[By Amaliyna Mohd. Helmi]
If you are looking for a quick fix of escapism in the midst of all the chaos that student life brings, this year’s installment of SPARTIES SHORTIES may just be the right event for you.
Starting from 7 to 10 October, Taylor’s Society of Performing Arts (SPART) will be putting on a show for each night consecutively, consisting of five short plays with a range of different themes and genres that will be sure to leave your hearts and minds enlivened by the time you step out of the theatre. The best part is that all the stories featured are crafted by directors and members of SPART, which makes this the first installment of SPARTIES SHORTIES that is fully run by students! Rest assured, all the cast and crew involved are working hard with the help of Christopher Ling, the Artistic Director of Theatrethreesixty, who has been mentoring and running workshops for them to be able to put on a spectacular show for us.
I recently spoke to Esther Chze, the director of three out of five of the plays in the series, and she shared with me how the casting process went.
“As usual, we held open auditions for anyone and everyone regardless of their background in performing & theatre. By then, we already had 3 out of 5 scripts and held two days of auditions with over 60 students who applied! Casting was extremely tough for us because we saw so many wonderful personalities and we wish we could’ve cast the whole lot of them. Eventually we wrote two plays that were inspired by the participants at auditions and cast them during callbacks. A few days later, we had a potluck party with new members and revealed the finalized cast.”
And here’s what she had to say about the multitude of talent that Taylorians have showcased to make SPARTIES SHORTIES a reality.
“It’s amazing – for every SPARTIES SHORTIES we meet new actors who have never acted in their lives, yet they deliver the most powerful performances. To be absolutely honest and we tell this to every new member that walks into the room to audition: talent is merely an added bonus for the directors. Passion, determination and the ability to be vulnerable is what takes you further as a performer. We have been very blessed to have so many passionate and driven individuals to work with throughout this journey. Many would think actors comprise of Design and Communication students – you’d be surprised to know the best actors we’ve had majored in Biosciences and Law.”
While it is too late to be involved as part of the cast, there are still openings for backstage and front of house members for anyone who is interested in getting involved in the process of making SPARTIES SHORTIES happen. You may sign up through the SPART Facebook page or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are content with simply sitting back and enjoying the show, that’s fine too! Head over to fb.com/beyondacting to make ticket bookings (tickets are RM18 per person) and make sure to give the page a like to keep track of newly released posters and trailers as we anticipate the real show in the meantime.