On Friday evening, 24 June, parents and families were treated to a wonderful taste of the creative talent being discovered and nurtured here at CSS. Arts Night started with light refreshments and a visual art display prepared by Co-head of Visual Art Ms. Ivy Chan that well represented the quality of teaching and the technical and creative skills of our student visual artists.
Then it was time for the main event. Our bland, functional balcony area had been converted into a welcoming, intimate, and very professional performance space and in due time the lights dimmed and we were greeted by our engaging MCs from Form 4 students Kaushiki and Arham who led us through the program. First up were musical pieces by Form 1 and Form 3/4 ensembles, coached and mentored by our Head of Music Mr. Daniel Kam. Well-rehearsed and confident well beyond their years, the young musicians’ striking performances created a palpable buzz of anticipation for what was to come.
After a short intermission to reset the stage, MY1 students, prepared by Acting Head of Arts Mr. Kevin Toong, commanded the stage with a humorous but highly instructive theater piece clearly aimed at their audience of mostly parents. Based on a poem by Roald Dahl warning of the dangers of television, the piece cleverly updated the message to show not tell the audience of the hazards posed by this generation’s screens of choice. Engaging and always entertaining, our youngest actors delighted the audience and like all good theater the piece challenged prevailing attitudes.
The anticipated finale easily lived up to its hype as the CSS Drama Club presented a one-act play by Jonathan Dorf called 4 AM. Through a series of vignettes tied together by the banter of an all-night disc jockey, played by our Form 2 student AJ, the play reveals the challenges and anxieties of being a teenager shown through realistically and sensitively portrayed children on the verge of adulthood awake with their fears in the middle of the night. As effective and thought provoking as this piece of theater was, the most impressive part is that the production was entirely student driven. As Mr. Toong told the audience, the students chose the piece, designed the sets, lighting, sound, and costumes and blocked the scenes.
The night’s highly accomplished programme was supported by some of our most valuable but largely unsung CSS contributors: IT and Network Administrator Mr. Churchill Lee and Mr. Chin Cheung Ho who collected photo and video memories, Arts Technician Ms. Nico Ma who supports the lighting, sound, and stage management of all our performances.
But as it should be, the stars of the show were not our skilled teachers and support persons but our talented students who lit the room with their enthusiasm and commitment and provided a fitting close to this school year and an evocative preview of what is to come in the new year ahead.