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Activities > Page 3
The next few pages contain a collection of write-ups of
Stage Pals' activities. Navigate either by page or
by event (menu is located on the left of this page).
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Event: Ngee Ann Alumni X'mas Party
19 December 1998
Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Event Photos >>

'Cahoots' was performed as an item for a Christmas party organised by the Ngee Ann Alumni. It was Stage Pals first bold attempt at staging an interactive sketch in which the party guests were also involved.

The sketch started off with 3 robbers discussing a potential robbery plan to be carried that evening. As the robbers left the stage, another 2 actors, posed as comperes for the night, entertained the guests with games. The final game played was a race against time for the guests to collect some valuable stuff like watches, pagers, jewellery etc and placed them in plastic bags when suddenly the 3 robbers appeared to stage a robbery at the unsuspecting guests.

The armed robbers with stockings over their heads, shouted at the guests to 'surrender' their valuables and took away the bags of stuff gathered by the guests during the game earlier. They also took the female compere as hostage before leaving.

The sketch concluded with the robbers dividing their loots but the surprise came when it was revealed that the female compere was actually in cahoots with the robbers. Apparently, she was the one who planned the whole robbery.

From the Project Coordinator's Desk

We started our preparation for this performance as early as 21st November when the Ngee Ann Alumni wanted us to participate in their Party. A group of actors which consisted of Rongli, Yongzhi, Dacheng, Weiping and Xuanyan, came up with the idea of having the audience participating in the show as well. The idea was tricking the audience into believing that the organisers were having games with them. In the midst of the games, three of our actors who were acting as robbers, would rush into the scene to 'rob' the people. Then the audience would realise that the game they had played was actually part of a ploy set by one of the compere in the show. She had actually ganged up with one of the robbers in setting up the scheme.

Rongli, who was initially the person in charge of the show, had to be outstationed in Malaysia for work commitment for a week. In the end, I ended up substituting for him in the show. We actually managed to rehearse only on the day itself, an hour before our programme started.

The whole performance was well received by the audience and praised by the organisers of the event who thought our idea of the sketch was quite refreshing. In fact, the robbing of the people in the audience was so realistic, we had a child crying in the end of the show!

By Nelson Tong

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Event: Henderson Senior Citizens' Home X'mas Celebrations
An Act of Care
23 December 1998
Henderson Senior Citizens' Home
Event Photos >>

Like any Christmas party, the room was filled with people, food, wrapped presents, balloons and noise. The difference was, someone started the party by singing Xiao Cheng Gu Shi (Story of a Small Town), a Chinese song of the late Teresa Teng, instead of a carol.

The unusual program line-up for the party crowd included a stanza from a Hokkien opera piece presented by Aaron from our very own Stage Pals. Come to think of it, we did not find it an unusual way of celebrating Christmas because our audience was a big group of senior citizens gathered in a home in Henderson. The emcee, one of the volunteers there, spoke a mixture of dialects, Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese to the elderly audience. We took the cue and sent Wenzhi and Adrian up front to introduce Stage Pals in Hokkien and Cantonese. They were quite comfortable addressing the crowd in their dialects, the only problem was in translating the name, Stage Pals (Ju Yi Zhan).

Housed in the void deck of Block 117, Bukit Merah View, the Henderson Senior Citizens' Home is made up of about two units of a 3-room flat. During the Christmas party held on 23 December 1998, there was not enough room for all the elderly who turned up. While those seated on rows of chairs were busy chatting with their friends and playing with the balloons distributed to them, the more active ones helped the volunteers with the balloons and food.

In the midst of these bustling activities, the seven of us, Aaron, Wenzhi, Adrian, Shuxian, Minshan, Qiulan and Yuda, tried to think of a simple yet meaningful sketch with the four items given to us. Our props included a plastic bag, a watch, a ring and a balloon shaped like a swimming float. We came up with a story where three elderly men compared the presents they received from their children and grandchildren.

About the Sketch

Five of us took part in the sketch, again presented in a mixture of Hokkien and Cantonese. Shuxian and Minshan played the shopaholic wives of Adrian and Wenzhi. To them, Christmas is a time to go shopping and collecting free gifts (with the plastic bag) as they buy.

Their neighbour, Aaron, then joined the men with the odd-shaped balloon, a gift from his grandchild. Wenzhi and Adrian mocked at the worthless balloon and showed off the presents they received from their children, a ring and a watch. To the grandchild, the float-like balloon is helpful for his grandfather who suffered from piles. Aaron explained how the thoughtful child believes that grandfather can sit painlessly with the balloon over a chair. The three men then ended the sketch reminding each other about the meaning of Christmas: a time to remember and care for our family and friends, and gifts are just one way of showing it.

