Arena Pentas 2017 Review By Nadiputra Al Mahdi
11 - 13 Januari 2017
Studio 2, Politeknik Republik
Cakap Kosong, persembahan Pentas Karyawan, Politeknik Republik tidak kosong. Lima drama pendek “Selamat Tinggal” tulisan/arahan: Nurfareena Md Noor, lakonan Aizatul Azerina Sazali, Nur Asfarina Ishak, Nur Diyanah Ahmad Khalifa dan Nurfareena Md Noor, “Cerita Calar Dia” tulisan/arahan: Siti Khalisah Khair, lakonan Siti Khalisah Khair, Nuri Haqirah Hazmi serta Siti Hajar Zahid, “Kongsi” tulisan/arahan: Nur Munirah Abdul Monir lakonan Nur Munirah Abdul Monir, Nur Zuhairah Anuar dan Muhammad Shalihin sementara, “Perkenalan” karya/arahan Aliff Shah Ramli, lakonan Muhammad Shalihin dan Siti Umairah Md Nor serta “Tumpang” tulisan/arahan: Nur Diyanah Ahmad Khalifa Lakonan: Seri Mustika Md Nor, Nur Syafiqah Kamarudin menepati sasaran pembimbing dramanya Anwar Hadi.
Percubaan mendedahkan para pelakon berdepan dengan penonton yang terang benderang mengelilingi gelanggang lakonan empat persegi, mencabar para pelakon berdepan dengan wajah-wajah penonton yang melihat kesan lakonan mereka mentafsir naskah yang ditulis dan diarahkan mereka sendiri. Tiada sorotan lampu istimewa kecuali kesan bunyi dan lagu latar membantu rangsangan para pelakon.
Kelima-lima naskah yang ditulis menarik dan berbeza antara satu sama lain. Ia tidak terpengaruh dengan kelaziman penceritaan yang sering kita lihat. Kisah perkenalan menerusi komputer riba (Perkenalan), pertemuan pemandu teksi dengan makhlok halus (Tumpang), pengalaman seorang banduan (Kongsi), kemelut bunuh diri (Selamat Tinggal) dan pengalaman pahit yang menghantui (Cerita Calar Dia), setiap satu diberi pendekatan, olahan yang menarik. Peralatan paling mudah dan ringkas menepati daya pemikiran dan perlambangan kreatif yang menasabah dan dapat diterima penonton. Para pelakon terjemahkan dengan bijak fungsi kerusi, kain berwarna sebagai lambang-lambag duri kehidupan, pertalian hidupan masa lampau, teksi dan seumpamanya. Amat kreatif.
Mewujud, memuncak dan menyudahkan sebuah naskah yang lengkap dalam tempoh 10 minit bukan mudah. Maka kebanyakan naskah yang dipaparkan terhambat dengan kronologi kejadian, yang keseluruhannya dikupas melalui katabual dari kekuatan para pelakon menterjemah perasaan, perkembangan cerita dan perlambangan seadanya.
Membiasakan para pelakon berdepan dengan penonton yang dilihat jelas dan amat dekat menguji daya pemusatan pelakon terhadap watak, kelancaran katabual dan pengawalan gerak-laku dramatik untuk menangani cabaran pemusatan tajam penonton terhadap setiap olah laku, olah katabual dan olah seni setiap pelakon. Syabas, tiap pelakon tidak tergugat dengan jarak dekat penonton yang tajam melihat mereka beraksi.
Namun seperkara yang agak ketara dan boleh dihalusi ialah katabual para pelakon remaja. Tidak semua, tapi kebanyakan kataual kurang kepelbagaian, penekanan terhadap inti perasaan atau makna setiap ayat atau kelompok ayat-ayat yang dibualkan. Ramai pelakon tidak diberi pengkyususan oleh pengarah tentang analisa katabual yang harus diberi rentak, tempoh, kenjut kesah serta lenggok sedih, muram dan unsur jenaka yang merupakan asam garam ‘hiburan teater’ yang boleh diniikmati oleh penonton, seperti merasa seram, cemas, lucu, marah dan seumpamanya.
Namun persembahan “Cakap Kosong” berjaya digembeling pembimbing teater Politeknik Republik Anwar Hadi untuk menjana satu peningkatan dan perkembangan teater mutakhir. Pemupukannya yang sihat dan merangsang, jelas dihasilkan oleh anak buahnya dalam melahirkan sendiri lima karya teater pendek yang dekat dengan corak, citarasa pemain teater remaja dewasa ini. Penggunaan bahasa Melayu yang baik satu petanda baik ia masih terus kekal diperkasakan para pelajar. Saya yakin melalui drama-drama yang ditonjolkan, Anwar Hadi tentu berperanan memastikan kepentingan memelihara penggunaan bahasa Melayu dalam teater dengan sebaiknya.
