Book to Stage, School’s a Wonderland!
On 26 February 2016, Chou Sing Chu Foundation (CSCF) had the honour of partnering the Arts Theatre of Singapore, a children-centric Chinese language theatre company with 60 years of history, to put up a performance based on CSCF’s inaugural “Sing Chu Children’s Collection” that was published in 2015. The story of “Crossing the River” from the “I Love to Exercise” series was brought to life at Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School’s “Reading under the Stars” event, to the delight of both adults and children.
This event was organised for pupils in Primary One and Two in mind, with storytelling in four languages – English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil, as well as a parent-child shared reading segment. True to the theme of a wonderful bedtime storytelling session, parents and their children in tow – dressed in pyjamas while some even brought along their cartoon pillows – arrived in succession in the starlit hall. It was a heart-warming scene to see everyone seated on the mats with faces full of anticipation.
The story in Chinese stood out with its entertaining dramatisation of the plot. Dressed in costume as ‘Ban Ban, the Zebra’, the professional theatre actor playfully raised her hooves to introduce herself, and led everyone in a warm-up game called ‘Do the Reverse!’, for instance, one had to sit at the command “stand”, and cry at the command “laugh”, leading to a hilarious scene that aroused endless laughter from the audience.
Right after the warm-up, the story unfolded on stage. Bent on crossing the river to participate in a sports carnival, Ban Ban was worried about the depth of the river. Grandpa Cow said it was shallow but Sister Squirrel thought it was deep, leaving poor Ban Ban feeling very confused. After listening to Mother Owl’s advice, Ban Ban decided to ask for the opinion of the audience. Hands shot up in the air immediately, eager faces awaiting. In the end, 10 children were invited on stage to answer: due to the difference in size between the cow and the squirrel, their experience with the depth of the river differed too. Bravo to the children on stage who walked away with tokens for their participation!
The attractive backdrops and cute animal costumes, coupled with lively music and vivid presentation of the story, got the children actively involved in every scene. It was no wonder they were deeply captivated and enjoyed themselves tremendously.
CSCF was also present to promote its “Sing Chu Children’s Collection”. The collection of books was well-received by many parents and children, seen browsing and selecting their favourite series.
Through such interesting activities, CSCF hopes to arouse the children’s interest in learning the Chinese language and nurture their appreciation of the beauty of the language from young. For our latest event, please follow us on our Facebook page.