Tag Archives: Tanjung Pinang

RTL Diaries

By Jackie Ashkin

We’re at that stage. Not a literal stage with lights and such. But a stage in preparation. The stage where nobody feels ready and lines are dropped and fits of giggle appear at random.

We’re about a week away from the show. So it’s normal. A worn out director, Mr. Mark Sasse, sits in front of us, looking stressed as can be. He’s rubbing his hands across his face, his notebook strewn across the floor. It’s that stage for him, too. The one where he’s probably very tempted to yell at anyone who asks for a water break.

Our choreographer, Mrs. Rachel Chand, just sits and watches us, an unreadable expression on her face. She’s probably hoping we’ll start straightening our arms some time soon.

We’ve been a group for a while now; we know each other’s tendencies. Two of my friends stand toward the back, practicing the “awkward flamingo” – a one-legged stance declaring a lack of confidence in what exactly they are supposed to be doing.

I stand by the side and try to practice my solo. I keep forgetting to breathe, which can prove itself a problem three-fourths of the way through a note. As I look around me, I can only think of how much I am going to miss these people who I have learnt to love. It’s my last “season” with RLT – I’m bittersweet.

I have seen the group I envisioned so long ago, discussing silly things with Ciera Nash and Mr. Sasse, grow into something truly beautiful. Evolving from a one-night show into a fully fledged, long-term ensemble; it’s about to see its third time through. For a high school group, RLT is pretty amazing.

This time, we will bring the audience an eclectic choice of dramatic sketches, ranging in subject from giant squids to annoying children. Granted, the giant squid does not eat the annoying child. But it’s still worth watching.

Come see Season Three of the RLT players at penangpac’s Stage 2 on November 22 at 5pm and 8pm or November 23 at 3pm and 8pm. Or come to all four shows! You never know what could happen.

Jackie Ashkin has been on the stage since she was a wee lass. Most recently, she has been really involved with Dalat Original Drama and the Short+Sweet Festival in Penang as an actor, director, and playwright. As well as winning Best Supporting Actress at this year’s Festival, she directed the winner of Best Script, No In Spite of Itself, which will be included in the upcoming RLT show.

2013-11-08

Tickets for Captured In Time & Space can be purchased at TicketPro or the penangpac Box Office. For reservations or more information, call penangpac at 04-8991722 / 2722. 

 

Captured In Time & Space

From Dalat International School’s RTL Players is a new theatre production –  Captured In Time & Space. Directed by Mark Sasse, who won the best script award in Short & Sweet Theatre Penang 2013, Captured In Time & Space also features other Short+Sweet alums such as Jacqueline Ashikin, Tesa Sasse, Ciera Nash and Joseph Stoltzfus.

Here’s a snippet of what to expect with Captured In Time & Space:

Unforgettable moments of life – captured in time and space. The RLT Players are back for their third season with a brand new set of dramatic sketches and short musicals, which are funny, poignant, and all original. The show includes the wacky comedy “The Giant Squid that Ate Georgetown”, the poignant drama “I Once was Blind”, and the award-winning dramatic sketch, “‘No’ in Spite of Itself” – winner of best script award in Short & Sweet Theatre Penang 2013. The show also features the unique rhythmic dancing of “Black & White” and the mini-musical “Captured in Time & Space” as featured in Short & Sweet Musical KL 2013. This is a fun and uplifting show for all ages that is not be missed. 

 penangpac

Captured In Time & Space

Dates

22 November 2013 @ 5pm & 8pm

23 November 2013  @ 3pm & 8pm

Venue

stage 2, penangpac @ Straits Quay (3H-3A-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang)

Ticketing Information

RM 20 (Adults)

RM 15 (Students & TAS Card Holder)

Tickets can be purchased at TicketPro or the penangpac Box Office. For reservations or more information, call penangpac at 04-8991722 / 2722.

