It was June 2021. I was in a boardroom in Westgate, having a very intense meeting with my business partner, Sugiman, and our two pioneer instructors, Naquiah and Aricia.
Before the meeting, I drew out the above diagram. By 2022, there is something that we need to be ready for.
In 2020, we faced the Circuit Breakers, we had face-to-face sessions go online and hours reduced. This means that there is a big possibility that the Secondary 1s from 2020;
a. may yet to bond with their seniors.
b. yet to adapt some of the club’s cultures
c. may not be equipped with the basic drama skills expected from the previous year’s students.
In 2021, a similar thing happened, with some minor differences. In the first 4 months of the year, everyone focused on Singapore Youth Festival, which has a limit on the number of participants. After the SYF, the face-to-face sessions was stopped to limit transmission.
While we acknowledge that some things cannot be avoided due to environmental and regulatory factors, we felt that if we do nothing to bridge the gap, by 2022, there will be 3 batches of students, with little basic drama training and worse case, the students might even lose interest in the club.
So we had to do something, within those regulations!
We had to do something, to keep the students’ passion burning!
Students who chose football for their CCA, wants nothing but to play football.
Similarly, students who opt to join a drama club, will look forward to be a part of a production.
In view of all these, we brainstormed, bounced ideas, challenge ideas.
We wanted something that could;
a. Provide an interesting avenue where students could apply drama skills.
b. Provide an avenue where we can bridge the knowledge and skills gap between the Secondary 3s and the Secondary 1s and 2s.
c. Provide something for the students to look forward to.
and finally, the ‘Digital Drama Challenge – Beyond The Stage’ was born.
Through this event, we aim to;
1) To provide an opportunity for Drama Club students to apply what they have learned to make a production.
2) To inculcate teamwork and promote sharing of knowledge through gamification.
3) Learn to take calculated risk and leverage on their options to bring out the best out of their respective teams and situations.
4) Reinforces what students have learned i.e. ensemble training, scriptwriting, actor’s vocabulary.
5) Provide students with opportunities to perform and showcase their production
This is the post-event video which I’ve editted, to give you an idea what it is like. The students’ production piece had to be removed because we do not have permission from the schools. Only the participating schools get to view the full video, LIVE!
Did We Meet Our Objective?
Yes, we meet our objective and more.
Why is that?
Let me just share with you what these students have learned throughout this process;
1. One of the criteria for this competition is that every group has to be a mix of students from different levels. This encourages communication between senior and junior students, regardless of face-to-face or online sessions.
2. This will encourage transfer of knowledge – this can happen in two ways;
• senior students share their knowledge through active communication
• Junior students observe how their seniors apply their skills as they execute the tasks.
3. Students learned how to manage a project(Project Management). Completing a production is a big project for students, ESPECIALLY when it is student led.
4. Understanding behaviour. Working in a long term(4 months) student-led project will expose them to different work behavioral patterns. And this is something we don’t usually experience at that level.
5. Being goal driven. Every project will have its own obstacles. Students will learn
to focus on their goal and view obstacles as something they must overcome rather than something that will paralyzes them.
Will there by a Digital Drama Challenge 2022?
Well, the students enjoyed it, the teachers shared with me how their students benefitted from it, my instructors want it, so yes, there will be a Digital Drama Challenge 2022.
Details are not out yet and we might be working on a different theme next year.
What do the winners get?
In DDC2021, all competitors who entered the preliminary rounds, will receive a Certificate of Participation.
Who are the groups that have entered the preliminary round? Basically groups that have completed ALL of the following criteria;
a. submission of registration form
b. submission of script
c. submission of production.
For DDC2021 winners, groups will get a trophy, depending on what they win, PLUS each of these group members get a Certificate of Achievement.
Now that we have come to the end of the event, I would like to thank the following people for their contribution to the DDC2021.
- Singer-songwriter Rebecca Burch. https://www.youtube.com/user/TheRebeccaBurch.
- Naqiah from True Horror Stories POV Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/TrueHorrorStoriesPOV/videos
- Event Host – Aricia Ng
- Instructors – Sugiman, Naquiah, Aricia