CCA Previews ’17: Raffles Players

By Mahirah bte Abdul Latiff (17S03B), Chairperson; Poh Erika (17S03P), Vice-Chairperson; Shirin Mehnaz Ansari (17S03C), Quartermaster; Choo Ian Kang (17A13A), Quartermaster; Sabariesh Ilankathir (17A13A), Secretary; Hu Yunting Grace (17A13A), Treasurer

If you’ve dropped by the Players booth during Open House, you might have noticed that we included a “Terms and Conditions Apply” on our board, where it says that we have CCA every Wednesday. And if you’re a prospective member, you’ll soon learn that, Terms and Conditions do indeed apply. While we seemingly only have one stated CCA day, this only applies to non production periods and admittedly, we have productions back to back throughout the year. Players is definitely not for the faint of heart, for daily CCA sessions are definitely not uncommon during production periods. Split into sub-committees for productions, there will be a wide variety of activities that a player can be involved in.

Though the term “player”, with its Shakespearean roots, evoke an image of a club of just actors, this is far from the reality. From drilling and sawing wood for a beautiful set, to scouting for vintage clothing, or designing them from scratch, to dominating the stage with your voice and body alongside your fellow actors, the capabilities of a player are endless, and far from restricted to acting. Not all players get to, or want to be in the spotlight, but they can be the person programming the spotlight. In Players, not only can you try out different acting roles, you can also experience life backstage. This includes Stage Management, Production Management, Sets, Costumes, Makeup, Publicity, Lighting and Sound. There is so much you can learn from being in different departments of theatre.

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Erika and Yi Hui obviously having a blast constructing our set.

Our yearly schedule provides ample opportunity for us to sharpen these fledgling skills. Last year alone, we managed to stage 4 productions, which provided members with ample opportunity to explore all the different aspects of theatre with great depth.

Besides exploring and pushing our boundaries in terms of the technical aspect of theatre, we also love exploring different styles and genres of acting. For example, in our Singapore Youth Festival performance last year, we tried out a more stylistic staging and acting style, while in our College Production, we tried out a more naturalistic acting and staging style. Besides the more conventional dialogue-type scripts one commonly sees in theatre, we also dabbled with staging a monodrama instead in our J1 Production.

A scene from our SYF performance.
A scene from our SYF performance.

Hearing all this, one may feel that they have to be endowed with preternatural skills or talent to be in the CCA. This is far from the truth — as a student group, we do not presume to know everything, or indeed anything at all. We do, however, all believe in one universal truth: that our collective ignorance is what forces us to learn together and from each other and put up something that we can all be proud of. You don’t need to be a up-and-coming actor from Broadway or the West End to join us. All you need is the conviction that you can do anything that you set your mind to: be it building a huge house as a set piece for a play, or designing costumes that can change on stage, or even learn a new dialect for a performance. Believe us. It’s been done before on this stage.

A scene from one of our J1 Production plays, “Mama Looking for Her Cat”, which featured 3 different languages and which had Alison (centre) getting back in touch with her Hokkien roots.
A scene from one of our J1 Production plays, “Mama Looking for Her Cat”, which featured 3 different languages and which had Alison (centre) getting back in touch with her Hokkien roots.

On the surface, we may just seem like any old group of theatre geeks, but that is far from the truth. Players is one of the most close-knit and diverse CCAs, even with our nineteen-strong graduating batch. With 19 different personalities huddled in the black box, it is never and never will be a dull day with Raffles Players. From random post-rehearsals dinners to receiving the loveliest gifts post-productions to the best batch outings, how can it be? So, what’s the hold up? Join us and become what everybody else secretly wants to be: a Player.

With love, the ‘17 Batch of Raffles Players, and Mr Choo and Mr Tan.
With love, the ‘17 Batch of Raffles Players, and Mr Choo and Mr Tan.

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