PenTAS Exclusive: A Chat with Kelvyn Yeang of IndiePG

Get your rock on, boys and girls, for IndiePG, Penang’s very own (and biggest, might I add) independent music festival begins this 25 October for a two-day run at the Performing Arts Centre of Penang, or penangpac! Featuring a line up of indie bands from all over Malaysia, IndiePG is also holding FOUR workshops on the ins-and-outs of music and technologysongwritingrecording, and the all important question – how to forge a career in indie music.

To mark the second installment of IndiePG (the first was just in March 2013, which only shows that Penangites love their indie music and bands, and they want MORE!), PenTAS thought it would be fun to get to know this music festival better. Kelvyn Yeang  is one of the founders of IndiePG and is by no stretch a stranger to the local independent music scene (hint: he part of the acclaimed instrumental progressive band Ocean of Fire). This is what Kelvyn has to say to us.

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Like a boss – Kelvyn Yeang on stage

What is IndiePG exactly and why was it created?

We formed IndiePG to create an organised platform for musicians to network and showcase their original music as well as educate the public and generate interest through talks, workshops and performances up here in the north. There is so much potential for growth in this area up north. Through all that we have done, over time we believe we can generate enough interest from the public, especially the younger individuals from both college and high schools. We have so many talented people here writing great music but without a clue on what to do with them. We want to give them options, and a chance to network with like-minded people, to share and grow together. That’s the environment we hope to create.

How was IndiePG conceptualised? Besides you, who else was part of the team that started IndiePG?

When penangpac first opened, I got a chance to be involved with some programmes. One of which I presented music along klpac’s Ian Chow. Ian is also a champion of indie music and we share a passion for Malaysian original music and its scene as well. We both agreed that it would be a great idea to create a platform for Penang and work along penangpac to make it all happen.

Of course I couldn’t possibly undertake this colossal task myself so I gathered people with a common interest yet with different strengths to form a committee to oversee everything. Currently the team is RaggyEng BokSamwiseLawrence , Wanida, and I.

What is your role in IndiePG?

Call me what you want. Basically I set the direction and create a general plan and set the goals. Then everyone contributes to make it happen.

How was the response to the first IndiePG?

It was great! It went really well. We were especially happy since so many younger students turned up. That to me means a lot. There are just too many events where musicians only play to the other musicians present. We need to generate enough interest if we want people to take local music seriously.

With the second installment of IndiePG taking place within a few months since the first one, do you think in the coming year we will see more than 2 installments of IndiePG?

Who knows? It all depends on funds, manpower and time. I can’t promise or say anything yet but we do have some idea on what we gonna do next year. Also, very importantly, if we could attract sponsors and more contributors we most certainly would be able to make this grow.

What do you look for in bands / musicians for IndiePG? Is there a set criteria to which bands need to fit in order to get picked for the event?

Original music is a must. It’s the Indie musicians that need the platforms most. Other than that, the committee collectively decides. We are not strict with music styles at all. The submissions we get are a smorgasbord of genres. We also make it a point to offer as much variety as we can. You will be able to find everything from ethereal post rock to funk, blues, folk and the other extremes of progressive rock and metal.

Genres are never a problem. Everyone with great music should be given an opportunity to be heard. But that said, we are very strict in making sure the material is safe for the family. There are kids and teachers out there that come to our events, even parents. If we want to create a conducive environment for growth and acceptance, we have to take all these factors into consideration as well. Quality is also a must. If we want to convince people then we got to put the best out there up there on stage.

Are the bands in the line up solely from Penang or is it open to bands based anywhere in Malaysia?

It doesn’t matter. We obviously take a generous number of Penang bands, but largely setting up a platform up here in the north is more important. We take bands from all over.

In terms of platforms, IndiePG provides a much-needed one for new and emerging indie acts and for bands in general in Penang. Is there any plans to take IndiePG to the next level, say in terms of how George Town Festival and George Town Literary Festivals have made Penang a centre for the arts and literature, or even Penang International Jazz Festival for jazz?

Who knows? We are still in our fledgling stage. Hopefully we will one day make enough impact and allow something big to happen.

In terms of support, what could the public do to lend a hand to IndiePG?

Tell your friends. Come to actually check us out. We have even made the workshops free for everyone.Donations and sponsorship and manpower are always welcome as well.

