Have you heard of English Night, also known as EN? It is an annual event held by the Department of English Education during every fall semester. English Night is usually divided into two days. On the first night, there is a pop-con, which is an abbreviation for a pop song contest. Some students sing pop songs and there are also quizzes about English knowledge learned in their courses. On the following night, there is an English musical performed by students who are majoring in English education. This year, their musical was successively done, drawing a burst of applause from the audience.
At 7 p.m. on the 29th of September, English majors performed the musical Beauty and the Beast at the theater in the Student Center. The storyline of their musical was the same as the one from Disney’s famous animation, but they performed the show in their unique way. Freshmen acted as the cast and a few sophomore and junior students served in the directing team. Though the audience only could see the freshmen actors on the stage, the successful performance was possible thanks to many people’s endeavor in the directing team. Read on for the director of this year’s English Night, Kim Seong-mu’s responses.
Q. What did you consider to be the most important while preparing for the musical?
I tried to focus on making actors work side by side each other while acting. Exchanging their responses was much more important than just following the script and expressing the feeling of the characters.
Q. What was the hardest part of preparing the musical?
Directing actors to sing and dance was the most difficult thing for me. I couldn’t give them big-picture direction about those things, because I’m not as talented in those areas, which made me feel powerless. But many talented students helped each other, and in the end we got through it really well.
Q. In this EN, there was an unconventional stage set with the second floor. How did you get that idea and do it?
That kind of stage set was familiar to me because I have been a member of the school acting club. Specific space leads actors to do better acting and it makes the musical seemingly more professional and they can get the synergy effect. So, we used not only wood structures, but also a lot of stage lighting as we needed to separate the stage into three spaces: castle, town, and west wing. I think we used more lighting than any other club.
Q. You got attention because of the tears you showed on the stage after the musical. What made you cry?
First, I was exhausted by physical limitation and we were running out of time. Next, we prepared a lot, but the show was not going well as I thought. The actors were great, but they could not show all of their abilities because of many troubles like a microphone problem. It made me really sad. Lastly, I was so thankful to our members. That’s why I cried.
Q. Do you have anything to say to our readers?
For those who saw our show, I’m sorry that we could not show you everything that we prepared as we were not fully ready and had many mistakes. For those who did not join our performance, please come next year. As you read, we practice a lot and it’s a show full of passion. EN is worthy to watch.
The preparing process of English Night was done covering roughly 2 months, which is not quite enough time to make a high-quality musical. Students voted to choose the musical, considering the scale of the piece, the number of characters, and so on. During summer vacation, the main actors and the directing team stayed together in school for about ten days. The cast memorized their script, learned how to act well, and designed the big picture of the musical. When the semester started, they put much effort over many nights and days. Students gathered and practiced for 4 hours on weekdays and even about 10 hours on weekends! They made their own props and even their clothes. Some students hurt themselves while making them because of dangerous tools like a utility knife or hot glue gun. Meanwhile, the directing team directed them, made subtitles and did things related to the sound system. Just like the saying goes “Many a little makes a mickle,” effort of every single member made it possible to achieve a successful show.
On the other hand, some students said that the musical left much to be desired. For example, the show ran only for a day and even conflicted with some lecture times. Some pointed out the sound system troubles. After the musical, Lee Ka-young, a freshman majoring in early childhood education said, “Microphone didn’t work when the beast was singing in the last part and it made me disappointed.” Despite such problems, the audience showed positive reactions to the musical with full applause. Another student from the school online community praised them saying, “It was amazing to watch such a high-quality show in KNUE.” As they prepare a lot for their musical, you could be looking forward to their next musical in 2017. Way to go, English Night!
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