"Theatre is not only about spectacle or performance. Nowadays it is fashionable to emphasize the performance side of theatre. I happen to agree, fashionable though it may be that a play is above all about performance. However, theatre is also about plays (in the main, about plays, I might add) and plays rarely can exist without a playscript. Even if the play starts from a moment of pure inspiration and improvisations it needs to come together as an aesthetic form through an ever increasingly structured and complex series of workshops. So, in a world where performance appears to be the rule, the role of the playwright remains a crucial part of the theatrical experience. Take away the playwright and you might have improvisation and inspiration but something of the more formal, more complex levels of experience would be missing...
"... This year, "Prize Winning Plays" takes on a more structured and thought-out format. In addition to the seven plays which Thiru Kandiah has discussed in his introductory article, Ong Keng Sen has a concluding essay on "The Practice of English Language Theatre in Singapore". These two essays are, to my mind, important milestones in the criticism of theatre and plays. Together with the seven playscripts the volume points to the new direction that the series hopes to take with this present volume."
– Ban Kah Choon (Acting Head, Department of English Language & Literature, National University of Singapore)
(Source: NUS-Shell Short Plays Series: Prize Winning Plays Volume V preface)