Students express their thoughts through theatre

2024-06-26 03:44
BY admin

Interview by William Chan

        In an exclusive interview with the Post, Mabina Choi Leng Chi, theatre director of the local drama group Big Mouse Kids Drama Group, revealed that their three-year project “I can...”, in collaboration with students from Escola Dom Luís Versiglia, will present its final performance “Memory Puzzle Master” this weekend.

Choi noted that “Memory Puzzle Master,” the third phase of the project, is an immersive theatre experience where the audience will be guided into a theatre designed like a library filled with books containing people’s memories.

Choi, a former school teacher, created the “I can...” project with her team, targeting marginalised students at Escola Dom Luís Versiglia, a male boarding school in Ka Ho. These students often come from complex family backgrounds and often lack love and care.

The Post published an interview last June on the second phase/project of “I can…”, an exhibition of the students.*

Similar to her previous projects, Choi’s goal is to understand the students’ innermost thoughts by building trust with them. This final project is also the most advanced, utilising theatre as the art form to allow students to tell their stories, she said, adding that the main theme is memory, where the theatre explores why some of our memories are lost, whether due to traumatic events or that we deliberately suppress unwanted memories. “During the rehearsal and discussion process, we attempted to help one student recover his ‘lost’ memory, something buried deep within him that he refused to share and face, but through constant work, he was able to dig out his “memory book” from the bottommost shelves of the library, which will be revealed at the performance,” Choi said.

There will also be a memory pool, an installation art, during the performance where audiences are invited to write their memories on special paper and dissolve it into the water. “Water is like a memory, always floating and unclear, but it also constantly reflects on and within ourselves. The students thought a pool would be suitable as part of the memory library,” Choi said.

Another part of the performance invites the audience to reflect on how much they understand about today’s teenagers. Choi said that she conducted research and surveys on subjects such as teenagers’ self-perception of mental health. Her intention was to present the research data to the audience in order to enhance their understanding of contemporary teenagers. Additionally, another objective was to highlight teenagers’ preferences and perspectives, offering insights into their worldview shaped by personal experiences, she noted.

Choi noted that by offering students increased opportunities to explore ideas and express themselves, it helps foster their creativity and the development of critical thinking skills. “Students can delve into their interests, expand their knowledge, and cultivate their voices during the rehearsal sessions. This exploration not only enhances their learning experience but also nurtures their ability to communicate effectively and think critically in various aspects of their lives,” she said.

Choi emphasised that through art education, students have the opportunity to explore their interests and aspirations, gaining valuable skills to navigate their future with clarity and purpose. She shared an inspiring example of a student who, influenced by their art experiences, aspired to become a speech therapist. “This student recognised how art had improved his ability to express himself and had a profound impact on his life, igniting a desire to positively influence the lives of others as well,” Choi said, adding that art not only provides a sense of purpose and direction but also inspires students to make a meaningful difference in the world.

The two performances will take place at the Black Box II of the Macau Cultural Centre (CCM) on Saturday at 7:45 p.m. and on Sunday at 2:45 p.m. Ticket prices are set at 80 patacas, with a special discount rate of 50 patacas for students.


Students rehearse for their upcoming performance “Memory Puzzle Master”.

Mabina Choi Leng Chi

These photos show past activities of the three-year project “I can...”. – All photos provided by Big Mouse Kids Drama Group


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