Wrapping Up Reading Centhini: The Reader

On the way to Substation this morning, I tried to read what Serat Centhini is on Wiki just to get a feel of what the whole overview is about. Like what I mentioned yesterday, the original text has 12 books, so reading Wiki really gives a very summarised version of what Centhini is about and kind of helped me see the big picture. There’s so many characters and so many stories that I feel the need to get a grip on the core of the story sometimes..

Kak Ema has been trying to put everything in her Qlab this week.. in the end we decided to go ahead with my Powerpoint slide. If there was one useful thing I learnt from my last semester in school from my Occupational Health and Safety groupmate, Ashri, Powerpoint can be a powerful too if you know how to use it to your advantage- he showed us how to use 2D images and transform them into tiny 3D images, and putting it together to form animations. I mean, on Powerpoint, things can look ultra cool if you spend time doing up properly. For me, I just inserted what surtitles and videos needed, which is technically simple, but yeah, it means we could still do some things without Qlab. I personally think the clicking of surtitles and all went alright. I don’t know Javanese, but I think knowing the tune and being familiar with the lyrics/ lines and how they sound helped a lot. Except for that click at the end which I mis-timed.

Here are some photos from today’s performance lecture..

Agnes and Ema

Agnes and Kak Ema

Up at Control Room

Up at Control Room

A scene from Reading Centhini: The Reader

A scene from Reading Centhini: The Reader

Agnes is about half-way into the Substation’s Directors’ Lab programme. If you’re interested in her work, specifically to Serat Centhini, do check out her blog here.

(Update 3rd May 5.55pm Check out Substation’s photo album of the performance here).

I don’t really follow Malay theater or English theater for that matter. Yesterday, I found out Agnes’ next mentor would be Tze Chien. It was one of those moments where I went “Oh ok. That name is popular. I keep hearing it.” But honestly, I don’t know what he writes or directs about. A quick search of his work led me to find out that he wrote Charged, and I remember I went to watch that because Anwar was acting in it. I’m mentioning Tze Chien here is not because of his work, but because of what happened today. He came in for the afternoon full run and when he came in I noticed he smiled to everyone, and then sat down. When I left my seat, he stood up and moved to the side, unlike some people who just let you squeeze in that tiny space in front of them. And when he left the rehearsal, again, he smiled at everyone at left. How do I put it.. he is so highly talented but I can feel he is down to earth. It’s just different. Sometimes when I see or meet someone of similar position as he is, I don’t get that kind of vibe. Is it because he himself started off with acting, being a backstage crew, being a stage manager before he really became this writing extraordinaire that he makes the conscious effort to acknowledge everyone? Or is it because this man is just polite and that’s just his behaviour? Or is it me and my phase of finding males born in 70s slightly more adorable? I don’t know. But it feels like he will be a good mentor for Agnes.

I haven’t exactly been reading my emails this week. Need to take time off tomorrow and recharge.


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