Nanwai King’s College School Wuxi’s first-ever school production took place in the auditorium on 27 and 28 March 2019.
Students and teachers collaborated on a wonderful performance of the musical Guys and Dolls, which was well-received by the audience of parents and fellow students. The show was directed by Mrs. Rebecca Dorrington and all music performed live by staff and teachers.
Students from Performing Arts CCA had been rehearsing the show since October last year. Originally a Broadway musical, Guys and Dolls tells a story of gambling with luck and love in 1940s New York.
“I was impressed by the cooperation between the actors and how they challenged themselves to become part of the work,” said Mrs. Dorrington.
“For many students, this was the first time they had performed on the stage and, for most of them, the roles they played and the topics discussed were out of their comfort zones in terms of time and context. They had to understand the background of the characters, the setting of the play and the American slang used. Through putting on the show, they got to experience the culture of another country and play different types of characters, becoming much more aware of the challenges they may themselves encounter in the future.”
Students from Grades 7 to 10 starred in the show, performing such famous musical numbers as ‘I’ve Never Been in Love Before’, ‘Luck Be a Lady’ and ‘Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat’.
Kevin Xue, from Grade 10, said: “The show was a great opportunity for students, through continuous rehearsal, to work closely together to achieve a very good overall stage effect. During the preparation for the show, I became more confident in myself, which helped me understand the role and perform it in front of my classmates and teachers.”
Putting on a show as big as this was a challenging and complicated task, and students and teachers alike worked hard to ensure it was a success. The show brought together the effort of visual arts teachers, a costume and props design team and the music club as well as other teachers and students. And while the audience was simply able to enjoy the show, those behind the scenes understood the huge amount of effort and cooperation required.
“I was very fortunate to be able to support the first theatre production of the performing arts department in NKCS’ very first year,” said drama teacher Mr. Matthew Booth. “From the first rehearsal until the last, I watched everyone build their confidence, their understanding of the script and their trust in each other. This is a gift that I will always be grateful for, remembering the memories of our joint efforts.”
Drama classes at NKCS focus on the ‘5Cs’ of communication, contribution, cooperation, creativity and confidence, ensuring students develop these important skills through presenting performances to an audience.