Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Contemporary Malaysian Wayang Theatre

This is the class of Traditional Theatre Workshop and we have decided that we would do Wayang Kulit Theatre. Unfortunately, we won't be getting the wayang master with his whole 8 piece orchestra. Instead, we have myself as coordinator of this class and a visual arts tutor, Elias Yamani. So I decided that we could still do the traditional theatre workshop with theme teaching by both of us, Elias focusing on the making of puppets and myself focusing on performing puppet theatre repertoire, Ramayana through dance, movement and acting. After series of classes on the background of wayang kulit and basic background of Ramayana as well as watching wayang kulit performances by Wayang Saupi at Istana Budaya, I decided to devide the 37 students into 2, those into performing with their own body, either dancing, singing, acting and those into making puppets. After serious thinking I decided to do Monkeys' Story (Cerita Monyet-monyet) based on Hanuman and other monkey characters in Cerita Mahraja Wana. Looking at a very tight schedule, with Ramadhan and Raya, we decided to stage the performance on 27 October 2007. And hopefully we would be able to combine the final project with 3 classes - gamelan sinkretik, bengkel wayang kulit and apresiasi dramatari. We thought 70 minutes performance time would be nice for workshop piece with gamelan opening, intermission(centre) and finale, while the monkeys' story would be devided into 2 parts, 20 minutes each part. 20 students in the performance group is devided into dance group, all women,acting and singing group, all women and the monkey group, all men. Due to the large number of performers, I decided that we stage the performance in an open space with site specific concept at our little forest behind baktisiswa. So watch out this space for further development.