Text: Chia-Yi Lee
Translation: Steve J. Lin
This is the 13th year for the Department of Child Development and Family Studies to sponsor the YABI Children’s play. This year, performances are given at Taibalang Elementary School (March 10), Zhuofeng Elementary School (March 17), Shoufeng Elementary School (March 21), and TCU (March 24 and 25). The play was written and directed solely by students of Class 2014. Tickets for the March 24 & 25 performances are free, and they will be available to the general public beginning on March 11.
TCU invited Director Shu-Mei Chen of the Hualien County Cultural Affairs Bureau; CEO Bing-Kun Tsai of Tzu Chi’s Education Mission; TCU President Pen-Jung Wang; and Director Ya-Li Cheng of the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, to take part in this press conference. For the past 13 years, TCU students have presented their children’s plays at various places in Hualien. They were Chongde Elementary School, and Fengbin Elementary School, which are 200 kilometers apart. Teacher Bruce Liao is the key person who gets involved every year, and he guides students to write scripts and direct plays. Their performances are welcomed by elementary school students at every place.
Director Shu-Mei Chen of the Hualien County Cultural Affairs Bureau, pointed out that Children’s plays can enhance children’s brain development, and infuse vital values into their minds. She wishes to work with TCU to share children’s plays with children all over Hualien County.
In Honey Music Rhapsody, each character is named after a candy, and song and dance scenes are interspersed in the play. Honey Music Rhapsody portrays how our environment is deteriorating and how people get addicted due to their greed, and it also describes how people work together with courage and vision to face their challenges. Rock Sugar Village is located on White Dragon Mountain, where people are used to eating rice, yet once they found out that bi-fu (made from rice) was more delicious, they didn’t eat rice anymore. Through food processing, rice can only produce lesser quantities of Bi-Fu. To fill the villagers’ need, manufacturers have to use more rice to make bi-fu. A large animal, White Dragon, also lives nearby, and she has been kind to the villagers. However, rice is White Dragon’s main food, so she needs rice and suffers from hunger. Later on, she feels that her survival is threatened by the people’s greed, and thus she starts to attack the people.
Drama instructor Bruce Liao said that human beings depend on Mother Earth to supply most of the things they need, yet the way we repay Mother Earth is to hurt her. We consume more resources than we need, and waste resources we want. In recent years, Nature has cried out and started to fight back. Bi-fu is used to imply that once people get addicted to something, they will do anything to have it, no matter if it harms Nature or not. Bruce indicated that the key theme for this play is love. From ups and downs in the story, audiences laugh and feel warm, and finally feel relief.
This play was begun in March last year. During the past one year, actors and actresses learned to get familiar with their roles. Ying-Rou Wang plays the role of White Dragon, and she often watched her puppy to learn how it expressed friendliness to people, and how it showed its anger. Yi-Zhu Lu plays a person who gets addicted, and portrays how she is often induced by other addicted friends to try bi-fu, then faces a great struggle. However, other good friends also care for her and suggest she stay away from bi-fu, so she finally decides not to try it.