Famous Playwrights from Singapore

List of notable or famous playwrights from Singapore, with bios and photos, including the top playwrights born in Singapore and even some popular playwrights who immigrated to Singapore. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Singaporean playwrights then this list is the perfect resource for you. These playwrights are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known playwright from Singapore is included when available.

List is made up of people like Alfian Sa'at and Dick Lee.

This historic playwrights from Singapore list can help answer the questions "Who are some Singaporean playwrights of note?" and "Who are the most famous playwrights from Singapore?" These prominent playwrights of Singapore may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Singaporean playwrights.

Use this list of renowned Singaporean playwrights to discover some new playwrights that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}

  • Alfian Sa'at
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Alfian bin Sa'at (born 18 July 1977) is a Singaporean writer, poet and playwright. He is known for his provocative works and is often referred to as his country's enfant terrible.
    • Age: 46
    • Birthplace: Singapore
  • Chay Yew
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Chay Yew (simplified Chinese: 谢耀; traditional Chinese: 謝耀; pinyin: Xiè Yào) is a playwright and stage director who was born in Singapore. In July 2011, he became Artistic Director of Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago.
    • Age: 58
    • Birthplace: Singapore
  • Dick Lee
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Richard "Dick" Lee Peng Boon (born 24 August 1956) is a Singaporean singer-songwriter, playwright and film director.
    • Age: 67
    • Birthplace: Singapore
  • Eleanor Wong
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Eleanor Wong Siew Yin (born 6 February 1962) is a Singaporean playwright, poet, lawyer and legal academic. She is an Associate Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore, where she is Vice Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Legal Skills Programme. She is also a member of the Remaking Singapore Committee.
  • Haresh Sharma (born 1965) is a Singaporean playwright. To date, he has written more than 100 plays that have been staged all over the world, including Singapore, Melbourne, Glasgow, Birmingham, Cairo and London. Sharma has a BA from the National University of Singapore as well as an MA in Playwriting from the University of Birmingham, obtained in 1994 on a Shell-NAC Scholarship. He has also been awarded fellowships and grants by the British Council and the United States Information Service, and was conferred the Young Artist Award in 1997. His play, Still Building, was awarded a Merit Singapore Literature Prize in 1993 while Off Centre was selected by the Ministry of Education as a Literature text for 'N’ and 'O’ levels, and republished by The Necessary Stage in 2006. In 2014, Sharma was awarded the prestigious S.E.A. Write Award. In 2015, he was awarded the Cultural Medallion.In August 2007, a new volume of Interlogue: Studies in Singapore Literature, was published with a focus on the works of Haresh Sharma. Interlogue is a series published by Ethos Books and edited by A/P Kirpal Singh that aims to bring critical focus on the works of Singapore writers in English. Previous editions of the series included one each on fiction, poetry, drama and interviews with local writers, as well as one dedicated volume on Singapore playwright Robert Yeo. The publication, written by Prof David Birch and edited by A/P Kirpal Singh, was an extensive investigation into Sharma's development as a writer; the themes and issues he grapples with; as well as his vision and practice of theatre within and outside his work at The Necessary Stage. While Interlogue itself was not published by The Necessary Stage, the company assisted with the provision of archival material for Prof Birch's research. In 2010, The Necessary Stage published a new anthology of Haresh's plays entitled Trilogy, including the scripts and production notes of three award-winning works, Fundamentally Happy, Good People and Gemuk Girls. The script of Those Who Can't, Teach, which was restaged as part of the 2010 Singapore Arts Festival, was published by Epigram Books. In 2011, a collection of early short plays by Haresh Sharma entitled Shorts I was published by The Necessary Stage. In 2012, two collections of Sharma's scripts were published, one entitled Shorts 2, and the other entitled Plays for Schools. This was followed by the publication of a new collection of Sharma's plays on medical-related issues entitled Don't Forget to Remember Me in 2013, launched at the Singapore Writers Festival. In 2014, Sharma's play Best Of (staged four times to rave reviews in Singapore and Malaysia) and Eclipse (staged in both Singapore and Scotland) were published. Haresh Sharma also wrote the lyrics to Singapore's National Day Parade 2011's withdrawn "Fun Pack Song", which modified the lyrics of Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' to widespread criticism.In 2015, Fundamentally Happy was selected by The Business Times as one of the "finest plays in 50 years" alongside productions by Goh Poh Seng, Michael Chiang and Alfian Sa'at and others.
    • Age: 58
    • Birthplace: Singapore
  • Kuo Pao Kun was a playwright, theatre director, and arts activist in Singapore who wrote and directed both Mandarin and English plays. He founded three arts and drama centres in Singapore, conducted and organised a number of drama seminars and workshops, and mentored Singaporean and foreign directors and artists. Kuo is acknowledged by both locals and foreigners as the pioneer of Singapore theatre, and was awarded the Cultural Medallion in 1990 for his contributions to Singapore theatre. His plays are characterised for their dramatic and social commentary, use of simple metaphors and multiculturalism themes, and have been staged locally and internationally.
    • Age: Dec. at 63 (1939-2002)
    • Birthplace: Hebei, China