One of the highlights of any year is the drama unit that allows me to unwind a little and have some fun with the students that I teach. A pre-university school like ours is pretty stressful as there is a lot riding on the line for these kids. Entrance requirements for quality universities are pretty high and the pressure to nail those marks can drive our students to the breaking point. Drama is a chance to let some of that pressure out through assuming a character and escaping from the endless routine of tests and assignments. Asians love drama; their culture is rich in it and with their excellent retentive skills they do well at committing their parts to memory. They also love dressing up, and the costumes are quite often very creative and colourful.
Last semester I started a Drama Festival at CPU to take some of that acting talent and put it on display in a larger setting so that parents and peers could come and watch. It was a huge success and it is no surprise that we are doing a repeat festival this term. The festival itself will take place on Monday, but as you can imagine there is a lot of preparation that has to go into an evening like this. The venues were booked four months ago and I have been planning this unit for at least three months. A month ago we started studying the play and this last week has been all about blocking out the scenes and coordinating the movements. This Saturday afternoon I left room for those who were keen to practice to come in to the school and see how it felt to use the room we have been assigned.
I love this aspect of my job. I love the joy that I see in students as they work together with their peers. This group you see pictured here come from Malaysia, Iran and Kyrgyzstan, yet they practiced together like they were brothers and sisters and then went off to a meal together. I love that. Four months ago they were barely able to say their name in class; they were so shy. Now they are acting out Shakespeare. What a great privilege it is to be their teacher through that incredible journey!
If you are planning on coming to this year’s Drama Festival, it will held on the main campus between 6pm and 9pm. There are different performances in LT1, LT2, LT3, and DR2 (right beside LT4 above the construction zone; just follow the signs). If you come to see my classes’ perform, we are in DR2. We are planning to stage the entire play in three hours, and you can come for as little or as much as you like. We will start at 6pm, and we will end at 9pm. Check with your friends to find out the time of their performances. Whichever venue you go to, have fun, encourage your friends and applaud their efforts. See you there!