The black box, lit by the house lights, witnesses audience members streaming in as music plays overhead. The actors are backstage, frantically running through lines while the lights and sounds personnel go through their cues once again. The doors close, and the house lights fade. An announcement reminding the audience of theatre etiquette is made before the spotlight fades in. Its orange glow intensifies, and the audience put their hands together.
The show has started. Welcome to Raffles Players.
Raffles Players is a group of enthusiastic, dynamic and extremely noisy people. Despite our hectic, and sometimes confusing JC schedules, we come together in the big black box known as the Theatre Studies Room to share and experience our common passion for theatre together. And almost inevitably, it’s often a place of relief and solace for us, a kind of weekly (and eventually daily) refuge from everything else.
We have regular CCA sessions on Wednesday afternoons, which include workshops on aspects of theatre ranging from acting to costumes to sets, and many other fun but intensive activities. These workshops are held by different groups of people, be they professional theatre companies, teachers or even our own members with distinct interests, knowledge to share and thoughts to express. Of course, as production nears, session frequencies increase, and the schedule will get more intense. Everybody will get a chance to be involved. Each person will play a valuable role in the CCA during productions, which require publicity, sets and costumes committees, a lights and sounds crew, stage and production managers, the stagehands and, of course, the actors. Don’t worry if you’re only confident of performing one specific role – we have several productions spanning across the year. You’re sure to find something new or something you’re good at, or maybe something you’d like to try a hand at, in Raffles Players. Here, you are free to experiment and explore, unshackled from any kind of logical restraint. At Raffles Players, creativity and freedom of expression are highly valued.
Raffles Players also organises the highly anticipated IHC Remix: Dramafest each year. All five houses’ participants will get the chance and exposure to go through the whole production process, regardless whether you’re a Player or not. During Dramafest, be assured of a whole load of fun, bonding and all things good that theatre can provide. Sure, it will be hectic and stressful at times, as is any production, but Dramafest provides a different kind of platform for you to find new friends and learn about theatre, all in the name of friendly competition.
The most important thing in Raffles Players that we treasure is the friendships forged over intense production periods. The immense amount of effort put in by the members is only possible with the support of each other, and that is what makes every single drop of blood, sweat and tears worth it in the end. The amount of inside jokes stemming from half-dead conversations is only a sign of how much crazy fun we all have while working through arduous times and pursuing what we really want to do – to put on a good show for the audience.
If a part of you was intrigued while you were reading this, or even way before this article was published, do try out at our auditions. They will comprise a simple performance of a given script, which includes elements of improvisational and acting skills. Alternatively, if you’re interested in all the other great aspects of theatre, for example in costumes or sets, please do prepare a portfolio that exhibits your previous work to showcase your talent in that specified domain! As the chairperson of Raffles Players, Mohamad Rafi B Kamsani Chia (15S07D), puts it, “There are some things in Players that will make you mad or upset. But there are just some things that are worth the long nights and tiresome rehearsals – it’s the people you meet along the way that fuels the energy of Players. That’s what’s special.”
On behalf of our members, both Rafi and Rachel, as the chairpersons of Raffles Players, wish that you will follow us into those tiring nights and experience it for yourself. We look forward to seeing you!