As Serangoon JC (SRJC) heads into its final year of existence, with its merger with Anderson JC looming around the corner, SR Drama has showcased their final Thespian performance in front of a sold-out crowd on 12 April, 2018.

It was a bittersweet event for me, as I booked out immediately from camp and rushed my way down to show my support to this final batch of SR Dramateers. To think about it, it has been a good 5 years since I took my place on stage. Thespian, to me, is one of the best takeaways in SR and the most memorial part of my college life.

It was 2013 and I just crossed into the realm of post-secondary college life. It was a confusing affair, I’d admit. I wasn’t sure of anything at that point of time — I didn’t know what subject combination I should take, I wasn’t ready to socialise and make new friends all over again. Yet, there was one thing I was certain: to continue my interest in drama and acting. SR Drama wasn’t one of my choices for CCA, it was THE choice.

I remembered how we worked towards Thespian 2013. It seems to be the only other Thespian to be held out of college (the 2012 was held at SOTA while the subsequent editions were held in LT5 instead). I had never felt so hardworking before, turning up for every rehearsal and putting in my very best effort. I didn’t know at that point in time that it could be my very last theatre performance until 2015, so I am thankful that I had put in my all for that.

I was involved in two of the pieces, Seven Deadly PrincessesCrazy School (? actually I forgot about the name of the second piece oops).

Seven Deadly Princesses was based loosely on the seven sins. Each of the princesses represents different sin. I played the protagonist – Allan – who was ‘sabo-ed’ by his mother to attend this blind date, leading him to a near mental breakdown.

I was thankful for the chance to play the role become it was relatively challenging. One main reason was that I needed to work with not 1, but 7 girls and at that point of time, I was still awkward interacting with the opposite gender. I tried to be as natural as I could. I remembered Yap Qi (who played the role of Mulan) realised that as well, and gave me some tips and confidence for me to continue with my role.

Everything eventually paid off. Everyone showed enthusiasm in wanting to make this show a good one, we helped each other to fine-tune our acting skills. Ms C and Mr Tsui gave us their inputs and our biggest critics came from everyone else in the club. Similarly, we critic the other plays as well. Despite running short of time, we had never compromise on the review sessions. We reviewed each other’s plays and blockings regularly and that’s how we bonded.

Yapz playing the role of Mulan.
Kheng Yin portrayed Rapunzel, showing her wrath side to Zhirong, who played the waiter.
Zhirong had been a very patient mentor to me during the training sessions. Undoubtedly, he is one of the best actors I’ve worked with.
With the cast of Seven Deadly Princesses.
With Annas, who played a foreign student in the second play I was involved in.

As I reiterate, the thing about SR Drama is that, from teachers-in-charge to committee members to seniors to juniors, we treat each other like family. There is not much segregation between us. We worked, played and ate together. Especially during the intensive training in the month leading up to the actual performance, we bonded so well together that we dreaded the curtain call at our final show.

Our beloved teachers-in-charge Mr Tsui & Ms C.

Even as I left the college, I did not hesitate to return for help out with the rehearsals when Mr. Tsui called for help in 2015. It was the year I briefly returned to theatre. This time, the wanted to reenact the Seven Deadly Princesses script. I was there, together with Donna, Kheng Yin and Zhirong to help the new batch of actors on the roles – especially with the roles that we once took up 2 years ago. It felt like a deja vu. Everything was so similar – the script, the people and most importantly, the enthusiasm.

The new Rapunzel, waiter and Allan, played by Shirin, Faizul and Ernest.
With the new cast of Seven Deadly Princesses.

This year was a little different. The enthusiasm remains, but the news of the impending merger of the college clouded the emotions of everyone. We knew, for sure, that this would be the final Thespian to be held within the college compound. Despite that, the core group of seniors turned up in almost full force to witness the final curtain call. I rushed down from camp to make sure I don’t miss it – which is evident how important and significant Thespian is to me.

We might have dreaded the previous curtain call, but this was the curtain call we dreaded the most.

With my junior who happens to be Eddy as well and, coincidently, was also from Ang Mo Kio Secondary.

We rushed to take some photos before being chased out of the college compound by the security personnel. The catch-up session was so brief that we didn’t have much chance to interact and speak to everyone. I just hope that these will not be the last group photos we will take as a club. Yes, Thespian might have meet its end, but friendship and memories will remain.

Before I end this post, I think SR Dramateers from all these years deserves a standing ovation.

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