04 Jul, 2023
21 : 31
An extraordinary 9-year-old girl,
A famous story,
A show of 13 children,
As the drama class is a compulsory subject at YCYW Beijing Campus, the Drama Festival is held annually. Which show is on at the YCYW Beijing Campus Drama Festival this year? Drama teacher Shannon takes us to review the Saturday's performance:
The inspiration of the show
The school production was an adaptation of Roald Dahl's well-known story, "Matilda." Ms. Shannon said, "The reason why we choose this show include: firstly, we consider that the protagonist is about the same age as the students, their situation. The confusion and the state they are at is similar. This makes it easy to create a living character. Another reason is the characteristic of each character in “Matilda” is outstanding. The show revolves around a nine-year-old girl with extraordinary abilities, whose extraordinary intelligence helps her rebel against her parents who ignore her and challenge the domineering principal. "After watching a few alternatives, the students chose this one. They are amazed by the wisdom of the little protagonist and touched by her courage to help her classmates against the principal. In the end, the children chose this work together.
The talent of 13 characters
Ms. Shannon added: the performance showcased a cast of 13 characters, spanning two acts with a total of 17 scenes, accompanied by three songs and two dance numbers. The 13 young performers are mainly from G4 to G6, in which they are about the same age as Matilda. It is very difficult for children around 9 years old to complete such a large number of scenes in 6 weeks, not to mention the songs and dances. But they still tried to memorize every line and complete every scene. From this, it can be seen that they have the same quality as Matilda – courage, and they are hard-working enough.
Taking the actor of the principal as an example, the principal's personality is very authoritarian and domineering. In order to highlight such a character, our young actor has been adjusting his tone with me. He raised his pitch over and over again. And the details down to the body movements of his conversations, to show the impatience of conversation between the headmaster and Matilda, he tried throwing books, eye contact, intonation, all the details that could reflect the dramatic conflict.
Script, characters and dance
What impressed me beyond measure was witnessing the students in Grades 4-6 flawlessly recite nearly every line from the 28-page script. Memorizing such a substantial amount of dialogue is no easy feat, yet these young students executed it with utmost excellence, truly delivering an exceptional performance.
They also need to show the personalities of each character. For example, Matilda's intelligence and bravery, Miss Honey's trust and support, and Principal Miss Trunchbull's autocracy, difficult to communicate; and Matilda's parents' selfishness. Every actor needs to show the qualities of his character. The whole repertoire also has songs and dances, and the children also need to perform in a musical style. This is a high standard for every primary school student. I didn't expect these 13 children to be able to show such an outcome. We are very satisfied with this performance.
Many parents have seen the change in the students. Our students realized that if they wanted to achieve a better result, repetitive rehearsals and practice was needed. A show helped them to know that the collaboration and efforts of everyone is the key to success, so is the life. They completed the drama show in English for the first time. This not only helped the students to be more comfortable with their English expression, but also felt the charm of language. We believe that children deserve respect and admiration, their bodies contain infinite spiritual universes. They will shine the world with all the possibilities as long as there is a stage and a chance.