[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, March 22, 2009

[Our tribute to Kuo Pao Kun]
It's over.

Last night, my Theatre class put up our version of Kuo Pao Kun's The Eagle and The Cat. After weeks of rehearsals and lots of sacrifices, the whole thing pulled through. At the post-show dialogue, Prof Margaret Chan had revealed that it was Pao Kun's wish to stage The Eagle and The Cat before he died. He had told our Professor about it.

In essence, The Eagle and The Cat is layered with many meanings. One such meaning is about walking the well-trodden path or pursuing one's dreams, hence the parallels with the cat and the eagle. But there is more to that dichotomy.

There is also an element of class in the portrayal of the cats - various types such as the "high class" cat, the "sewer cat" and the passing cat (the observer) who is also the protagonist who turns into a cat and is introduced to the life of various cats.

Another take is that Kuo had depicted his life in the play - about the silencing, the giving up of ideals and the sacrifices.

I also liken this to the life of politicians during the Japanese Occupation. During World War II, many of such politicians like Soekarno were faced with such a situation. Should they go all out and fight against the Japanese, to fight for their own country, or would they give up and serve the Japanese?

There are several parallels that can be drawn from the Japanese Occupation anecdote to Kuo's trying times during the communist era in Singapore. Many, including Kuo, were thrown into jail because of the supposed links with the communists.

I was involved in the lighting design for this play and honestly it was unexpected. Initially I wanted to do the sound instead but was arrowed into handling the lights - an aspect in which I had no experience in. It was an enriching experience nonetheless.

Attending rehearsals took up a bulk of my time and there were many things that had not been confirmed. I also did not anticipate a change in the venue. Originally the play was supposed to be staged in SMU's Arts and Culture Centre. But we were fortunate to have a smaller but more conducive environment. The Substation was kind enough to lend us their premises and it is a very cosy setting.

However, this meant that the lighting plans had to be tweaked to the new location. Further, the lights team had only one day to adjust to the equipment.

It was a steep learning curve. You learn a new skill today and you execute what you have learnt the next.

And yes, there were many sacrifices too. At the end of the day, one has to feel that it was worth the effort. I did.

Of course, it was such a waste that we only staged it once. Now that the cast and crew have assimilated into their roles, an abrupt end makes the heart yearn for more. Like they always say, the means is more important than the ends. in this case the means is the process of learning and sacrificing.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Daphne Maia said...

just wanna say that i've read this! :)

i often feel lost too, after the end of a project which i have been working hard on. when it ends, suddenly u feel empty and lost.

but u'll get back into the grind of things. 2 weeks to the end of sem (and beginning of exams, oops) hehe. jia you, ephraim!

Monday, March 23, 2009 12:18:00 am

 

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