To conclude the hectic month of May, Monash Performing Arts Club (MPAC) hosted their annual Night of Drama on the 30th and 31st of May, the first time since campus reopened. Registration was done through google forms and was priced at only RM5 for students to enjoy a collection of five acts, each spanning around 15-minutes long respectively. The members of the club were separated into groups and given creative freedom to address the burning opinions they have about the world around them. And the result? A dramatic two-hour event filled with audible gasps, stifled giggles and even a loud “what the fuck” directed at plot twists from the audience.
Located at the student lounge dance studio, the intimate setting provided viewers with an immersive experience by granting a close-up view of the actors’ raw and emotional facial expressions. The subtle movements and shift in energy was also easier to detect due to the close seating arrangements to the flat stage. Although the small room was packed, it was still spacious enough to comfortably accommodate the attendees while still maintaining social distance.
The event officially started at around 7:15 p.m. after a brief warning regarding the elements of violence, addiction and self-harm that was present in some of the plays. MPAC members successfully demonstrated their skills in acting, directing and script writing by effortlessly introducing thought-provoking topics through their impeccable performances. The first play consisted of a heated argument between a wife and her cheating husband who was exploring his sexuality, each dialogue cleverly revealing more details about their background. The second act featured a forbidden love story between two highschool kids who introduce an expiration date to their relationship, the plot twist being that they were cousins all along (the crowd was shook at this one). The third play followed a symbolic representation of a troubled high-achieving student who was confronted by her neglected inner self. The fourth act embodied an abstract take on the experience of losing a loved one and how it could drive a person to insanity. The last act portrayed a toxic relationship and how the characters overcame their worst selves by being apart.
Despite the number of performances, it was not overwhelming as there was a 15-minute intermission after the first two plays to allow audiences to fully grasp the storylines and process the plot twists. And by the end of the event, the audience was buzzing with excitement and chatter, enthusiastically discussing the different plots amongst themselves. They also had the chance to take pictures and mingle with the performers after the show.
From the start, the intention of the event was to spark conversations which wouldn’t have otherwise happened. Judging from the impression it left on the audience, this event was definitely a success. One of the driving factors to the smooth event can be credited to the teamwork between members of the club. The seamless transitions from one scene to the next truly brought the performances to life. We certainly look forward to seeing more of MPAC and what they have in store for us in the future!
Article by Natasha Maya
Photos by Hanif Rafli