Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Little Drummer Boy: A Christmas Play Part 1 - Drummer Boy and the Teddy Bear's Picnic


The sticker announcing seating arrangements for the audience along the pews.

The St. Micheal Church in Ipoh showcased a Christmas Play for their 2006 Christmas event. Titled the Little Drummer Boy is features a telling of several Christmas stories suchas 'The Little Drummer Boy, A Christmas Carol and the Birth of Jesus' masterfully reworked into a flowing storyline. I managed to attend at the invitation of Laura and her family and found the play entertaining and was too good a photo opportunity to miss. This was really my first time shooting an entire play and it was difficult as at the begining I was hessitant to move to the front stage for a better view and disturbing the rest of the audience but managed to overcome this. The lighting was teribbly hard of photo taking and the mist and smoke played havoc with flash photography not to mention using a compact camera had its limitation in low lighting conditions. After a few hiccups at the start, shooting got better but many didn't turn out as I liked but overall I was pleased with the result. So here I present the entire story flow for the Christmas play for your enjoyment with a photo essay of my telling. I'll present it in parts so as not to overload anyone's browser so just sit back and enjoy as they come out okay.


The presenter begining the naration for the audience.


The Orchestra responsible for the musical score and sound effects as well as accompaniment to the various musical performances.

It takes a lot of work and hands to stage a play. I heard that the stage was built in the church hall had cost quite a large sum and would only be there for the duration of the play which was held for two nights prior to Christmas. The entire setup had to be demolished after the second show which ended at midnight and furniture rearranged for the next morning's mass so it really did take a lot of effort for the organisers and I applaud on how the managed to handle all the needs for it. The costumes were elaborately done and reflected in the quality of the play, bringing an overall sense that grabbed the audience's attention and thrust them into the play. The orchestra was brilliantly managed and kudos to the conductor and the various musician. Not forgetting as well mention must be given to the various church members that acted in the play, a huge cast at that ranging from the children's lithurgy members to the various church groups who practiced for weeks to bring about the play. In the end what came about was truly a splendid 3 hours of magical wonderment that truly reflected the spirit of Christmas.

Now on to Act 1: The Little Drummer Boy


The drummer boy and the other orphans who teased him for his wish.

The drummer boy appears playing on his drums. He dreams of one day playing for the infant Jesus as his gift to Him. Appears his friends who derided him for such a notion and asks for him to give up on this dream. Rather than giving up, this only strengthens the drummer boy's resolve to achieve his goal. No hard feeling harboured, he joins the others in play and even managed to get them to join him in playing the drum which they did using kitchen utensils from pots to pans to wooden spoons, resulting in a din.


The teddy bears were holding a picnic and all the cubs were joyous in dance and song.

The Drummer boy soon left the others to their fun and went home to the orphanage. There he still thought about his dream and his resolve was strenghtened. Off he went to sleep and drifted off in dream. Meanwhile, it a land far away, there was a party going on. Mama bear and Papa bear as well as their various cubs (played by the children of the children's lithurgy classes) were setting out to the forest where they planned to have their picnic. The teddy bear's picnic was filled with food and dance, merriment and fun. The cubs were joyful and chased each other in turn, tumbling and turning and generally enjoying the time of their life. Mama bear and Papa bear had a hard time putting them all in line and to ensure they did not get out of line.


The drummer boy cautiously approach one of the cubs to ask where he was.

From the mist the drummer boy appeared, he found himself in a forest, the likes of which he has never seen before. A noise nearby startled him and his curiosity lead him to investigate. Peering out from the shrubbery, he saw the teddy bears in a party, with food and dance. Gathering up his courage, he went out into the clearing where the bear family was. They stopped and stared and the cubs were afraid. The drummer boy went towards them and reassured them that he meant no harm. Mama bear enquired about his being here and he couldn't answer. All he said was that he wanted to play for the infant Jesus with his drums.


Once again all was well and the merriment continued.

The bears sighed in relief and took the drummer boy as a friend. He was invited to join in the celebration and soon the bears were back to what they were doing before the interruption, making merry and dancing. The drummer boy joined in playing his drums and the bears all dance ever more fervently, inviting the drummer boy to come among them and dance as well.


The teddy bears all dancing and singing during the picnic scene.

They made merry and it seemed to go on and on. Everyone was happy and having the time of their life, even the drummer boy. Suddenly the atmosphere changed.


A tense moment is reflected in the orchestra as the scene suddenly changed, drums and cymbals made the effects for the violent storm engulfing the forest clearing.

The sound of thunder was heard accompanied by lightning. The trees of the forests were rustling with the sudden breeze and violently their branches shook from the force. The merriment of the bears came to a halt and a worried look was evident in their faces. The drummer boy paused as well and wondered what waas to come.


The trees violently shook as they were shaken by the strong winds. The drummer boy was lost and couldn't find his way in the forest.

Soon the winds grew stronger and Mama and Papa bear called out for their cubs to quickly gather and to seek safety of their shelter. Chaos ensued and the cubs all ran left and right in bewilderement. The drummer boy was stunned and tried to follow them but as he ran into the woods, the atmosphere got bleaked and dark and he lost sight of the bears. Running in fear and not knowing what to do, he went deeper into the woods where the trees seems to come ever closer as if enveloping him and threatening to engulf him. In fear he went down on his knees and prayed to God for help, he offered a prayer and once again he said of his wish to play for the infant Jesus. The next moment he found himself being led along the empty and dark pathway but he knew no fear, just a sense of belonging in the presence of someone he trusted. So he walked on holding his belief and again firmly stating his wish.

End of Act 1. The Play continues in Act 2: A Christmas Carol coming soon.

No comments: