Learners at Asia Metropolitan International School (AMETIS) performed in the school’s first pantomime recently. The play was an adaptation of the Arabian Night’s classic, Aladdin. For most it was their first time on stage and in front of an audience which consisted of parents, relatives, friends and guests from two children’s homes – the Praise and Joyful Homes.
At AMETIS, the learners explore theatre, dance, speech, performance art, and ‘roles’ in everyday life from a global perspective. The staging of Aladdin in the form of a pantomime was no different.
Amy Crisp, the language and performing arts teacher, wrote the script. Taking into consideration the age range, language skills and abilities of the learners, the lines and parts were specially written to bring out the best in each learner. After the play, the learners and staff entertained the audience singing Christmas songs while playing the ukulele, which the children had been learning over the last few months as part of their music curriculum.
Principal Agalya Balaguru, in her welcoming speech, remarked that there were lessons to be learned from Aladdin. She reminded the children of the two moral messages. One is that it is best to be yourself. The other is about being grateful and showing gratitude. Aladdin, though awarded with a final wish due to his kindness, frees the genies in return for what they have done for him. “Wouldn’t it be nice if every one of us showed gratitude for the gifts and blessings we received?” asked Agalya.
The Christmas panto was more than just a play. It was an opportunity for the learners to reach out to their counterparts by hosting guests from the Praise and Joyful Homes. Two Santas made an appearance and handed out goody bags and ang pows to the children. The parents, staff and ‘friends’ of AMETIS sponsored the supper, presents and cash gifts.
AMETIS has a grand performing arts centre made up of an 800-capacity hall with a stage fully equipped with sound, lighting and projectors, three auditoriums, a music room, changing and waiting rooms. The panto was performed at the school’s Aquamarine Auditorium.