Showing up at rehearsals for YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College’s upcoming musical, Sam Agars discovers that student productions can be quite a revelation.
Preparation is in full swing for the latest YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College (YHKCC) musical production, A Night at the Theatre, and Form 5 students Sadithi de Zilva and Alyssa Ramos, along with the rest of the cast, are loving every minute of it.
Alyssa is playing one of the lead roles and will take on various characters throughout the show, with continuous costume and personality changes set to pose a challenge for the 17-year-old. The Tung Chung resident cannot wait to take to the stage across two shows on July 6 and is looking forward to working the crowd.
“I really love performing and I get the energy from the audience, so if I hear them saying, ‘Go Alyssa’ or something like that, that’s where I’m like, ‘Ok, let’s go do this’,” she says.
Sadithi, a seasoned YKHCC actress, has taken on a choreographing role at the age of just 15. Working with students from Form 1 all the way to Form 6 has been a great learning curve for the Tiu Keng Leng resident, as has taking a leadership role amongst her peers.
“I don’t know how teachers do it, they have to set the rules and be really strict about it and get the students to focus, but at the same time they can’t be mean, otherwise you just don’t have that bond and that trust,” she says.
Expect the unexpected
A Night at the Theatre is set to feature a range of songs from various musicals, including Hamilton, Matilda, Aladdin, 13 and Wicked. The musicals are brought together in a plot that features two directors – Form 5 boys, Swostik Pandey and Juan Sierra – arguing over which show they want to put on.
YHKCC drama teacher Hannah Crowe wrote the majority of the script, with some help from the students, and Sadithi points out that the storyline evolved over time. “Although we kind of had an idea of what we wanted to do, it was never like, this is the beginning, this is the middle, this is the end,” she says. “It’s really just been, ‘Oh would this work? That would be super funny, that would be super entertaining. Let’s try that’.”
There are a number of different aspects to the show – singing, dancing and acting to name just a few – and roles to suit every student. “Everyone who auditioned got in because we wanted everyone to be on stage,” Alyssa says. “We put this show on because we want people to unleash their talent.”
For Hannah, one of the best things about the storyline is that it provides a platform for each student to find a niche. “We’ve got a range of people doing a range of things,” she says. “The key thing is that we are all involved because we love musicals and we love performing. Even though some students are Form 1 and some are Form 6, they all get along really well together.”
And a final message from the three on why you should head along and what you might find when you get there: “Expect the unexpected.”
A Night at the Theatre is showing on July 6 at 2.30pm and 7pm in the YHKCC School Hall. Contact Amanda Shek at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 2988 2028 for tickets (HK$40) and enquiries.
Image: Terry Chow