We too hope that what we brought to the senior citizens in Henderson that Christmas, has in some way, warmed their hearts.

By Li Minshan

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Event: Henderson Senior Citizens' Home Lunar New Year Celebrations
A Lump of Harmony (Yi Tuan He Qi)
27 February 1999
Henderson Senior Citizens' Home
A simple dinner organised by the volunteers of the Henderson Senior Citizens Home brought the joy of celebrating the Chinese New Year for the senior citizens living around the area. This time round, 7 members from the Stage Pals came up with a short but heart-warming sketch - A Lump of Harmony.

We started preparing for this sketch on the 3rd week of January. Minshan, Adrian and I conjured up the story. As a first-timer handling this project, I did face some problems in getting actors. However, with the help of Wenzhi and Adrian, I managed to gather Meiping, Aaron and Dacheng to help.

The program that evening started off with the emcees, volunteers from the home, greeting the elderly audience with Chinese New Year wishes. Next, we sent two of our actors, Adrian and Dacheng, to introduce Stage Pals in Cantonese. Admist the activities, the tables were filling up slowly and among them, one table stood out from the rest, seated there was a couple of foreigners and the organisers for the dinner.

The sketch started off without the background music (because our CD was jammed in the CD player). In addition to that, the shortage of mikes became a problem to us as we had either to share them or to project our voices. However, the actors took the cue and presented it in a mixture of Cantonese, Hokkien, Mandarin and English. The elderly audience, including the group of special guests enjoyed every bit of it and we were rewarded with applause from them.
About the Sketch

'A Lump of Harmony' was based on depicting the 2 days of CNY - the eve and the first day, of the various Chinese beliefs of the CNY for e.g. spring cleaning, sending CNY wishes or regards to the elders, giving out 'ang pows' etc.

The sketch revolved around 6 characters - a grandfather, parents and 3 children. The sketch started off on the eve of CNY with the mother complaining about her children not helping her with the spring-cleaning. Her eldest daughter wanted to join her husband overseas so as to get away from the CNY, her second son is a workaholic who doesn't care much about the celebration for the festival and her youngest daughter is an overseas undergraduate who specially came back home to reunite with the family. Many different CNY goodies like love letters; sweets, etc were used as props in the sketch. The meaning of having goodies during the CNY were explained by both the grandfather and the father.

The sketch concluded with the eldest daughter's sudden return on the first day of CNY which initially given the family a surprise. However, it was her husband's words that made her realise the importance of getting together with the family on such a joyous festival. The sketch finally came to a close with the cast wishing the audience good health, prosperity and a happy CNY in Cantonese, Mandarin and Hokkien respectively.

By Lu Shuxian

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Event: Clementi Student Care Services Lunar New Year Celebrations
The Search for the Jade Rabbit
27 February 1999
Clementi Student Care Services Centre

'The Search for the Jade Rabbit' was a play about Chinese New Year and rabbits. It was performed for the children at the Clementi Students Care Services Centre as part of their Chinese New Year celebrations. The cast consisted of 8 members including people like Rongguang, Yushi, Dequan, Xuezhen etc. They took up different roles in the play and put in their very best to provide the children with some wholesome fun and laughter. This is the second time Stage Pals has performed at the centre, the first being the Christmas event in December 1998.

The play begins with the disappearance of the Jade Rabbit. God of Wealth was given the task of finding the Jade Rabbit. There was also a rabbit family of four on earth. Papa and Mama rabbit were looking forward to a reunion dinner with their two sons who were coming back from the boarding school.

Mama Rabbit who was on her way back from market saw the Jade Rabbit who was lost. She brought the Jade Rabbit back home. Papa Rabbit met God of Wealth on his way home from work. Papa Rabbit was a greedy rabbit who wanted a lot of money. God of Wealth advised him that family is more important than money. Papa Rabbit realised his mistake and invited God of Wealth to his home. The youngest rabbit came back with poor academic results. Papa and Mama Rabbit reprimanded him for not doing well. The eldest rabbit came back with good academic results. However, he was too proud and despised his brother. God of Wealth used his magical powers to change the situation. The rabbit family changed their attitudes. Papa and Mama Rabbit encouraged their youngest rabbit to study hard whereas the eldest rabbit became humble and help his brother. God of Wealth also found the Jade Rabbit. Jade Rabbit promised that she will not be playful and leave home again. Finally, everyone wished a Happy New Year to all the children and volunteers of the Students Care Service Centre.

After the play, games were played. The children were very happy to receive presents and sweets. God of Wealth also presented red packets to the children.

By Xie Yuda

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