Christmas Plays at Si Ri Panya Tutorial School!

13 Dec 2015

After helping Teacher Jessica with some of the props for the school play, Phanganist's Emma was invited to the dress rehearsal to watch the children perform.

'Jessica and myself got to the school for 8am so that we could fix up the background we had made and set up the rest of the room. We blacked out the windows and stuck silver stars to the black bags so as to disguise the tropical image from outside.
It was really enjoyable to be at the school at this time of day, to help out and see all the children arrive for their exciting day. I was given the job of putting some silver on the faces of the boys playing the robots and once dressed up, all of the kids looked spectacular.

Teacher Jessica often talks of the children in her class and what they have been up to so it was really nice to experience this myself. Plus I had been hearing a lot about the rehearsals of the Christmas play so I felt really honoured to get to see it!
Everyone's favourite Teacher, well okay my favourite Teacher, 'Teacher Jessica' as she is known to her students tells us how the play has come together...'

You teach the youngest children at Si Ri Panya Tutorial School, how was it teaching them to perform?
I think a first they didn’t actually understand what they were doing, especially the younger ones!

At times it was quite difficult to keep such a large group calm. We mixed grade one, two and three together and most of grade two and three had done some sort of performance before but for grade one this was their first show.

They did a really great job at sitting still during the scenes that they were not in but sometimes I had a banging headache.

We practiced for a few weeks and this became a large part of their english curriculum because we were working on reading, speaking and listening.

Tell us about the play…

Because we work in an international environment in Thailand we chose a non religious play which promotes good morals about friendship and helping others.

The story is about a fairy called Sugar Plum who has a magic wand which brings her fairy gang to help others.

In the second scene a very naughty elf called Elvin breaks her wand during a music lesson and for the rest of the show she is on a quest to look for Santa who has some magic glue that will fix her wand.

During the story Elvin causes lots of mischief and Sugar Plum comes and helps without her wand. At the end she finds Santa and he tells her that she doesn’t need a wand because she has been helping so many people without it.

What was the hardest thing for the kids to learn?

Dancing and not getting over excited.

The dancing scene was difficult to organise because we wanted the children to have fun but the stage is very small and it was difficult for them to do it without going too crazy.

When we were practising the robot dance which is to Beastie Boys, Intergalactic, the boys who are all in grade one thought it would be a better idea to pretend to shoot each other with their fingers and break dance all over the place.

And what was the easiest thing to teach them?

The children really enjoyed learning the songs and we were surprised at how quickly they memorised all of the words. They sound very sweet and it may have brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion.

How did the dress rehearsal go?
I think this was when the children actually realised exactly what we were going to be doing and despite being nervous it went better than we could have hoped.

We had a few children missing which meant that I had to go on stage at one point but I think I was more nervous than them and they all did a great job.

So we get a preview of the older children's play tomorrow, can you tell us about that….

I haven’t actually seen very much of the older kids show but by the amount of effort that Lindsey and Ryan (the grade four, five, six and seven teachers) have been putting in and how hard the children are working, it looks like it will be fabulous.

I’ve seen some of the singing and dancing and I am very impressed.

So are you proud of your class?

I’m very proud of how focused they have been. We have had some peaks and troughs but the dress rehearsal went really well and at the end of the day the kids look SO cute in their costumes that nothing can possibly go wrong.

Thank you children, you’re the best!

A couple of days later Emma also went to see the dress rehearsal of the older childrens school play which is a childrens version of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'.

'I arrived to the school pretty early as all of the children were arriving. The younger children were excited to watch the older children perform but had to have a small lesson for half an hour whilst preparations were put in place.

Head teacher Nichola suggested that I could help again with make-up for the young actors, most of them had to look kind of 'dead'.

The children were very excited to put on their costumes, I remember having the same feeling of excitement, anticipation and nerves when I used to do school plays.

They all looked really great!

The story is not like the adult version, instead it is about a professor who used to be a rock star, and his work on creating humans in his lab. Spooky stuff.

The kids sang songs and acted very well indeed, you can definately see some talent amongst them and they are all little stars, each and every one of them!

I would like to say a big thank you to Si Ri Panya Tutorial school for having me, and to Teachers Jessica, Julie, Lindsey and Ryan for letting me in your classes and to be involved in this special event. I really enjoyed my time there and it was so nice to see the children flourishing.

Hats off to all the staff at the school and well done!

So for the proper shows next week I must say "Break a Leg!".'