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!
Web logs of art activities on a regular basis (hope).