Tahniah Pentas Karyawan - tiap tahun ada saja kelainan yang diketengahkan. Anda semua tidak tandus dengan kesegaran berteater.
Thank you Encik Nadi for the review.
Bangsawan Workshop for Higher Malay Students, Northern Cluster, resumes.
After taking a break during the December school holidays we resume our bangsawan workshop.
In November 2016, the students were exposed to the basics of bangsawan where they were introduced to its characteristics and characters. They were also taught the basics of performing for theatre such as vocal trainings, stage dynamics, tableaux, stage blockings, stage balance and levels and also the art form of silat.
We then took a short break during the December holidays and now we proceed on in preparing for their short performance.
This year, the Northern Cluster of Higher Malay students, hosted by Anderson Secondary School will be presenting “Syair Siti Zubaidah: Perang Cina”
Today, they were given roles and did blockings for the whole 15 minutes piece. The students are very active and excited but also very disciplined. Will be looking forward for the next session where we will polish up on the acting and also choreographing their silat and malay dance items.
Lights off in Dance Studio 2
Arena Pentas 2017 concluded its run on the 13th of January 2017. 5 playlets were presented to the audience for 3 consecutive nights. The build up to this event was also constantly promoted on this blog and various social media outlets and profiles.
Heartfelt gratitude and thanks to those who spent their time attending this event. The students value your support and your feedback.
There are a few things different about this year's edition. Instead of the usual 4 playlets per event, we have expanded to 5. Good job to the writers and producer who were willing to try out something different. We might also for the first time ever in this series to be covered by a local media outlet. And of course, the one that we hoped to motivate the members more would be the awards given out. Just something different for fun.
I managed to get 3 arts practitioners to help out in judging the 5 playlets.
Thank you Mr Saiful Amri, Mr Hidayat Nordin and Mdm Asnida Daud for being very supportive and enthusiastic in making the event and judging process exciting.
We gave away 5 awards that night.
BEST SCRIPT : KONGSI by Nur Munirah Abd Monir
BEST ACTOR / ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Nur Syafiqah Kamarudin (TUMPANG)
BEST ACTOR / ACTRESS IN A LEAD ROLE : Seri Mustika Md Nor (TUMPANG)
BEST DIRECTION : Nur Diyanah Ahmad Khalifa (TUMPANG)
TUMPANG also won the BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE.
I hope the members enjoyed this small gesture because..... "bila lagi....??"
I personally enjoyed this Arena Pentas edition very much. I do believe that the members could have done much better if they had put in more discipline and better time management. Hopefully they learned from this experience to do even better in the next production and the next Arena Pentas season.
Nevertheless, everyone's a winner. I know it sounds cliche but really. In theatre, we play for the team and never for individual's glory. It has never been about the product. It has always been the process. And everyone's a winner because everyone went through and completed the process.
Thank you TRCC staff, Producer, Directors, Playwrights, Judges, Stage Manager, Sound Operator, FOH, parents, family members and members of the audience.
Till we meet again in next year's edition of Arena Pentas 2018. In the meantime, we look forward to see you in our upcoming Year End Production. Mark your calendar. Coming soon. 31st March and 1st April 2017!
Arena Pentas 2017 Day 1
I am personally a fan of these Arena Pentas series. On its 4th season and improving slowly. This year we have 5 pieces to present. Short sharp straight to the point playlets.
Why am I a fan of these series is because the students will be given a chance to produce, write, direct and perform their own playlets. Well, it is just a playlet of maximum 15minutes each. What's so special about it? Well it is special. What is it? The limitations.
On a theatrical point of view, the students has to work within strict or even no budget. So how do you produce aesthetically pleasing plays with no budget? (I hear groans saying schools are cheapskates...) Well, in the professional world, other than the mainstream and commercial theatre, most practitioners have problems with budgets. I for one do dream to direct a mega scale theatre performance but, it is just a dream that I might never achieve. So how do we with such limitations produce works that are worth the audience time and money. What can we do to wrestle their time away from the comfort of television and movie theatres? Making the best of budget limitations by sharpening creativity.
The students have to work within space limitations. In a 5 metres by 5 metres arena space. So small....? Should be easy right? Wrong. These students are humans with dreams and ambitions too. How do they scale down their ambitions, dreams and visions into that small square and yet make it aesthetically pleasing yet meaningful. You can't put godzilla in there but with some brainpower and exercising creativity, you can.
80 audience member per night only? In the dance studio? Not even a professional venue with small number of audience, this must be a rip off. It may be so if you would like to think so. But to these students, it is a test of their focus, confidence and ultimately acting skills. Your audience are not hidden in the dark. You are not supported by fancy lights. It is not television where scene cuts are allowed. Full 15 minutes of focus and discipline with the audience breathing down your face. They see every teardrop, every sweat, every saliva jumping out your mouth, every eye movement. It is an arena for professionals and they are there having a chance to saviour it.
