CCA Previews’ 23: CLDCS

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By Lee Chong Ray (23S03M) and Yu Grace Chenxi (23S06I)

Do you often find yourself belting your heart out to JJ Lin or Jay Chou? Do you aspire to unleash your inner theater kid up on the stage for all  to see? Well, you’ve come to the right place as the Chinese Literary Drama Cultural Society (CLDCS) can help you live out your dreams!

While all our members proudly claim that they are from CLDCS, our CCA actually consists of two sections—Songwriting and Drama.

Songwriting section

Keen to write your very own pop songs but don’t know how? Look no further! Our songwriting sessions are held once a week, on Tuesdays 4pm-6pm in the MEP studio. 

Are you worried about lacking the musical abilities or linguistic flair to write songs? Worry not! Mr Keith Kwok, a local songwriter who has worked with big names like JJ Lin and Kit Chan, will impart you with all the foundational knowledge and skills you need to kickstart your songwriting journey. 

Light-hearted and interactive, our CCA sessions encourage members to share and collaborate with each other. During our sessions, you will learn about chord progressions, harmonies and motifs, which are key elements of every pop song. We also write songs both individually and within small groups. At the end of the year, all members will have a chance to turn their very own songs into a recording.

Previous batches of songwriting members got to record their songs in Mr Keith’s recording studio, which will then be professionally mixed and mastered, just like any other songs you would find on Spotify. During special events like National Day or Chinese New Year, CLDCS is also proud to be involved in creating special covers to hustle in the festive atmosphere!

What better gift to take away from your JC life than your own hand-crafted songs?

Our songwriting members recording a cover for this year’s National Day song

Drama section

For the aspiring actors or actresses out there, CLDCS drama is YOUR stage to shine! Our drama sessions are conducted every Wednesday, 3pm-5pm in the Theatre Studies Room, with the occasional extra practices on Friday afternoons just before productions or SYF. 

From acting to scriptwriting, our theater mentor, Mr David Wong, will give professional advice to help you best deliver your awe-inspiring performance up on the stage. You will  definitely be unleashing both your creativity and emotions through acting masterclasses and theater games. During acting and direction lessons, Mr Wong will always be ready to pass on his invaluable plethora of acting skills to you!

Even if you find yourself dizzied by the glaringly bright stage lights or anxious to perform in front of a crowd, we still have many opportunities for you to grow as a #theaterkid! Beyond the hustle and bustle of center stage, our production relies on a dedicated team of makeup artists, lights and sounds managers as well as prop producers. From learning the correct shade of foundation used to portray different ages, to understanding what “blue cyclorama on cue 4” means, your journey in our drama division will allow you to gain better insights of what it takes for a full production and take away valuable skillsets to use even beyond the CCA. 

Beyond the stage, our in-house scriptwriters and directors form the backbone of each play and bring life to the stories we wish to tell. From thought-provoking tales of familial ties to sappy teenage romances, our production team works hard to transport audiences into the magical world of theater. Even if you have had absolutely zero experience in the theater arts before this, we welcome you wholeheartedly!  

Our drama section getting ready for our SYF performance this year!

Our annual production, 翠谷回响 (Cui Gu Hui Xiang), features the talents of both our sections, providing a golden opportunity for you to show off your works to your friends. This is where members from both sections come together to collaborate and share ideas. You also get to forge deep and meaningful friendships with your fellow members as you dedicate your blood, sweat and tears into producing a touching and show-stopping performance. 

The annual production, Cui Gu Hui Xiang, being held this year at the Performing Arts Centre.

This year, our production, which had been put on a halt for two years due to the pandemic, amassed rave reviews and enjoyed a nearly full-house performance. In 2023, we look forward to resuming our annual production to its full strength as we weave our songs and plays together to express our narrative. You, too, can be a part of this as well! Members of the songwriting section get to perform their songs live in this production, while the drama section showcases plays which they have worked on for the audience. 

Outside of CCA time, our CCA members enjoy team dinners and bonding sessions throughout the course of the year. In the coming year, you may expect intra-CCA games and opportunities to watch external productions! Struggling with deciding between such distinct options? Fret not, for you will have the liberty to choose both! Regardless of your choice, we guarantee you will make lasting memories, forge strong friendships with like-minded individuals, and ultimately, have loads of fun! 

If language is your concern, don’t worry! You don’t have to be the best at the language to join the CCA. After all, our aim is to foster love towards Chinese culture regardless of your language proficiency. What’s most important is having an open mind to learn from your peers and mentors. While other CCAs may implement competitive trials for you to demonstrate your skill levels, our trials involve fun activities to get to know your seniors, learn about what the CCA has to offer and ultimately, have a taste of what a typical CCA session will be like. To get a more in-depth look at CLDCS as a CCA, do check out our instagram page at @ri_cldcs! 

Does CLDCS sound like THE CCA for you? Don’t hesitate, take this once-in-a-lifetime chance and join the CLDCS family today! See you at the trials!

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