now been ushered onto a virtual one, albeit out of necessity.

While not ideal for a theatre practice, the digital push is unabating, and even Singapore’s beloved local theatre company, Wild Rice, is now launching its very own video channel, Wild@Home On Demand.

For those who remember, their Wild@Home initiative first came earlier this year on April 24. Back then, they offered limited-time free viewings of their plays via their YouTube channel, as a way to keep audiences entertained during the circuit breaker period. Donations were always encouraged.

But with their latest Wild@Home On Demand, what’s offered instead this time is a 48-hour digital rental of their shows through Vimeo, with a US$10 price tag attached. It’s a significant change from last time, as it’s no longer just about bringing positivity to the masses, but about survival too.

“All proceeds will go directly towards securing the survival of Wild Rice, as well as protecting the livelihoods of the staff and artists who work with the company,” stated a Wild Rice media release.

The programme will kick-off with two Wild Rice hits, Merdeka / 獨立 / சுதந்திரம் and The Importance of Being Earnest. The former will be available on-demand from Jul 30-Aug 10, while the latter will be available on-demand from Aug 20-30.

, Local theatre darling Wild Rice to launch on-demand video channel

While cinemas in Singapore are pulling out all the stops to lure audiences back again after getting the green light to do so from authorities since Jul 13, other entertainment formats such as stage performances are still not allowed to do so.

It remains unclear if, or when, theatrical companies will be allowed to stage plays again.

“If our work has brought you joy since the pandemic began, we hope you will consider donating to Wild Rice or other arts organisations in Singapore,” pleads Founding Artistic Director of Wild Rice, Ivan Heng, in the release.

“Our arts industry needs your help to survive this crisis of unprecedented proportions. You can help us continue making theatre and telling stories that matter.”

More info on Wild@Home On Demand here.