You may like some stories, you may not like others, it doesn't really matter to me. What matters is, they are given a chance. An honest chance. And honestly, a chance that they might not be able to get again after graduating.
Day 1 over. Day 2 tonight. Thank you to those who came yesterday!
Arena Pentas 2017
Playlet # 5
Title : KONGSI
Written and Directed by: Nur Munirah Abdul Monir
Performed by: Nur Munirah Abdul Monir, Nur Zuhairah Anuar, Muhammad Shalihin Mohamad
Shasha has been walking around for hours looking for customers to buy her keychains. Shasha is an ex gang member and convict and now sells key chains to make ends meet.
She looks fumbles inside her pocket, maybe to look for some loose change to buy herself a drink, only to find a medical bill. It's her mother's. It says, $80.
"$80? I can't even sell one keychain! How am I going to get the $80?"
A stranger sits down nearby. She tries her luck again.
"Excuse me, would you like to buy some keychains?"
Will this stranger listen to her for a "change"? If it is too difficult to get people to buy, why is she still doing this? Selling keychain, but who are we really chaining here?
Shasha was once caught by the police for rioting, but you can catch her and her stories freely. She may need the cash, but you don't have to spend anything. Book your tickets now. Limited seats available left.
Arena Pentas 2017
Playlet # 4
Title: SELAMAT TINGGAL
Written and Directed by: Nurfareena M Noor
Performed by: Aizatul Azerina Sazali, Nur Asfarina Ishak, Nurdiyanah Ahmad Khalifa, Nurfareena M Noor
Standing on a ledge. Eyes focused down. Determined on the task ahead. A sudden thought flashes through the mind which causes the lungs, throat, jaw and the mouth to work together in producing a loud shriek, alarming a visiting friend.
Psychiatrist Melissa answers the phone,
"Hello, doktor Melissa di sini"
"Doktor! Emma... Emma hendak bunuh diri!"
She rushes to the said location and sees Emma, a long time patient of hers whom has been avoiding her sessions. Fancy seeing her there. Hasn't her sessions all these while been beneficial? Hasn't she been doing a good job? If she has, why is her patient standing on the ledge?
Summoning her confidence, not only her patient is on the ledge, maybe her career is also on its edge. This one situation pushes them both on their toes. Can this "session" reap benefits or could it be her final one?
She tries to talk it out, as sincere and as objective as she could. Will she be able to do it? Life and career at stake, she only has this one chance.
Arena Pentas 2017
Playlet Number 3
Written and Directed by: Nurdiyanah Ahmad Khalifa
Performed by: Seri Mustika Md Nor, Nur Syafiqah Kamarudin, Muhammad Shalihin Mohamad, Siti Khalisah Khair
Location: Bedok Reservoir Road
A lone figure waves at Cik Leha's taxi.
"Yes dik? Where are you going?"
"Cik, boleh hantar saya pergi Jurong tak?"
"Hmm... bukan cik tak hendak hantar, tapi cik nak kena tukar shift sekejap lagi dekat Tampines"
"Ala tolong la cik, saya hendak melawat orang meninggal."
"Hmmm... ok lah naik."
Such a long journey. Such a long day. Cik Leha's eyes getting sleepier as the taxi whizzes on.
"Mata ini naik layu memandu malam-malam."
Cik Leha starts to churn out seeminginly never ending stories. To keep herself awake. To entertain her seemingly depressed passenger. Having lost her husband recently, she understands how it feels like to lose a loved one.
We battle to understand the scenario of these 2 ladies. One who tries to keep herself awake and to keep the mood up, while the passenger seems to prefer a peaceful ride. We too have gone through situations like this. Maybe a driver should be more understanding to the wants of the passenger, or maybe the passenger should give the driver the benefit of the doubt for they have graciously accepted to ferry.
It does get lonely being a taxi driver. Having someone to talk to can be therapeutic. No one wants to be lonely. Or even maybe, alone in a long journey. Is she talking to herself? Or is she talking alone?
Grab the cab. Grab your tickets now.
Arena Pentas 2017 Playlet number 2
TITLE : CERITA CALAR DIA
Written and Directed by: Siti Khalisah Khair
Performed by: Siti Khalisah Khair, Nuri Haqirah Hazmi, Siti Hajar Zahid
Nonsuicidal self-injury, often simply called self-injury, is the act of deliberately harming the surface of your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It's typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, this type of self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration.
Naurah and sudden self mutilation leaving her close friends puzzled. They try to talk sense into her but to no avail. Is this something very common with the current youths?
