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The Straits Times revamps Life! Theatre Awards to engage readers

New features include a debate and a Readers' Choice Award

SINGAPORE, 11 June 2013 - It is a year of newcomers and dark horses, with tiny, intimate plays rubbing shoulders with lush musicals at the 13th Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards 2013. The annual event that honours the best theatre professionals in Singapore will be held on 1 July 2013Monday, at the W Singapore - Sentosa Cove, the official venue partner for this year's awards.

After more than a decade, the format of the Life! Theatre Awards ceremony is being revamped to engage readers and connect them to the magic of theatre. There will be a lively debate between members of the theatre community prior to the awards ceremony. The introduction of a new awards category, the Readers' Choice Award, also gives readers and theatre lovers a chance to vote online for their favourite production of 2012. The results will be unveiled at the ceremony.

The theatre production with the most nominations - six in all - is Company, a big-hearted take on the Stephen Sondheim musical of the same name by Dream World Productions. The large-scale Lao Jiu: The Musical (The Theatre Practice) and La Cage Aux Folles (Wild Rice) follow close behind with four nominations each. Smaller black box productions such as Patricia Toh’s Pretty Things, an exploration of lost innocence, which was staged as part of The Substation’s Open Call
and Oliver Chong’s touching family history tale, Roots (The Finger Players), also made it to the Production of the Year shortlist. (See full list of nominees in the attachment below).

Ms Helen Chia, editor of The Straits Times Life!, said: "We started the Life! Theatre Awards 13 years ago to recognize and celebrate the best achievements in theatre. The theatre scene has come a long way since the awards were first given out - more practitioners have become professionals and can make a living from the arts, and the quantity and quality of shows have grown. The audience has also grown and become more discerning.”

She added: “As the main newspaper which gives serious coverage to the arts and which reaches out to 1.4 million readers, we have decided that the ceremony should go beyond celebrating the practitioners. We want to include our readers and engage them. Hence we have introduced the live debate and will be asking our readers to join in the celebration. We want to make the Life! Theatre Awards part of The Straits Times' programme to engage our readers.”

Mr Stephane Fabregoul, general manager of W Singapore - Sentosa Cove, said: “W Singapore is honoured to be the official venue partner for this prestigious event. We look forward to putting on a fantastic awards ceremony and welcoming the luminaries of the local theatre world to our hotel.”

The awards were judged by a seven-member panel, comprising theatre academic Edith Podesta; theatre reviewers Helmi Yusof, Chew Boon Leong and Corrie Tan from The Business Times, Lianhe Zaobao and The Straits Times respectively; co-editors Kenneth Kwok and Matthew Lyon of online arts journal The Flying Inkpot; and former Life! arts correspondent Adeline Chia, now an editor at the online culture magazine Artinfo.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Registration. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Corrie Tan (Ms)
The Straits Times Life!
DID: 6319 5279

Leong Lin Choo (Ms)
Editorial Projects Unit
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5068

Yeo Siew Chi (Mr)
Corporate Communications and CSR
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1586

About The Straits Times

The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for more than a century. Launched on July 15, 1845, its comprehensive coverage of world news, East Asian news, Southeast Asian news, home news, sports news, financial news and lifestyle updates makes The Straits Times the most-read newspaper in Singapore. 

Quality news, in-depth analyses, impactful commentaries and breaking stories are packaged to give readers riveting accounts of events in Singapore, the region, and beyond. 

The Straits Times' key strength is in its world class coverage of news outside Singapore. With 20 bureaus in major cities around the world, The Straits Times correspondents bring world news to readers on a Singapore platter, helping them appreciate world events from a Singaporean perspective. 

In keeping with the times, The Straits Times introduced weekly supplements such as Digital Life (DL), Urban and Mind Your Body (MYB) to complement The Straits Times as well as IN and Little Red Dot to cater to young readers in schools. In 2010, IN won the World Young Reader prize for the Newspapers In Education category. The prize was awarded by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra).

The Straits Times also has an online presence at The site features top stories, blogs and an online forum threads. Also under The Straits Times' umbrella are citizen journalism site Stomp and online television service The Straits Times RazorTV.

About W Singapore - Sentosa Cove

W Singapore - Sentosa Cove, which opened to the world on 16 September 2012, is ideally situated on Singapore’s most glamorous island, Sentosa - only minutes away from the city’s downtown core. A stylish, buzzing hang out for Singapore’s trendsetters, business leaders and discerning world travellers, W Singapore is the glamorous addition to the city’s luxury hotels category, with 240 guestrooms and suites showcasing spectacular marina and ocean views. 

For more information, visit

W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 43 hotels and retreats, including 15 W-branded residences, in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand’s sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts, signature spas and inspiring residences. With more than 13 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach 60 hotels by the end of 2015. 

For more information, visit