Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Short+Sweet Malaysia Festival 2014

My fourth year in the Short+Sweet Malaysia Festival. Does that make me a S+S veteran?

Like 2012, this year I will not be acting in S+S. I think it's about time I try something else, so I am directing for a change. I will be directing a musical "A Woman At War" by Mark Sasse & Laura Danneker and a play "The Surgeon's Creed" by Eoin Carney. This year also marks the first time S+S Musical will be running for 2 weeks with a Gala Night of it’s own. So now there's added bonus to do well.

For The Surgeon's Creed, I am pleased to have Tan Boon Kit & Tan Meng Kheng as my actors. Both of them have gone through some bit of work with Alex Chua and I believe we can understand where I would like to go with this play. It's a good opportunity for me to explore and try some of the stuff Alex Chua had been teaching us all this while. I am confident we can do well.

Click here for the event page

My concern is for A Woman At War, featuring Boon Kit also and Vivian Chan. Man, staging a musical can be so quite complicated, even though it's only 10 minutes. Mark & Laura have provided me with a minus one, but I prefer live music because it simply works better.  As my music director Mervyn L Peters would agree, using live music allows me more creative space to work with the actors. Thus one of the biggest headaches for me was to get my band together. Thankfully, I have wifey to share the headache as I asked her to be my musical director.

I only had a guitarist to begin with and after listening to the music provided, A Woman At War is not going to sound with just one guitar. For the first 2-3 weeks of rehearsal, I had to teach my actors the songs with me playing the keyboard badly. Fortunately, we managed to find a few musicians from church, both SIBKL & Penang church PCC. Last Monday was the first time we got all the band members together.

(L-R) Sean, Wilfred, Daniel & Yuen Thern

We have not quite figured out all the songs yet, but I am sure we should confirm everything by the end of the week. I will back in Penang for the weekend but I leave the music from Act 3(the last act) in wifey's trusted hands. We have more or less confirmed the blocking for the actors and with another 8-9 rehearsals, I think we should be ready by 24 Sept for the opening performance.

Wifey & I also submitted a musical this year as a team. After splitting to pursue our own interest last year(Me with "Goodbye" and she with "What If?") I suppose you can say we're back writing what we're most comfortable with - outrageous comedy. We have learned a lot from our first musical "The Geongxi Is a Vamp" and I believe we have shown improvement with this musical. "300 Million: The Reconceptualization of a Conception" is - what our director Ross Stephenson said - a musical about what happens after sex. I am delighted to have the amazing Shen as the musical director to assist Ross in his directorial debut. On top of that, they have assembled a good cast. It should be fun to watch this one.

Both "A Woman At War" & 300 Million: The Reconceptualization of a Conception" are featured in Week 1 of the S+S Musical, from 24 Sept to 27 Sept. There are 4 other musicals in Week 1. Come show some love if you are free that week. 

I do hope both musicals make it to the Gala Night on Sunday 5 Oct.

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