The 5th World Book Day event of the IB department – an odyssey in time and cultures
On 1st November 2019, the IB department celebrated its 5th World Book Day. This year’s performances were inspired by Chinese literature, a departure from previous year’s choices of English literature, which were adaptations of Mark Twain’s The Million Dollar Note, Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Unlike the inaugural production of Lu Xun’s short story “Kung I-Chi” in the first year, this year’s was a student-scripted version of the much-loved story of Mu Lan.
Freshly baked cookies and other refreshments welcomed our guests at the reception, which they enjoyed whilst perusing the artistically designed programmes, before they were ushered into the auditorium. There was an air of excitement and expectation as students, parents, teachers and principals waited to be dazzled by the Year 11 and Year 10 students’ performance.
As the last few audience members took their seats, the lights dimmed and our emcees for the day, Thea Liu and Candice Jiang, immediately got into character as exchange student hosts. Their job was to welcome the other two emcees, Amy and Ethon, in the guise of foreign exchange students who had travelled all the way from the UK to experience Chinese culture, customs and traditions. Their lively banter gave us a brief history of Chinese literature, seamlessly leading us into the main event of the day: a play adaptation of Mu Lan, an ancient and revered Chinese folk story.
Coco Wang took on the lead role of the vivacious Mu Lan, supported by Iris who played the level-headed and protective elder sister, Muyan. Winston Wang had the responsibility of representing the Emperor of a China under attack from the Huns, while the nation’s defence fell on the shoulders of Nick Cao who was the Major General. Alongside fellow cast members, the students transformed themselves into actors, beautifully and energetically bringing the age-old tale of Mu Lan to life.
During the interval, the IB dance club entertained the audience with a modern take on the traditional Chinese fan dance, showcasing another charming aspect of the culture. This was followed by a musically sensitive and riveting classical guitar performance, with Link mesmerising the audience with his impressive playing.
As with all productions, it would not have been a success without the unified cooperation of the props, lights, makeup, costumes, publicity, curtains, background graphics, sound and microphone teams. These technical crews demonstrated exceptional collaboration and communication skills, working together to ensure that the performance ran smoothly. They greatly contributed to the overall atmosphere of the drama, highlighting crucial moments with emotive music, scenic backdrops and enchanting lighting.
Adding to the literary mood of the afternoon, students and teachers came dressed as characters from their favourite books. Most of the teachers opted for Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, sporting impressive outfits which included Alice herself (Cheryl), the Ace of Spades (Principal Joel), Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (Sharyn and Yanming respectively), the Cheshire Cat (Marie), The White Queen (Kiki), the Queen of Hearts (Norma), the White Rabbit (Vicky), the timid Dormouse (Joyce), the Knave of Hearts (Charles), the March Hare (Claire), the Mad Hatter (Fay) and the author himself, Lewis Carrol (handsomely portrayed by the Vice Principal Murdoch). The wonderful and creative costumes were a perfect reflection of the International Baccalaureate’s flamboyant, versatile and diverse character. Students also joined in the fun, many donning on traditional Han fu, complementing the adaptation of Mu Lan and celebrating China’s fashion history.
在座的同学和老师们也为下午的文学气氛增添了浓郁的一笔，他们扮演成最喜欢的书中的人物，大多数老师选择了刘易斯·卡罗尔的经典儿童小说《爱丽丝梦游仙境》，他们的服装令人印象深刻，其中有爱丽丝本人（Cheryl),、黑桃王牌（Joel校长）、特威德·迪和特威德·杜姆（分别是Sharyn and Yanming）、柴郡猫（Marie）、白皇后（Kiki）、红桃皇后（Norma）、《白兔》（Vicky）、《胆小的睡鼠》（Joyce）、《红心人》（Charles）、《三月兔》（Claire）、《疯狂的帽子匠》（Fay）和作者刘易斯·卡罗尔（由Murdoch副校长帅气呈现）。
Each year, the World Book Day goes from strength to strength, and this event was no exception. The Year 10s have been given a lot to think about for next year, when it will be their turn to host and demonstrate their artistic flair!