SEEDS showcases students’ dramatic talents with ‘Oliver!’

By Achong Tanjong, BB22 March 2010

“Oliver! The Musical”, the first-ever production of the Students’ Extracurricular and Education Dramatic Society (SEEDS) was played yesterday by over 70 students from 10 government schools involved in the production.

Oliver! is the first production by SEEDS with cast and production crew entirely from students of 10 different schools.

The stage performance was held at Meragang Sixth Form Centre and witnessed by students, teachers, principal, parents and relatives.

The chief guest was Hajah Zarina bte Dato Paduka Hj Abu Zar, Acting Director of Department of Schools Inspectorate, Ministry of Education.

Oliver! is a musical adaptation of Charles Dicken’s classic tale of an orphan who runs away from the orphanage and hooks up with a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

The Vice President of SEEDS, Cikgu Siti Zuliana Haji Masri of PTE Meragang, said one of the main aims of SEEDS is to fill school holidays with meaningful and educational activities.

The society not only holds drama activities but also beginner mini-classes on the different aspects of drama production which includes off-stage work such as creating props and costumes, as well as stage managing.

“In doing so, students are required to take part in actual drama productions, such as the one we are having today, which acts as their examination before they eventually graduate,” she added.

SEEDS is looking forward to a new batch of students to join the society as some of the present students have completed their sixth form education and will be leaving soon. At the same time the society also welcomes teachers from government schools to join the team.

Cikgu Siti Zuliana said the ideas for SEEDS came about two years ago when she and Cikgu Mohammad Syafiq were given an opportunity to be involved in a drama production organised by the Brunei Amateur Dramatic Society (BADS), an independent Drama Society started by expatriates.

She said based on the response they received from the production, they realised that there are many teachers, particularly English Language and Literature teachers, who share the same enthusiasm and passion for drama. More importantly, they share the same belief that drama is not merely a form of entertainment but also a powerful tool for education.

She added that apart from providing students with experience in drama and the performing arts, SEEDS also aims to introduce a channel for students to express themselves dramatically, in turn building up their confidence both in the English Language and in public speaking. The society is also a platform to promote creativity, enhance leadership skills through teamwork and instil a sense of responsibility in a fun way.

SEEDS also aims to give chances to government students to participate and study the arts of drama and its production. At the same time, teachers and students will act as agents to promote performance arts in Brunei.

Yesterday saw the society’s big day as the first batch of SEEDS students graduated and witnessed the hard work of students and teachers in putting up SEEDS’ first-ever production – Oliver!