7th of September 2022 was a special day for many reasons. Firstly, the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) held its long-awaited charity gala dinner at the St. Regis hotel. Our Guest-of-Honour, President Halimah Yacob and many other distinguished guests were invited to the fundraising event. Secondly, eight students from the DAS Speech and Drama Arts programme graced the gala with a drama & dance performance. The play, Bubble Wrap Princess, an adaptation from the same play written by Debra A. Cole, is about a princess who discovers her strengths while travelling through a vicious forest. This performance was the first live show done by the drama class since the circuit breaker in 2020. The cast consists of Livia Sim, Lim En Ru, Cheryl Hong, Muhammad Ziqry B. Muhd Irfan, Jacob Ng, Jonas Chan, Yong Seow Zhen and Tieara D/o Thevasagayam. The youngest cast member was ten years old, and the oldest was thirteen.
The play was the first time SDA students could present their performance as a group in a long while. Previously, due to Safe Management Measures, students were filmed individually by their teacher. These clips were then stitched together with a video editing software. This limited the type of performances we could put up. However, for this round, our students could practise their lines, actions and even dance moves together. Every Saturday, they rehearsed for 11 weeks, from July until the 6th of September. Rehearsing their lines together was a brand-new adventure. Instead of speaking to the camera and imagining a response, they received immediate feedback from their classmates. The whole experience brought the entire class closer.
The day of the performance finally arrived. Our budding actors reached the hotel as early as 12:45 pm to prepare and have a final dry run in the ballroom. The students were unfortunately thrown off by this foreign setting. The massiveness of the ballroom, the bright lights and booming sound system were beyond their imagination. During the dry run, some of the students had forgotten their lines and froze. Fortunately, with the guidance and encouragement from their teacher and event volunteers, they persevered.
Finally, it was show time. The students took to their positions and recited their lines without a hitch. Their actions and words depicted how the Bubble wrap princess faced her fears and learnt that she was more capable than she knew. Simultaneously, as if fiction was mirroring reality, our students discovered their inner resilience and courage to overcome the jitters. They did it!
Here are some feedback given by the children when asked about their experience performing during a reflection session with their teacher.
“I didn’t know that I could go up on stage and performed for the audience.” – Tieara
“After performing for the show, I feel good about myself.” – Cheryl
“It was a fun night!” – Livia Sim
“The show was ok. Most times the light hit my eyes too much. “ – Lim En Ru
“I had the chance to speak to Mdm President and my parents were proud of me.” – Ziqry
“I want more lines!” – Yong Seow Zhen
You made us very proud students! Well Done!
By Corinne Ang
Senior Educational Therapist / SDA Teacher