As previously reported in The Times, David Emmes has been exploring the prospect of an SCR tour of the Far East. Now that he's back from Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, he says a tour is more probable than ever.
The idea had been gestating for "roughly a year," he said. It was spurred by Susan Whitten, a member of SCR's support guild who has overseas business interests and told officials of the Singapore Festival of Arts about the theater.
Emmes estimates that it will cost "roughly $100,000" to take a production to Singapore in the third week of June, 1990. The government-sponsored festival has offered to put up $50,000. In addition, officials have indicated that free air fares and hotel accommodations could be arranged.
"We are hopeful we can raise another $50,000 from multinational corporations that are based in California and have not heretofore supported us," Emmes said.
Although the choice of play is entirely SCR's, festival officials have suggested that "something celebratory" would be appropriate, Emmes said. "So we thought we might look at our recent repertory. 'You Never Can Tell' would fit." Shaw's romantic comedy was a Mainstage hit in March.
SCR might also bring a new American play as a second offering. Emmes declined to name it because he is still trying to acquire rights for a Second-Stage production next season.
The first American theater troupe to be invited to the 12-year-old biannual festival was San Francisco's Magic Theatre. The company staged Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love" last year.
"We had a very strong experience," said Magic Theatre's artistic director John Lion. "The play was considered very daring. We sold out, and we got standing ovations."
A weeklong SCR engagement in Hong Kong immediately following Singapore is also being firmed up, Emmes said. But plans for a stop in Tokyo, while still being pursued, are more remote. He said the entire trip would take four weeks.