Monday, 17 February 2014

Love is A Place


It's only been less than a year but I still remember how Terence and Megan approached me to be Drama Director. I was in Switzerland and they kept messaging me no matter how many times I kept saying no. I was extremely hesitant because I felt that Eusoff Drama was always sidelined and theatre is something that I took very seriously. Furthermore, I was an actress with no directorial experience. I was afraid that I would be way out of my depth.

My fears were founded. Somehow being a Drama Director also meant part-SM, part-PM, part-scriptwriter, part-lights designer etc. and it was incredibly tough having to do all this while training a relatively inexperienced cast, push for a consistent creative direction while not knowing what the dances were up to, and compete for proper venues to rehearse. I was exhausted; 6 modules, arts festival rehearsals were draining me, let alone the fact that my personal front was in shambles.

Somehow I found the will to commit and see it to the best as I could.
  • Fatimah was my rock - she was worried I would break and was there for me every step of the way to help me out in her capacity as both a friend and an assistant director. There are no words to express how grateful I am for you.
  • Amanda, Bella, Chun Hou, Yu Jin, Bryan: I had the best cast I could ever ask for. I'm glad I went with my intuition because I saw something in them that was worth the risk. Although they may not be the most punctual, but they are such a hard-working bunch. Somehow 2-hour rehearsals became 3, which became 4 and sometimes even 6 hour long. I saw them bloom from how they were in their auditions (frankly quite terrible) to actors who were capable of possessing such intense emotions. And we had fun all the time - (disclaimer: times when I wasn't getting bullied by them).
  • Xuan Chen, Alvin & Yangyi - I still remember three of you saying to me, "Tell us what you need and we'll get it done. We'll support you however we can." I never felt so glad to have people like y'all on the team, who believed in me more than I did in myself and for listening to my concerns and helping me out whenever you guys could.
  • Emi - Thank you for being so supportive of the many changes we made to your script. Most of the time scriptwriters tend to get defensive but your understanding as well as willingness to come down to rehearsals to see what could be improved really helped elevate the Drama a lot.
  • Sounds/Lights/Wardrobe/Sets/ Main Comm etc. - I may not know all of you but what I do know is that I salute each and every one of you. No production is without its crew and the role you play is so crucial into making it a success. Every stitch, every audio edits, every sets touch-up and tech run all culminates into something bigger. The success is yours to own as well.
  • Twan, Yx, Carissa, Steph Sim, Jun An, Wilfred, Natasha and others - people who I could always talk to and never failed to cheer me up. You know who you are. 
Never in my life did I expect this production to be such a huge success. It seems all the odds were against us, since it was on Valentines Day and the last day of Chinese New Year but we did it. I never heard of an audience that clapped after every scene or after every dance.

Honestly, I've never been so emotionally invested in a production before. I gave a part of my heart to this production and it was worth it ten times over. Nobody knows this but I actually wrote the final scene based on something that was real and very personal to me; watching it come alive on stage by the actors, especially with Dance 7 and Dance 8 heightening the emotions was sort of a catharsis for me. I cried in all the full runs we had at UCC. It really reminded me how the success of the production was a joint effort of both Drama and Dance.

It was an amazing experience - one that was a turning point in my life. It was done with no regrets. I will never forget this moment. 

To Amanda, Bryan, Chun Hou, Yu Jin & Bella - You guys deserve every praise. I couldn't be prouder. We may not cross paths again but I wish each and everyone of you all the best. If Love is a Place, then being with you guys was it. I only have so much love for all of you. You carry my heart.Thank you for everything.

With love, Shannen
Drama Director of Eusoff Hall Drama-Dance Production 13/14

No comments:

Post a Comment