We Were So Hopeful Then (2019)

31 July 2019 – 4 August 2019 @ The Necessary Stage Black Box, Marine Parade Community Building


Welcome to the 2025 Singapore Theatre Icon Awards, where we want to pay tribute to YOU! Celebrate with us and witness the unveiling of our industry icon of the year. Would it be the cleaner we pretend was invisible, or the driver we ignore? Or could the accolade be given to the rigger we never see on stage, or the transcriber who’s not even acknowledged? 

Who are these people beyond their job descriptions—and do we even care?

Written by Ellison Tan and directed by Alvin TanWe Were So Hopeful Then looks at invisibility in our working environment, and invites us to question the rationale and implicit biases of public accolades and garlands.

Playwright: Ellison Tan
Director: Alvin Tan
Dramaturg: Melissa Lim
Multimedia Designer: Yusri Sapari

Cast: Henrik Cheng, Myra Loke, Sindhura Kalidas, Zaaki Nasir

Stage Manager: Brenda Lum Jia Yi
Multimedia Operator: Jovyn Loh
Lighting Programmer: Fiona Lim
Lighting Technicians: Syahrudin Pasha Dasa, Chloe

Production Interns: Tan Aik Young, Andrea Tan, Janessa Renee Leong 

(Source: The Necessary Stage Archives)

For more information, please visit tnsarchives.com.


Ellison Tan
Alvin Tan
Melissa Lim
Yusri Sapari
Multimedia Designer


We Were So Hopeful Then (2019), Review
We Were So Hopeful Then Never has the title of a production been more appropriate. I began as an audience member of The Necessary Stage’s (TNS) We Were So Hopeful Then in an appropriate flurry of pre-show excitement and high hopes. Unfortunately, these hopes dwindled with the passing minutes. We exist in a world of wanton cruelties, but also of gentle mercies; the glimmer of redemptive energy in this instance is that the passing minutes in We Were So Hopeful Then are limited to 60.
Idelle Yee
Reviewed: 31 July 2019