ACSian Theatre Goes to Hanoi!
On 29th May 2023, ACSian Theatre, in a buzzing atmosphere of excitement and exhilaration, embarked on a 6-day adventure to Hanoi, Vietnam as part of the first Humanities Overseas Community Involvement Programme (OCIP) trip after a dreary 3-year pandemic!
In close collaboration and partnership with True North School (TNS), ACSian Theatre organised and conducted extensive workshops for children from local community schools. We taught performance skills such as characterisation and improvisation, dance, combat and even crafts and make-up. We, in turn, immersed ourselves in Vietnam’s rich history and culture, visiting iconic historical attractions such as the Temple of Literature, Hỏa Lò Prison Relic, and Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, accompanied by informative and engaging tour guides. Additionally, to further give back to the local community, we volunteered at Mái Ấm Thánh Tâm, a home which takes care of the disabled.
A highlight from the trip would definitely be the electrifying performance numbers we put up at a joint charity concert with TNS, aptly titled ‘Ascend’. The concert was organised to raise money for the Thánh Tâm Home. We put up a diverse showcase that captivated the audience, from riveting musical numbers performed by Drama Elective Programme students to upbeat and thrilling dance performances by ACSian Theatre. In one of the most exciting numbers, we brought the glitzy and exuberant world of 1950s America from the Faith Centre of Performing Arts stage to Hanoi by performing revitalised versions of dances from our April production, As You Like It! To round off our line-up, as a visual metaphor of the camaraderie we built with our True North friends, we performed a joint dance number to the popular song ‘Left and Right’ by Charlie Puth and Jung Kook of BTS. All in all, it was a delightful and magical night of song, dance, cheers and smiles - all to raise money for a good cause!
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the teachers who have tirelessly guided us through this wonderful adventure: Mrs Geetha Creffield, Ms Michelle Wong, Ms Annabel Tan, Mr Kenrus Yee, Mr George Fu, Mrs Susan Meow and, our combat instructor, Mr Randell Siow. We would also like to thank our choreographers for their valuable support and our principals for granting us this amazing opportunity. Last but definitely not least, a special shout out goes to Mrs Phan Mỹ Linh, high school principal of TNS, as well as all staff and students of TNS for their meticulous organisation and support!
As Confucius once said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart” - and we have done just that. To say that this OCIP experience was an eye-opening and enlightening one would be a major understatement. It was a valuable opportunity for us to give back to the community and aid others in need, while expanding our horizons and building wholesome connections.
By keeping an open mind while interacting with students from TNS and learning about Vietnamese culture and traditions, the members of ACSian Theatre have grown to be more grateful, kind and empathetic global citizens. After all, as Mr Michael Lambert of TNS beautifully put it, “What the world needs now, more than ever, is friends”. The world becomes a better place when we can reach out and forge friendships beyond national borders.
To God be the Glory, The Best is Yet to Be!
Dylan Leong (2AA2)