Reflections of a Newcomer

As our debut performance draws ever nearer, the halls of Bjorklunden echo with the voices of my peers, who are in the final stages of revision and preparation for our show. The past week has been a turbulent one. With everything that's been happening all at once, it's been hard for one to find time to sit back and reflect on the experience. As I sit here collecting my own thoughts, I realize just how much I have learned over the course of this brief, yet intense period of immersion.

As one who is completely new to the world of theatre (aside from playing the part of sugar plum fairy # 5 in my first grade class' rendition of The Nutcracker), it has been fascinating observing the artistic process of my committed peers, the majority of which have had extended exposure to the theatre arts prior to this program. What initially drew me to this program was my interest in innovation, entrepreneurship, and start-up businesses. Subsequently, I have tasked myself with several of the more business-oriented aspects of this projects, preparing press releases, programs, and financial statements.

However, I have realized that tackling all these tasks in the context of a theatre company has been a very different experience compared to a traditional, for-profit business when I ask myself, "Why? What has been the primary motivation behind all the efforts and energy that we have been collectively channelling over our time here?" It has not been to maximize profits, nor has it been to beat out our competition; our ultimate goal has been to share a fleeting, yet powerful moment of artistic expression with others in hopes of provoking thought and emotional response. In the words of singer-songwriter Lorde, "We seek a different kind of buzz."

This realization of our cause has given me a newfound respect for the theatre arts. Before this experience, my understanding of the theatre-making process did not extend much past the memorization and recitation of lines. But over the past week, as I have witnessed my peers tirelessly working as directors, stage managers, costume designers, and more, on top of handling many aspects of the business side of things, my eyes have been opened to the depth of the field that is theatre production. To see such ambition and drive for the sake of artistic expression truly inspires me, and if there is one thing I hope to take away from this experience, it is the passionate and zealous spirit of those around me.

I think many would agree that this song, "Royals," by Lorde (quoted above) strongly characterizes the spirit of our team over this past week. Give it a listen and get on our level!

-Kenn Goh