Over five months, nine of us, including myself, from the Diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology listened to stories of love. And these stories came from an unlikely source – a group of senior citizens.
What did we do with these stories? We devised scenes and eventually created a performance that included the essence of these stories.
What made this performance different was how the audience interacted with the different characters related to the protagonist throughout the show. The performance, at its heart, was about a young girl from an impoverished family living in Singapore in the 1960s writing a series of letters to the “Aunt Agony” column of a popular magazine about the love-related problems she had to deal with.
Rehearsal time involved a lot of sharing
The seniors took on the roles of the characters related to the protagonist, and the audience was engaged in exploring possible answers to the letters through lively and provoking discussions with the characters. During the performance, we were involved in leading the members of the audience through the entire process as well as facilitating the dialogue.
The audience having as much fun as the cast
We really enjoyed working with the senior citizens, who were always friendly, approachable and easy to talk to. They loved sharing about how their lives were like in the past, and we were often intrigued to dig deeper into their experiences. We later learnt that they really appreciated being able to interact with youths like ourselves, and being engaged in the creative process – one of them remarked how being involved in this project enabled her to think deeply into her own past, while another talked about how the entire experience helped her feel youthful again.
We have not gained CCA points from participating in this project, nor have we done it as a form of “community involvement” and scored points that way. But what each of us has gained from this project goes far deeper than mere points.
The project may have ended, but the bonds live on.
Written by Alvin Wong Pin Hoe, Year 2,
Diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology