SELECTED PROJECT INTERPRETATION

STOP! LOOK! GO!, 1998

THEATRE-IN-EDUCATION, YOUNG THEATRE PENANG AND FIVE ARTS CENTRE PROGRAMME (TIE-YTP-FAC PROGRAMME), 1998-2004

STOP! LOOK! GO!  was a cabaret-like performance depicting scenes of adolescent conflicts utilising pop music, dance, drama and spectacle. The performance is interactive and allows for audience to suggest or role play solutions to the conflict situations.
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Interpretation is based on archival records and memory recollection of participants. Download the Archive Record Inventory (PDF)

STOP! LOOK! GO! FACTS

1.1 Programme Name

Theatre-in-Education, Young Teater Penang and Five Arts Centre, 1998-2004

1.2 Project Title

STOP! LOOK! GO! April-July 1998

1.3 Context and Objective

The TIE performance ‘STOP! LOOK! GO!’ was devised and performed as part of an international research project, entitled Drama and Conflict Handling (DRACON) involving Malaysia, Sweden, and Australia. In 1995, Pillai formed the Malaysian research team, together with conflict researcher Latiff Kamaluddin from University Sains Malaysia, Penang, and several arts educators from Kuala Lumpur and Penang who had been experimenting with creative arts as pedagogy. The project was supported by research grants from University Sains Malaysia, Penang. The Malaysian research project was aimed at studying and testing whether creative arts could serve as a pedagogical mode to teach conflict handling. The research was structured into three research cycles  from 1995 to 1998. In the third cycle (1998) Pillai was interested to test if TIE might serve as an effective medium to teach conflict literacy. The performance of Theatre-in-Education (TIE) and the accompanying educational kit was aimed at enhancing conflict literacy and emotional management among an adolescent participants aged 16-17 years of age. The intention was to help adolescents reflect both cognitively (through conflict theory) and affectively (through drama) on the nature and management of conflict. Supporting archival material USM (Universiti Sains Malaysia) R&D Grant Application

1.4 Project Description

STOP! LOOK! GO! was a cabaret-like performance depicting scenes of adolescent conflicts utilising pop music, dance, drama, and spectacle. The performance is interactive and allows for the audience to suggest or role play solutions to the conflict situations. Students are primed on the topic prior to the performance, by a teacher who administers a pre-performance kit about types of conflict components of conflict and its dynamics.

1.5 Source Material

The TIE team spent 5 months devising the script for the performance. A literature review was conducted on adolescent psychology, their behaviour with peers in conflict situations, and the TIE performance entitled ‘Stop! Look! Go!’ was performed to the group of adolescents. The team also culled actual stories of conflict situations experienced by adolescents in the work place, in school, among peers, and with family. The stories were later transformed into fictional scenes that were further enhanced by the research. Supporting Archival Materials Literature Review: ii. Adolescents-Personality Development Scenario of Performance: i. Draft Scenario

1.6 Co-Producer/s/Sponsor/s

Producers: Young Theatre Penang (in cooperation with Five Arts Centre, KL) Sponsors: Research and Development Unit USM, Penang State Performing Arts Committee

1.7 Project Lead

Janet Pillai

1.8 Creative Team

Drama Director: Janet Pillai Designer and Art Director: Liew Kung Yu Music composition: Joanne Suraya Choreography: Aida Redza Script: Devised by actors Actors: Lim Khuan Wei, Lim Chung Wei, Nora Rahmat, Joanne Suraya,

1.9 Participants

 SCHOOL/COMMUNITY AGE GROUP COMMENTS
Penang Secondary Schools 16 – 17 Form 4 and 5 students

1.10 Events and Activities

4 May 1998SMK Sungai Ara ClassroomPenangPerformance for Form 4

DATE VENUE TOWN/CITY COMMENTS
Pilot Workshop
22 & 23 January 1998 Sekolah Menengah Georgetown Georgetown, Penang Pilot Research
Training
16 April – 4 May 1998 Dewan Sri Pinang & Universiti Sains Malaysia Penang Rehearsals
Performance & Exhibition
5 & 6 May 1998 Panggung Sasaran, USM Penang For SMK Sri Mutiara From 4 students
7 May 1998 SMK Green Lane Convent Hall Penang Performance for Form 4
8 May 1998 SMK Green Lane Convent Hall Penang Performance for Form 5
18 & 19 May 1998 SK Jelutong School Hall (Primary school) Jelutong, Penang For SMK Jelutong Form 4 students
20 May 1998 SMK Sungai Ara Classroom Penang Performance for Form 4
21 May 1998 SMK Georgetown Hall Georgetown, Penang Performance for Form 4
22 May 1998 SMK Georgetown Hall Georgetown, Penang Performance for Form 5

1.11 Promotional Material/Catalogue/Programme

The TIE performance was promoted mainly through official channels via the school authorities. However, a simple poster and programme was created by designer Liew Kung Yu using pop colours, and computer graphics to attract adolescent audiences.

1.12 Final Script/Final Curriculum

Nil

1.13 Multimedia Documentation

STOP! LOOK! GO! is a cabaret-like performance depicting scenes of adolescent conflicts utilising pop music, dance, drama and spectacle. The performance is interactive and allows for audience to suggest or role play solutions to the conflict situations.

1.14 Previews and Reviews

1.15 Publications

Horst Löfgren and Birgitte Malm (2005) Managing Editors, Bridging The Fields Of Drama And Conflict Management: Empowering students to handle conflicts through school-based programmes. School of Teacher Education, Malmo University, Sweden (Chapter Creative Arts in Conflict Exploration (Pg 297-300). https://muep.mau.se/bitstream/handle/2043/5975/drac06nov.pdf?sequence=1

1.16 Photographs

Refer to “VIDEO/SLIDESHOW OF FINAL OUTPUT”

1.17 Final Report/Project Evaluation:

N/A

VIDEO/SLIDESHOW OF FINAL OUTPUT

Synopsis of Story: STOP! LOOK! GO! was a cabaret-like performance depicting scenes of adolescent conflicts utilising pop music, dance, drama and spectacle. The performance is interactive and allows for audience to suggest or role play solutions to the conflict situations. Supporting Archival Materials STOP! LOOK! GO! – Images of Performance, 1998. (YouTube)

ART MAKING PROCESS

Performance training, devising and output The project began with two-and-a-half days of focus group enquiry with 45 adolescent students, led by 4 adult actors. Creative drama techniques such as storytelling, improvisation, theatre games, role-play, forum theatre, and writing exercises were used to enquire about common conflict situations faced by the adolescents. The information gathered was used by the actors to devise the performance which consisted of 5 scenarios on adolescent conflicts. Information elicited from the students using focus group and creative enquiry methods provided the actors with sufficient content on teenage conflicts. From the information collected, the actors devised 4 fictional conflict scenarios for a TIE performance relevant to an adolescent audience. The scenarios highlighted different types of conflict experienced by teenagers and highlighting the parties involved, feelings and emotions experienced by teenagers, the manner in which their conflicts escalated and the type of action taken by teenagers when dealing with their conflicts. Prior to students viewing the TIE performance, teachers administered a conflict literacy kit on students over 3 lessons in the classroom. The kit was made up of a teacher’s guide and desk activities for students; which included word games, worksheets, and discussions. The kit was prepared by the director and researcher to reflect the theory of conflict. It was hoped that students would be able to apply the information learned from the kit when making interventions into the interactive TIE performance. Ten performances of ’Stop! Look! Go!’ were played, to a total of 1300 teenagers aged 16 and 17 years in Penang; the actors played out scenes of adolescent conflict through intelligently construed dramatised roles and situations. During the TIE performance, audience found it easy to identify with the characters in the dramatic scenes. The actors sometimes used ‘under-distancing’ techniques to get the audiences to empathise with the characters. These included emotive songs to portray the characters’ inner feelings, and a ‘hot seat’, where characters revealed their hidden thoughts or motives. Over-distancing techniques or alienation was also incorporated into the performance, offering audiences an opportunity to comment objectively on characters and their actions. Audiences carried three cards which they could raise up at any point during the drama, to indicate if they agreed (green card), disagreed (red card), or were unsure (orange card) with the characters’ actions. A mediator would then ask the audience to propose an alternative action if they disagreed with the character’s action, or to intervene through role-play by replacing a character. The performance provided an active platform for participatory intervention, where the audience became actively involved in taking responsibility for their views, values, and positions. Design and Outputs

Contemporary visual artist Liew Kung Yu was the designer and art director for the production of STOP! LOOK! GO! The direction he took in the visual design of the performance drew heavily from the current trends of the time, which were influencing the target audience group of Malaysians aged between 15 and 17 years old. Using a palette of neon ‘pop’ colours, the set for the production consisted of a ‘prize wheel’ and four chairs which were designed to stand out and be engaging in the often drab surroundings of school halls and uniforms. The prize wheel was divided into five different coloured segments akin to a pie chart. Each segment was then decorated in contrasting colours and titled according to the different kinds of conflict which the students had learned about. The four chairs were wrapped in seat covers, which were embroidered in bright contrasting colours, using sparkling and glittery thread; the legs of each chair were also wrapped in bright, sparkly gauze material. This neon pop design also flowed into the costumes of the performers, who were decked out in an overwhelming mash-up of the latest fashions of the times; pop socks, tights, mini skirts and dresses, etc.

REFLECTIONS FROM PARTICIPANTS

Lim Chung Wei
Actor
Project: STOP! LOOK! GO!, 1998 – COMING SOON –