I’ve teaching, directing, and writing drama for a number of years now. I guess it’s been seven and a half years. I’ve learned so much – mostly that I don’t know much about acting or directing. (On the writing part I think I’m okay.) I get to work with young high school actors – some with no experience -some with a lot of experience. It’s really rewarding. But none of our productions have been as rewarding as my group called The RLT Players. (RLT = Road Less Traveled)
A few years back our school had that saying as a theme for the year. A couple weeks into the first semester, a couple actors who didn’t get a part in the semester’s drama, asked me if there was something else drama-wise that we could do. I had just been to a performance of the Footstool Players – a wonderful Malaysian drama group which do short skits in the form of dramatic storytelling. I thought that perhaps we could try.
As they say, the stars aligned. The Penang Performing Arts Centre was just opening and offering usage of their facilities for free. We booked a show in their black-box theatre for December 1, 2011 – two shows. I recruited up to 9 actors to join the group we called The RLT Players. We ordered purple shirts with our logo on it. I wrote seven short sketches, lasting an hour and fifteen minutes. We rehearsed and waited for people to show up, not really knowing what was going to happen.
The comments and gracious words we received from the audience were amazing. We had done it! Pulled off a great show, in little time, not really knowing what we were doing.
We came back the next year with a brand new show or original material I wrote called “The RLT Players present: Drive All Night.” Last year was: “Captured in Time & Space.” And this year, in a few short weeks, we will have our fourth original performance – 4 shows over three days entitled “For All Generations.” I’m really excited about it. It includes one 10 minute musical, several comedic pieces, and several dramatic sketches all centered around how our past has shaped us into what we are today.
I love writing for RLT. 10-minute plays are a treat when they are written well, when they are well centered and direct stories. They can hit home in powerful ways. I’ve had people walk away from our performances amazed at what the kids have done. I’ve been amazed to. It’s such a privilege to watch them grow and see it all click in front of an audience when the lights come up.
I can’t wait for Nov 20 because of that reason.
Here’s our entire cast and crew for this year: 11 actors, 4 technicians, 1 director, 1 choreographer.