Maybe self-injury is a metaphor in this abstract playlet, but emotional pain, intense anger and frustration is definitely real. Different people cope differently with it. Once a youth myself, I bottled up many feelings as I couldn't express them to my parents. Or rather, I didn't want to. We are naturally more comfortable with our friends. But not all friends are willing to hear or talk to you. There are also friends who you rather not talk to about your deepest feelings and frustrations. I personally bottle them up and chose not to talk to anyone, but as mentioned, different people handle things differently.
As for Naurah, she chooses self-harm. What can her friends do about it? If she is really a close friend to them, can they talk sense into her? If they are really her close friends, will she listen to them?
Teenage turmoils are very hard to understand. We all have been there. What would you do if you were them? Or her?
Well.... you can catch them. Not literally. Catch this playlet by aspiring poet and writer, Siti Khalisah Khair supported by Nuri Haqirah Hazmi and Siti Hajar Zahid who in my experience as a practitioner and trainer, possess promising acting skills.
Dear readers, you are just a text away. See you there!
Piece number 1 for ARENA PENTAS 2017
Written and directed by : Aliff Shah Ramli
Performed by : Aliff Shah Ramli, Siti Umairah Md Nor
Reza a delivery boy and the only child in the family gets constant nags by his parents to find a life partner and start a family. Not that he doesn't want to but he wants to enjoy his single life till the fullest. But deep inside he do feel lonely and getting hooked up isn't a bad idea after all. Maybe his parents will stop nagging. Those constant nags, shapes his idea of an ideal woman. Someone who is quiet and peaceful. Unfortunately, most are taken (according to him).
His friend introduced him to a girl and he chat her up on facebook. Here's the tricky part. Will he sound desperate? Is that desperation caused by his liking to the girl or to just get his mother off his back?
The next tricky part, this girl, Alliya Maisara.. hmmm.. she's very pretty. Why is she entertaining this desperado? She can get any guy she wants but why is she entertaining this Reza guy? Well she doesn't entertain as much as Reza hope for. She replies and then disappears and when Reza seems to give up hope, she replies again. Is she carrying a baggage of her own?
So where is this going?
Well, you have to watch and find out.
As for us, it sure brings back memories of chatting up a stranger. The thrills, the cringe, the urrghhh and the waaahss... I'm sure many of us did it once in our life or at least heard about friends who did it. Don't deny! I heard of all these since MIRC days! MIRC, Alamak chat, MSN, Friendster, Facebook, you've heard them all.
So do come over and experience this again. It's free admission. Just a text away from booking your seats.
3rd January 2017, Republic Polytechnic's Pentas Karyawan had our 100% preview for our upcoming production. A number of loose ends to tighten up and we will get them done by show day. Yes... show day is next week. Have you booked your tickets yet?
To tease your tastebuds, let me share a bit what you can expect.
1) Admission is free! All you have to do is to book a seat for yourself. Oh please do bring your friends along.
2) 5 short plays every night. Yes, in 80 minutes you will be presented with 5 short stories written, directed and performed by the members themselves.
3) With the theme "CAKAP KOSONG", meaning empty talks, we try to disect that phrase both literally and figuratively. How many times have we been caught talking to ourselves or talking alone or talking to someone but its no better than talking alone?
* PERKENALAN by Aliff Shah Ramli : About a young man getting to know a lady via facebook. Yes I did this before on friendster then. Don't tell me you didn't do it before. So yes, this play is very relatable! But the issue here, why isn't the girl replying? And when he is about to give up, she replies again and disappear again. Why? And where is this heading?
* CERITA CALAR DIA by Siti Khalisah Khair : 3 best friends. 1 of them having issues with her life. She finds pleasure in cutting herself. What? Pleasure? How is that pleasurable? Will the cuts turn into scars? Or will it progress into gashes and slits? How are the friends coping with it?
* TUMPANG by Diyanah Ahmad Khalifa : Taxi driver. Non stop ferry service. Non stop talk. How many times have we gone through this? Is the driver being friendly or just annoying. Would you like to give them the benefit of the doubt that being a driver could be lonely? Or alone...
* SELAMAT TINGGAL by Nurfareena Md Nor : A lady on a window ledge. A psychologist is called up to attend a suicidal case. Can she talk this one out?
* KONGSI by Nur Munirah Abdul Monir : An ex convict walks around selling keychains. All approaches and pleas get constantly ignored. Why is she constantly ignored? Who is being chained here?
How? Interesting enough? I think they are and worthy to be supported and maybe progress to full length plays. So do come and have a look. Like I said, it's free. All we need from you is your time and support. After all these words here on this blog page, are there anyone interested to read and call and make a phone booking? Or am I still talking alone?
Web logs of art activities on a regular basis (hope).