Audiences were enthralled as they were ‘transported’ to the magical Land of Oz in the latest musical offering by R.E.A.L Schools’ Suria Campus in Cheras. Dubbed Green Witch the Musical, the four-show extravaganza held over three days from 22 to 24 August 2014 saw the school’s Hall of Character stage transformed into a visually-stunning set, complete with an imposing dragon’s head and wings bearing down on the audience from above. The play is based on the famous, long-running Broadway musical Wicked – which revolves around the charming and captivating story of the Witches of Oz who consist of its title character, Elphaba (the ‘Green Witch’) and Glinda.
The plot of the play provides a ‘prelude’ or ‘prologue’ of sorts to the classic tale of The Wizard of Oz. References to The Wizard of Oz and alternate version of events which transpire in the Land of Oz gave audiences a fascinating and intriguing insight into the classic tale as well as the lives of two unlikely friends – Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good. The storyline centred on these two main characters who struggle through a clash of personalities and opinions, which later sparks into rivalry over a common love interest, Fiyero the Winkie Prince. They are later divided over the Wizard and his misdeeds, which exposed him as a criminal and a fraud, resulting in the two friends going their separate ways and on different paths.
The superb cast and crew were made up of R.E.A.L students from both the national and international schools of Suria Campus, Cheras – hailing from various levels and age groups. The collaborative effort from both schools was also a first; forming part of R.E.A.L’s One Campus concept, an initiative which aims to foster greater unity and harmony between all R.E.A.L Schools students and staff. The two protagonists, Elphaba and Glinda, were delightfully portrayed by Year 8 students Angelina Lee and AnessaMalek respectively. Along with fellow cast members DolahSalleh (‘Fiyero’), Calvin Chan (‘The Wizard’), Casandra Chan (‘Nessarose’), Tan Jason (‘Boq’) and Lai ChianYeow (‘Doctor Dillamond’); they displayed a range of singing and acting talents that belies their tender age.
Most impressive of all was the fact that all aspects of the play were professionally produced and executed entirely by the students and staff themselves; from a magnificent ‘three-layer’, interchangeable stage backdrop to splendid props, mesmerizing lighting and sound effects, elaborate costumes and a wonderful song list that was performed ‘live’ by the school orchestra. Among the many wonderful songs on show were ‘The Wizard and I’, ‘Dancing through Life’ and ‘Wonderful’. There was even a dazzling Fashion Runway Show that took centrestage during the midway interval of the musical. Budding models showcased a range of original student designs that were created exclusively ‘in-house’ courtesy of the school’s dedicated Art & Design Programme.
Although the young actors and dancers delivered a ‘bewitching’ performance, there were certainly no magic spells involved in the four months leading up to the event. All that were required were plain discipline, diligence, dedication and focus in facing the daunting task. The hours of rehearsals and production work however, paid off in the end as the students came out stronger and wiser from this experience. Providing them with such priceless platforms and opportunities to pursue their passion saw REAL talents emerge. In short, Green Witch saw greenhorns flourish into bona fide stage performers.
In her programme notes, Ms. Lee Seow Ping, Senior Principal and Business Manager of R.E.A.L Schools, Suria Campus, Cheras, had this to say: “Together, we garnered the courage to have big dreams and worked hard to achieve them. It was truly an honour to witness the amount of detail put into every single aspect of this production. Throughout this labour of love, close ties were forged, character was built and talents were unravelled”.
This highlight event of the year is synonymous with the R.E.A.L Schools practice and philosophy of providing education that goes beyond mere academic results. This is what ‘REAL education’ is all about – nurturing students with sound character values, leadership qualities, self-confidence, communication and social skills, as well as creativity. A wide range of extracurricular activities and school events such as musicals, play a crucial and critical role in achieving this aim.
With over 28 years of history in shaping education excellence, R.E.A.L Schools is a diverse community of learning that is committed to delivering holistic education through exceptional academic standards. This is anchored by sound character values, students’ performance, practical learning platforms and enriching student experiences. Today, we have 6 schools located at 3 campuses in Malaysia, offering both International and National syllabi ranging from Preschool, Primary to Secondary levels that aim to nurture well-rounded students with outstanding grades, robust extracurricular activities, leadership qualities and lifelong practical living skills. R.E.A.L Schools is also a 5-star rated school as certified by the Ministry of Education Malaysia.
For further enquiries, please call R.E.A.L Schools at 03-9021 3601 (Suria Campus, Cheras), 03-7842 3228 (Cahaya Campus, Shah Alam) or 07-386 4468 (Cahaya Campus, Johor). Alternatively, you may visit our website at www.realschools.edu.my