Students volunteer for creative cause

National 2 minutes, 39 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

OVER 200 student volunteers from 30 government schools and colleges will be involved in a musical production titled “Pride” tonight.

Seeds Brunei in association with Relentless Entertainment and the support of the Ministry of Education will stage its fifth musical that draws inspiration from “The Lion King”. Previous Seeds productions include “SEED’s The Wicked Witch”, “Into the Woods” and “Willy Wonka”.

Students involved in this production will have hands on participation in stage managing, costume and prop designing as well as in lighting, music and sound.

Stephen Gregory , 61, a teacher volunteer from Sekolah Tinggi Perempuan Raja Isteri (STPRI) has been part of Seeds from the very beginning when they were known as Students Extracurricular and Educational Dramatic Society.

He said, “The numbers have gone up each production, When we were doing our first production ‘Oliver! The Musical’ it was much smaller.”

According to Gregory, the heightened public exposure has led to more people knowing about them and a rise in involvement.

“The students enjoy making friends from new schools,” he said.

“The actors are a minority of the whole thing, the cast is smaller than the rest. People realise this straightaway, they are fixing things and making boulders out of paper. Running and fetching, also counting chairs,” he said.

Stephen said students go into Seeds with great enthusiasm noting theatre is more than just acting, it is also about community teamwork.

He has found students with “zero-reluctance” doing the most menial jobs such as moving chairs.

The Brunei Times also spoke to student volunteers who held key roles in the production, managing complex lighting systems and handling stage directions backstage.

Dk Siti Nur Nabilah, 15, Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College (Maktab Duli) student, is a first time Seeds volunteer. She is part of the costumes crew who joined with the initial intention of making new friends and gaining experience.

She explained that since joining Seeds she has gained social and communication skills from interacting with other volunteers.

Students also learn technical tasks as part of their involvement in the production, with volunteer teachers providing support.

Dk Nur Syazwani Rasyidah Pg Adi Noor, 17, from Katok Sixth Form Centre who is in sound and lighting was also encouraged to join by a teacher.

“They have taught us how to control the lights and how to change colours depending on the scene.”

She described what her role as a prompter entailed, and how she learnt to wait for certain cues to change lighting according to scenes.

Nuryoul Naqibah Nooradin, 18, from Meragang Sixth Form Centre is part of the publicity crew, but in previous years was part of the cast.

“Usually I am on stage and I don’t get to see what is going on with the rest of the production,” she said.

As part of the publicity crew, students are responsible for ticketing, advertising and promotion of the productions.

“Publicising is not an easy job! I thought if you set up posters people will come rushing to buy tickets, but no, you have to do more than that!”

“Pride” will be held the STPRI Multipurpose Hall. More information on Seeds can be found at www.seedsbrunei.com.

The Brunei Times