Director: Lee Chee King
Playwright: Kuo Pao Kun
Institution: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore
Venue: North Theatre, the Central Academy of Drama, China
Time: 19:15-20:35, May 20/19:15-20:35, May 21, 2008
Event: ATEC 3rd International Forum
The process of rehearsing Descendants of the Eunuch Admiral has been a process of guiding the actors to collectively delve into ourselves, and delve into what it means to be human. Layer by layer we delve into ourselves; step by step we feel closer and closer to him. Much had been forcibly taken away from Zheng He, and yet he survived and lived beyond what was imposed upon him.
Right from start, the actors made it clear that they would like to create a play that they can call their own. As director/teacher, our main task was to constantly remind them of their wish, motivate them to put in the required effort, and guide them towards the fruit of their labour.
Like all rehearsals, there were the dreams, the ups and downs, the setbacks, the disappointments, the resignations, and the rediscoveries. In the end, everyone pushes on and charts out their individual journey.
To perform in Beijing has special significance for the twelve actors as one of the directors, Lee Chee Keng: we are going home to perform.
After our performance at home, we will be journeying on.
Let's put our hands together, and cheer the actors on in the longer journey before them.
I have come to realize of late that dreaming has become the centre of my life
Yes, dreaming. Dreaming all by myself. Alone, painfully alone, and floating away.
But this loneliness is a potent one; it is an inviting loneliness. Haunting.
And seemingly reachable.
Descendants of the Eunuch Admiral is one of the most lyrical and powerful play by Kuo Pao Kun, one of the most important figures in Singapore theatre. Descendants of the Eunuch Admiral as presented by the graduating Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) Mandarin Diploma in Theatre students is a dream and meditation on the iconic figure if Zheng He, his castration, his rise to power and fame, and his wanderings.