“The thing about performance, even if it’s only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities.”
These words, from the famous English actor Daniel Day-Lewis, certainly rang true for NCKS students the weekend of 1st December 2018. At 6.30am on a Saturday, out students boarded a bus in challenging weather conditions for what turned out to be a five-hour-long trip to participate in the EdTA China 24-Hour Theatre Nanjing Regional Festival.
After they arrived at noon, NKCS pupils were mixed with students from across Jiangsu province and allocated a random group, script and theatre professional. They then had until noon the next day to stage a theatrical performance. The festival featured 242 students from 26 different schools and was buzzing from the word go. Even though this was the school’s first time participating at such an event, as well as its first overnight trip, NKCS students did extremely well. Out of the 25 students that attended, 19 of them formed part of the top five productions at the festival including the winning piece, which was directed by one of our staff members. Three students also won individual awards:
- Amy Dong from Grade 7 won the ‘Best Physicality’ award
- John Wang from Grade 5 won the ‘Best Showstopper’ award
- Kevin Xue from Grade 10 won ‘Best Actor.
One of our staff members, Mr. Philip J. Oosthuizen, also received an honorary award in recognition of his long-standing commitment to theatre education in China. This goes to show that both students and staff aspire to excellence at NKCS Wuxi.
Apart from all these accolades, what we are excited about most is our students’ experience and personal growth. Returning to school on Sunday after a long bus ride, our students, though exhausted, spoke about how happy they were to have made new friends, how surprised they were to have memorised and spoken English on stage with little time to prepare, how they felt they can now do anything because their fear of public performance has decreased, and how set they were on returning next year. Return we shall, as we plan on taking more students with us next year.
Here at NKCS we proudly support the expressive arts, as we recognise the benefits they hold for our students. As has been proven time and again through various academic studies, the arts help students to become more confident, emotionally intelligent, expressive, fluent and academically successful. We hope that you will join us in the future endeavours of our expressive arts department and that you will be committed to your child’s wellbeing and future just like our chaperoning staff members Eve Wu, Joanna Rose, Michael Booth, Philip J. Oosthuizen, and parents of students who participated in the past festival, have demonstrated.
Let there be drama! The personal possibilities are infinite!