Thursday, June 07, 2012

Drama of the Century of SMI: About Our Founder, John Baptist De La Salle

Words are going around that this year's drama is going to be a hit among Michaelians and Ipoh folks. Already bookings have started through a dedicated e-mail, delasallesmi@gmail.com, specially created to ensure tickets are easily made available. 
We foresee huge turnouts for the drama this year. Among those who came to have a sneak preview of the drama were boys from class 2007. They were, from left, Liew Jyi Choong, Chan Sai Mun, Dhilip and William Liew. They have made plans to attend the drama which falls on July 6 and 7, 2012 at 7.45pm - only two days. Props,as seen at the background, are hand-painted by Master Timothy Chee, who also directs the play. To add spice to the "centennial" mood and occasion, "Jean Baptiste- The Last Chronicles" is organised by the Old Michaelians Association (OMA) under the patronage of Mr Adrian Tsen. 
Remember, book now to grab a place to watch the Drama of the Century.
e-mail: delasallesmi@gmail.com. Let us know how many tickets, for which day and we will advise on how tickets can be collected. Tickets are priced at RM20 each and each purchase comes with a specially designed souvenir folder.

Play with a modern twist, The Star, March 20, 2012
By Ivan Loh
SMK St Michael will stage a play about its founder, Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, in conjunction with the school’s centennial celebration this year.
Themed Jean-Baptiste de La Salle: The Lost Chronicle, the play is based on Jean-Baptiste’s early days in France and the beginning of the formation of the La Salle Brothers.
Man with a passion: Timothy showing some of the paintings he drew to be used as backdrops for the play.
The play’s director Timothy Chee said the script was written by his son, Ian. 
“He took about three months to research the history of Jean-Baptiste.
“He started writing the script in September last year and finished it in January,” said Timothy, adding that there were other plays on Jean-Baptiste but never about his life as an ordinary person.
Timothy said former school brother director Datuk Vincent Corkery had vetted the script and given the nod of approval.
He added that the production was by the Old Michaelians Association.
Timothy, who is also an old boy, said the play would be given a modern twist incorporating some modern songs to appeal to the audience.
“There will be songs such as Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, MC Hammer’sPray and Bruno Mars’ I Want To Be A Millionaire.
“The songs will give the play a boost and audiences more understanding about what’s going on,” he said.
Timothy said about 60 students, from Form One to Lower Six were involved in the project.
“I want not only to cultivate their talent but also to teach them about the whole production from A to Z,” he said. Timothy, who has directed about 35 school plays, said the students only started rehearsing for the play earlier this month.
“Those selected were given scripts in February for them to practise.
“We are short of time because of the many school programmes held at school, the examinations and school holidays,” he said.
Playing the titular lead role is Fourth Former R. Surender, who was honoured to be given the opportunity to portray the legend.
“Jean-Baptiste was a noble and modest man, who never showed off.
“In France, he learned about the poor and strived to help and educate them,” the 16-year-old Surender said, adding that he also did some research about Jean-Baptiste to get a better understanding and to better portray the character.
Surender said the school play would be his first shot at acting and he was feeling a bit pressured.
“Playing Jean-Baptiste is giving me the butterflies.
“Nonetheless, I am up to the task and will give my best to make the show a success,” he said.
“I have gone over the script and there are still some lines that I need to memorise,” he added.
The centennial celebration committee member Peter Khiew said the school play was being organised to raise funds for the school to upgrade and maintain its facilities and other purposes.
He said the play would be staged at the SMI hall on July 6 and 7.

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