Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The Drama of Days Gone By

Do any of you BBGSians remember the dramas put up by the seniors at BBGS? Along with choral speaking, food sales, group singing and classroom chores, one of my fondest memories of BBGS was its strong tradition of staging musicals and other dramas. Mrs Thanen was one of the driving forces for this.

As a primary school kid, I remember climbing up the little slope that separated the primary school from the secondary school and hanging on to the fence to watch the entertaining dramas and musical performances put up by the "big sisters" next door. The hall where most of the special events and assemblies took place, was next to the primary school and due to poor ventilation, the folding doors to the hall were usually left open. Thus, the primary kids were able to catch a glimpse of what life would be like when they went to the school next door.

When I was in Form 3, the school staged the musical, "The Boyfriend" to raise funds for charity. Needless to say, since we were an all-girls' school, we did not have boys around to play the part of the boyfriends...thus, some of the braver souls among us (myself included!) were roped in to play the male roles. It was a pretty big production, running for several days. Other schools and members of the public were also invited. I remember almost freezing from stage fright one performance when I peeked out of the curtains and saw a whole row of familiar faces - the boys from my Sunday School coming to see me play a boy! Once the curtains went up, however, it was show time and we did our best to entertain those who come to see us. Some of us "boys" even began accumulating "fans" when red roses, cards and gifts begain coming our way from secret admirers in school............

We were also encouraged to be creative in English class and I also remember Puan Rohani's class where each small group put up a little skit. My group performed a scene from Alice in Wonderland and I played a crazy old knight..... We also later did a murder mystery play and it was fun to get dressed up.

My last memory of a big BBGS drama was the play 'The Taming of the Shrew". Mrs Thanen was director and producer. As usual, I played a male role (I was typecast in BBGS!!!) - but by then, I had graduated to the lead role of Petrucchio. Here's a page from the BBGS Yearbook of 1986 of a write-up about the play.....

I would love to hear about your memories of BBGS drama activities - you can either send them to me at: or to Joanna :)


Anonymous said...

I remember being entranced by the productions put up by the big sisters when we would troop up from the primary school. I think I remember Lim Su Lyn either as a princess or a queen. In later years, I would end up being roped in as an extra in the productions. I remember rummaging through the costumes and wondering at how small some of our elders were as we couldn't fit into the costumes from past productions. Since we had to source quite a few of those costumes, I think we asked our male friends and relatives whether we could borrow their shirts as we needed extra big shirts for the Taming of the Shrew. In the " Taming of the Shrew", I distinctly remember an audience member saying, " Har, what was that name aah, Patrick Teoh." in reference to Moon's character, Petrucchio. I also remember The Drama Society putting up excerpts from The Sound of Music and gathering round the piano for our rehearsals.

Moonlake Lee said...

yes,apart from school major productions, there were teacher's day skits as well.

Being active in Sunday School also gave more opportunities to try out scriptwriting, directing,costume design and acting - particularly in the annual Bible Pageant.

Sasha Lyna said...

i remembered climbing up the lil slope n hanging on to the fence to..n how i cudnt wait to finish primary school n be part of sekolah menengah..any event that wud take us to secondary school like the plays, sports coz the 100m run n all was done at the sekolah menengah field..i'd mk sure i'd b part of it..just the feeling of entering the sekolah menegah gate n being there was like surreal :) i had 2 sisters attending there and i remember being jealous of them..

and when i was in std 4, i think there was a play, phantom of the opera..we've heard the seniors rehearsed and ws very excited bout it and when my teacher announced that we were goin to have a trip to see the show, i was amongst the 1st to give my name..i think the ticket price was 50 cents..n i loved it!!ive been a fan of phantom of the opera ever since!!