Finally, why should Penangites not miss IndiePG this 25 & 26 October?

Because its relevant and its cool. Its also localised enough to be comfortable for all. Workshops are totally free and we have a totally rocking line up for the showcase with bands like Tempered Mental and Froya.

So, you’ve heard it. Make sure you make your presence felt at IndiePG!

indiepg2

IndiePG takes place at stage 2, penangpac @ Straits Quay (3H-3A-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang) on 25 & 26 October 2013. For information on the workshops, check out IndiePG and for ticketing, check out penangpac.

PenTAS Exclusive: A Chat with Tim Richey of The Gruffalo

This 29 October to 3 November, fans of the beloved monster Gruffalo will be in for a treat as Tall Stories’ West End production of The Gruffalo comes Penang. Brought to Malaysia by Gardner & Wife Theatre and staged at the Performing Arts Centre of Penang, or penangpac, this production of The Gruffalo has delighted young children and adults all over the world as it has toured the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. 

In this PenTAS exclusive, we talk to one of the three casts of The Gruffalo – Tim Richey, who does a whole lot of acting and a fair amount of narrating. Born in Cheltenham in the UK, Richey is an actor who likes to paint and cites ‘pottering around’ as a hobby, which explains how he manages to juggle handling three roles (we will let you discover which ones for yourself) in The Gruffalo.   

What do you enjoy most about you roles in The Gruffalo?
I love the fact that I get to play so many different characters (I have a lot of costume changes!) Plus seeing the audience’s reaction when the Gruffalo first comes on stage is always a treat!

Tim Richey in Tall Stories' The Gruffalo
Tim Richey in Tall Stories’ The Gruffalo

What is the most exciting aspect for you in this production?
Snake sings a great song which always goes down a treat.

Is this the first time you as part of a production that is performing in Malaysia? 
Yes.

How has your experience in Malaysia been so far?
It’s been fantastic – lots to see and do and everyone has been so welcoming. When we left the UK it was cold and grey, so it’s been lovely to have a bit of sun.  The food has been great too.

Is there a difference between adult and young (children) audience? 
The children love all the slapstick humour but there are loads of jokes that the adults get too. The children are great during the audience participation parts – they are definitely louder than the adults! The show works on lots of different levels and so should be fun for everyone – whatever their age!

Oh, no! Where is the Gruffalo?

Why is theatre for children important? How does exposure to theatre and performing arts affect children?  
There are huge benefits for audiences of all ages in going to see theatre. In a world full of screens and computer generated 3D backdrops, young audiences really benefit from being told a fabulous story in a communal and interactive way. In the theatre, the performers can talk directly to their audience and the audience can talk right back. In The Gruffalo, the audience are at points encouraged (but never forced!) to shout out and join in so they get to experience something live and interactive. This immediacy is something theatre can do that cinema never can.

Theatre also provides young audiences with a chance to let their imaginations run wild. A stick can be turned into the bars of a cage, a cricket bat or a tightrope and a man can play a boy, a woman or a parrot – watching that kind of transformation happen in front of your eyes can be magical – for both young and grown up audiences.

Personally, which was your favourite theatre production that you enjoyed when you were young?
I remember seeing Cats in London when I was about 8 and spent most of the following weeks pretending to be a cat.

What’s next for you? Do you have another project lined up?
After Malaysia we head to Paris for a few days with the show and then we open in the West End in London.

Finally, why should parents bring their children to watch Tall Stories’ The Gruffalo
It’s a really imaginative telling of a great story. There’s something for all the family in The Gruffalo – songs, comedy and also a scary Gruffalo!  Children who have read the book will love seeing their bedtime reading live on stage and, as the show is aimed at families, we hope the grown-ups will be surprised at how much they enjoy it too.

THE GRUFFALO shows at stage 1, penangpac @ Straits Quay (3H-3A-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang) from 29 October – 1 November 2013 @ 10 am and 12:30 pm and 2 – 3 November 2013 @ 2 pm and 5 pm.