20-9-2020

English Department presented a drama on the Open Day

03-12-2013

On the Open Day of Hong Kong Shue Yan University (9th November 2013), the Department of English Language and Literature presented “The Taming of the Shrew” on stage. It is a romantic comedy written by the famous English playwright, William Shakespeare. On that day, the drama was successfully performed and was watched by 156 members of audience.

Every year, the third-year students of the English department would perform a drama on the Open Day. Students were divided into two groups and they would perform in the morning and afternoon session respectively. This year, the two groups had exhibited their own interpretation on the original script. For Group A (morning session), the female protagonists was performed by a male student. While group B (afternoon session) made a complete reverse by changing the genders of the characters and added in magical and romantic elements.

Dr. Michelle Chan, lecturer of the English Department, said, “I am delighted that students are performing their own interpretation of The Taming of the Shrew. It definitely shows that students do have a critical analysis of the play and their unique way of performing it on the stage.”

Lucassen Lau, the actor who played Katherina in the morning session, said, “Creativity is an essential part of drama. Each member of my group contributed a lot of new ideas to the theatrical production, such as changing one of the lines I will punch you!’ into ‘I know Kung Fu!’ This added some sense of Steven Chow’s movie in the play. We have also written a rap for the ending. I bet Shakespeare will laugh his head off if he saw these changes. At the same time, audience would be able to comprehend the story more easily.” One of the features of the morning session is that they have no director because every student can give his or her own idea to the play regardless of their role as a front stage or back stage crew. “This production is not a director cut but a group cut, teamwork and creativity tighten our bond,” Lucassen said.

“Unforgettable experience.” Ashleigh Ho who played as Petruccio in the morning seesion, said, “The character has become a part of my life. Now that the play has finished, I feel like losing part of me.”

Behind the scene, the scriptwriter had started to make adjustment on the original play in September and all actors and actresses had rehearsal nearly every day in October. Assistant director of the second session Chelsea Wong said, “Adapting a well-known drama on a modern stage is difficult because we need to think over the dialogue carefully to see whether they make good sense to audience and whether it is coherent to the theme. It is different from any other drama that I had participated.”

On the performance day, feedback from the audience was decent. One of the members said, “I thought that drama is a boring film which shown on stage and I had never enjoy drama like this before. I especially love Katherina, a female character who is played by a male student. Another member of the audience said, “It is easier for audience when the adaption of a classic is performed with easy and modern English. The story and characters are just like those in our everyday life. They are so real.”

Dr. Chan commented, “We are glad that the performance is successfully done and getting good feedback from the audience. It is the biggest reward for both front stage and backstage students. Their performances were even better than their rehearsals, they improvised in some scenes and it is great to watch.”

Source: November Issue 2013

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