Author(s): The instructor and enrolled students of Introductions to Leisure and Recreation at the Tamkang Univeristy Lanyang Campus
The Christmas play this semester spurred many unprecedented breakthroughs. The play had the most intriguing plot it has had in the past five years, displaying many important features of Chinese culture. The play also had so many vivid and larger-than-life characters that the number of performers for the play reached an all-time high. In addition, the staging of the play was the most delicate and complex to date. Though the blocking and choreography were still in a mess two weeks before the official performance, I was STILL very confident in my students. After all, I couldn’t’t simply apologize and cancel the performance. Fortunately, everyone survived the trial of confidence and enjoyed the fruits of our labor in the end. Yet the result did not come from one man’s show. All of the students tried their very best and contributed to the performance. With unity and team work, we accomplished the “mission impossible.” With this, does anyone have anything else to share with all of us?
■Words from the Students to Tamkang University:
- We are very thankful to the school for providing us students with such an amazing opportunity to get on stage and perform as well as contribute to the school by enhancing its publicity.
- This is indeed a great learning experience for us. We really thank the school for all of the assistance it provided us with along the way.
- I am glad I decided to take this course. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to meet so many wonderful friends from other departments.
- I was kind of averse to the idea of performing in the beginning, but I later felt that everything I did for the course was meaningful. I hope the school will keep offering opportunities like this to students who are interested in helping others.
■Words from the Students to the Aboriginal Community:
- This is a pretty rare opportunity for us to get to know people with different personalities. Kids from the aboriginal tribes are pure, as clear as a blue sky. They are straightforward and generous. I am really grateful that they taught me how to make stuff. The martial art was fun yet more challenging than I had expected. Many moves seemed easy, but you would have many sore muscles after you did them. Anyways, I felt lucky that I took this course, and I learned a lot.
- I would like to extend my thanks to those who came to our performance. The round of applause was the best and the most wonderful morale support for us.
- I would like to thank all the church kids in the tribes. Without them being our audience and giving us great applause, I am sure the experience would not be as amazing because the feeling that no one appreciates your work is very disheartening.
- My special thanks to our audience who showed up and watched our performance, as well as lovely madams in church who served us great food, creating a wonderful experience for us in their aboriginal community. Furthermore, I'd like to say thank you again to those who showed up and offered their support for our performance.
- I was proud of everyone in the team who had worked hard creating a special Christmas experience for the children in the tribe. We invested so much time to this play and the kids liked it a lot because they danced together with us during the play. This was a very unique experience one cannot get elsewhere. We can’t help but express our deepest gratitude to our school for this opportunity. We all enjoy the play we created!
■Words from Performing Students to the Invited Theater Director:
• I would love to extend my great thanks to the invited theater director, Xiao-qiang, who taught us the basic ideas of performing arts and some basic tricks of the trade. Though I felt quite self-conscious, not knowing what to do in the beginning, I eventually overcame my stage fright and learned how to express my feelings with body language.
■Words from Performing Students to the Student Director Patricia:
- Our student director is such a genius. She gave us constructive advice and taught us how to move around backstage. I am glad she was our director.
- I am really thankful to our hardworking director, our team leader who taught us how to dance, as well as those who came to watch our performance.
- Thank you Patricia for demonstrating how I could better perform during the play and she encouraged me a lot.
- I was so happy to work with the instructor as well as my peers, especially my bestie Patricia. She worked really hard and managed to arrange as many rehearsals as possible taking into account the performers' busy schedules. This was no easy task and she really did an amazing job!
■Words from the Students to Kay, the Student Choreography Director.
- In fact, I was kind of worried about whether or not we could accomplish this great feat before the performance. I have performed in other plays before but my performance was not up to snuff. This was because I got nervous easily and I didn't know how to make it better. But this time, Kay was really encouraging and kept telling me, “You are amazing!” Hearing her kind words gave me the confidence I needed.
■Words from the Students to the Props Team and Production Team
■Words from the Enrolled Students to the Performing Students:
- Bravo to all the members in the props team and production team. Without you, we wouldn't have been able to nail the performance. This was a very special and wonderful experience for me and I’m sure everyone else enjoyed the performance as much as I did.
- A big thank you to the instructor for organizing such a meaningful event for us. I liked it a lot. And I would also like to thank all of my peers for the hard work and cooperation. Even though we might have hard time or some disputes over the course, we were able to work them through and go hand-in-hand. I am also grateful to everyone in the aboriginal tribes for offering rookie performers like us an opportunity to perform. In addition, the kids in the tribe were all nice and adorable and I enjoyed the time being around with them and watching they talent shows.
- This great feat would not be accomplished without the hard-working student performers. They had spent extra time out of class and sacrificed the time they would have spent with their family and friends rehearsing. One thing surprised me was that some student performers didn't even enroll in this course and they were still willing to join us and perform.
- I want to say “thank you” to everyone who has contributed to the performance. In the beginning, I felt like giving up because the turnout at the rehearsals was really disappointing. However, as time went by, I saw everyone do their very best and I truly appreciated the amount of efforts they put into the performance.
- I am so grateful to all of my peers for accomplishing such a great feat together. We have spent so much time on the performance and our hard work was recognized by the people in the aboriginal community.
- I like this course a lot not only because I was able to go to class with my beloved friends but also because I could make more new friends. One thing worth sharing was that I was finally able to pluck up my courage to interact freely with other international students in class. That was a great step forward in my life!
- I am very thankful to everyone for their contribution to this play. Some have spent a great deal of time rehearsing the choreography. Others have worked non-stop to make all the props and staging. Without them, the performance would not have been this amazing.
- I had great time working with everyone and this was one of the best memories I have had in my college life.
- A great thank you to everyone in class. Without you, the performance would not have been so successful.
- I would love to say a big thank you to everyone taking this course. During rehearsals I made many mistakes yet everyone was so supportive and encouraging. I could genuinely felt that we were a team and everyone was working diligently to make the performance happen. And I was happy that I was part of it.
■Words from the Students to the Instructor:
- A great thank you to the instructor who has been very supporting and helpful throughout the whole process. Without her, we wouldn't have been able to make the performance happen.
- I am truly grateful to the instructor for offering us an opportunity to be part of the service learning program.
- Words are not enough to describe how much gratitude I have towards the instructor. Despite my lackluster performance in school, Ms. Chen is always willing to help me and remind me what I should do. Throughout the preparation for the performance, Ms. Chen has organized and taken care of everything for us. I really want to say thank you to Ms. Chen for everything you've done for us. We’re blessed to have you around on the campus.
- Thank you, Ms. Chen for connecting us with the aboriginal community as well as taking care of our transportation and meals. Also, I would like to thank Ms. Chen’s husband for photographing and videotaping us. I hadn't expected this course to be this fun and that I would have an opportunity to have yummy chicken chops!
- I would like to express my gratitude to the instructor as well as the two aboriginal communities for offering us such an opportunity. We were able to find our creative edge and do something we wouldn't be doing on college campus. I was happy to see that there were so many kids coming to see our performance.
- Throughout the semester, I think the course has been helpful for students to realize their potentials and the instructor was so hardworking that she attended to every detail carefully and scrupulously.
How do you like the story of the Morning Star Theater at the Tamkang University Lanyang Campus? Stay tuned to Time Travel Part III…