Students of SPH Lippo Cikarang showcase their passion for the arts in the musical drama "Pirates of Penzance." The show tells the story of Frederic, a highly dutiful man who sets out to leave the pirate life and start anew on land, only to find that his journey is not as simple as he thought. With high energy levels, classic comedy, and a focus on collaboration between younger and older grade levels, teachers, and staff, this production serves as a testament to the talent and hard work of the SPH Lippo Cikarang community.
This in-person production, which was held in Saturday, February 11, 2023 after a total of 6 months of preparation, featured 38 students from grades 4 to 12, as well as teachers, staff, and even parents who helped with choreography, vocals, costumes, makeup, and more, making up a total of 78 cast and crew. The show was produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., Englewood Colorado and directed by Ms. Ariadne Lewis.
Leading the cast were Justin (Grade 12) as Frederic, Angelina (Grade 12) as Mabel, and Jennifer (Grade 11) as The Pirate Queen. In addition to that, the performances of Jose (Grade 10) as Major-General Stanley and Yumin (Grade 5) as Sergeant Sam Johnson were also noteworthy.
Ms. Ariadne Lewis, the musical’s director, mentioned that “It has been an inspiring journey for SPH Lippo Cikarang community to prepare a production of this scale for our school. Many cast members have committed over 80 hours of rehearsal time to this performance and have demonstrated dedication, talent and sacrifice to make this production a success. Not only acting, SPH Lippo Cikarang students are also helping with many other aspects of the production, including playing in the band as music accompaniment, helping backstage, as well as arranging costumes and props. It has been overwhelming how many teachers, staff and even parents have shown support through their help with choreography, drama, vocals, costumes, props, makeup, hair, set design, and much more. In addition, we thank our parent's community that have been very supportive through prioritizing rehearsal time and helping with various provisions.” We are very thankful to witness the whole school community come together in this wonderful collaboration.
The production offered SPH Lippo Cikarang’s students a unique opportunity to push their boundaries, build confidence, and develop a sense of community. For many, participating in a musical was outside their comfort zones, but the positive experience allowed them to grow in their acting, singing, and dancing abilities. The whole production also helps foster a culture of creativity and collaboration, on top of the strong academic measures applied at SPH Lippo Cikarang. The show was attended by more than 200 people, including 20 students and families from Cikarang Japanese School, and serves as a celebration of the school's commitment to the performing arts as part of their holistic education program.
Justin, one of the leading casts, reminisced about his journey in the musical production, saying “At the start of the musical, I was known to be very self-conscious on stage. However, throughout the practice sessions, I learned to become a better performer.” The experience not only helped him improve as an actor, but it also revealed the importance of community to him. He shared, “This production made me realize how important a sense of community is. This set of casts is the loveliest bunch of people I have ever met! From the Junior School students to my fellow 12th Graders, we all get on well. At the start of the musical, we barely knew each other; some of us did not even know each other's names, but over time, through countless rehearsals, we developed an unbreakable bond and eventually became a family.”
As the school reflects on the production, they are grateful for the hard work and dedication of their students, as well as the support of teachers, staff, and parents. The "Pirates of Penzance" also serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of community and the impact that our actions can have on others.
Any good satire is more than just an opportunity for laughs, although Penzance is certainly funny! It is also an opportunity to look into a mirror and come away wiser, grateful for the grace of God in redeeming us, despite all our absurdity.