The Theatre Practice, a Singapore-based theater company, uses multidisciplinary storytelling techniques to create interactive experiences and content, from a 55-hour Facebook livestream to a reimagining of Mandarin nursery rhymes. Now, the Theatre Practice is collaborating with the National Gallery Singapore to launch the multi-platform treasure hunt, Gallery of Secrets: The Lost Lily.

What happened

Gallery of Secrets by National Gallery Singapore + Theatre Practice

Available as a digital or hybrid experience, Gallery of Secrets invites participants to view a film of the theatrical production before following IRL clues to hunt down a treasure hidden within the National Gallery Singapore. Image: The Theatre Practice on Facebook

Inspired by the National Gallery Singapore’s history and art collection, Gallery of Secrets: The Lost Lily, which runs from April 4 to 18, is a gamified experience split into three parts. The first chapter introduces participants to the performance and escape room-style experience through a film before they’re invited to solve IRL puzzles to hunt down the titular lily hidden in the museum’s galleries. The event culminates with a film concluding the theatrical performance. The experience is available in both digital and hybrid formats.

Gallery of Secrets follows in the Theatre Practice’s 2021 interactive murder mystery, The Bride Always Knocks Twice — Killer Secrets which offered a similar phygital experience. According to the Theatre Practice, the production reached 3,000 viewers in 16 countries.

Why it matters

By hosting a theatrical experience, the museum is expanding both its audience and its role. Image: National Gallery Singapore

With Gallery of Secrets, its first theatrical collaboration, the National Gallery Singapore (no stranger to innovation) will have an opportunity to engage both digital and in-person audiences that may be new to the institution. Unlike museum events limited to physical attendance, the Theatre Practice transforms the museum from a space to be observed into a space that must be interacted with. 

As institutions continue to feel the burden of COVID-19’s impact, reimagining a museum’s role and function has become increasingly important. Museums that can operate as theatrical spaces, retail shops, dining destinations, digital platforms, and so forth have a better chance at remaining sustainable post-lockdowns compared to those still reliant on pre-pandemic audience strategies. Through such collaborative partnerships, museums can redefine what a cultural institution is and its role moving forward. 

What they said

“Through Gallery of Secrets: The Lost Lily, we hope that audiences will be able to encounter the arts and our storied architecture in a new light, as we embrace multidisciplinary storytelling and all its possibilities through this innovative partnership.” — Suenne Megan Tan, Senior Director, Museum Planning and Audience Engagement, National Gallery Singapore

“Digital theatre presents an opportunity to reach large numbers of audiences, without the restrictions of physical space or geographical boundaries.” — Daniel Goh, Executive Director, The Theatre Practice


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