OASIZ - House Programme with English Translation of Chinese Lines

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Message from the Director of Student Affairs ....P. 1 Word from the Project Supervisor: .......................P. 2 Journey towards Music Theatre, starting from OASIZ Creating Haven in Theatre: .................................P. 3-6 Tuning into the Utopian Call in OASIZ Words from the Director .........................................P. 7 Words from the Composer ......................................P. 8 Synopsis and Scenes ...............................................P. 9 Crew’s Sharing ................................................. P. 10-21 Lyrics.................................................................. P. 22-25 Crew List


MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF STUDENT AFFAIRS The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion. It is one of the missions of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to create a culturally inclusive and welcoming campus for a community with multiple backgrounds and values. The Multi-cultural Music Theatre Project is under the umbrella of the cultural diversity programmes coordinated by OSA. Being the very first music theatre related programme offered by the OSA, this project acted as a golden opportunity to connect a group of CUHK students from diverse backgrounds to work together, as well as to explore the issue of cultural diversity and inclusion, and thus promote it through a performance. After attending a 15-class music theatre workshop guided by Dr. Law Miu Lan, a theatre scholar as well as a CUHK alumna, the students have utilised their creativity and talent to bring this original show to life - from script writing to music composition, choreography, designs and acting. During their preparation, Dr. Law and the students have overcome formidable challenges including the fifth wave of COVID outbreak in Hong Kong. Though most of the classes and meetings were forced to be held in online mode, they have defeated every single obstacle and put up a splendid performance. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the students, whose talents and commitment are truly impressive. My gratitude also goes to Dr. Law, without whom this project could never have been actualised. Agnes HO

Multi-cultural Music Theatre Performance – OASIZ | 1


Journey towards Music Theatre, starting from OASIZ No matter whether it is opera, musical or Cantonese opera (粵劇), music theatre is always a beloved performing art form among different cultures in the world, so it is not surprising that there were overwhelming responses from students who wanted to engage themselves in this multi-cultural music theatre project. Because of limited resources, a group of selected 35 undergraduate and postgraduate students, originating from eight different countries and regions, and majoring in 26 different disciplines across seven faculties of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, started their journey in exploring and creating their music theatre three months ago. Thanks for the sharing and teaching by experienced professionals, including Dr. Yatyau, Mr. Stoa Lau, Ms. Shirley Chow and Mr. Eddy Law, who have enabled the students to gain a brief knowledge and develop some elementary skills in scriptwriting, music/song composition, singing as well as sound and lighting operation. Together with the learning from my humble knowledge on the concept of music theatre, dramaturgy and acting, this group of talented students, divided into creative, onstage and backstage team respectively, started creating a music theatre production on the theme of cultural diversity and inclusion. Collaboration is the hallmark of this production, even before the phase of staging. Among the three proposals, the story of the performance was voted by the majority of students, which transcended the practice of entrusting a single playwright by presenters/producers, and the plot was further developed by a team of four members, working on playwriting and dramaturgy. Similarly, song composition and choreography were created through team collaboration in the way that the composers, lyricists, choreographers and dancers continuously worked in togetherness, unfolding collective creativity. During collaboration, differences in cultural tastes and artistic judgements were revealed among this group of students from diverse backgrounds. Theatre is always a venue of experiment, where conflicts of different cultural values can be fortunately envisioned and solved. Music theatre, as a live and skillful art form, also enables these students of generation Z, who have grown up in an instant sharing culture via digital media, to realise what ‘live-artistic’ means to them! Nevertheless, through collaboration in creating, producing and presenting the performance, students’ projections are portrayed in OASIZ and their reflections on life experiences, art, culture and society are published in the house programme. In the review written by the dramaturge, the performance is interpreted as a Gen Z’s ideological call and utopian response to the problems in our society. Adding to it, social aesthetics of activism can come into play through the launching of this music theatre project in the university community. Special thanks have to be addressed to my dear old university classmate, Ms. Wendy Lou of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), who participated with me in the theatre productions organised by Shaw Drama Society in the 1990s. Without the generous support from OSA, OASIZ would not have come true and alive. Starting from OASIZ, let us wish the students of this project will continue journeys in making music theatre, as well as reflect on life, cultures, societies and the world! Dr. LAW Miu Lan 2 | Multi-cultural Music Theatre Performance – OASIZ

C R E AT I N G H AV E N I N T H E AT R E: TUNING INTO THE UTOPIAN CALL IN OASIZ Michelle YAU Ming Suet (Dramaturge/Playwright/ Costume Crew) Chung Chi College Undergraduate Year 2 in Social Work Hong Kong The first student-led English multicultural music theatre performance on campus – OASIZ presents cultural conflicts and diversity issues that have long been triggering a group of multiracial student creators of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The performance showcases five lost millennials from different ethnicities who are affected by the loss of a loved one due to the COVID-19 pandemic and by the ongoing stigmatisation of the cultural hegemonic ideologies. They go through ups and downs in both their relationships and journey to pursue their dreams. A localised music theatre creation

Inspired by the Broadway rock musical Rent (1993), OASIZ, a music theatre creation, was born through a collaboration among a group of talented students who composed songs, wrote scripts and lyrics, as well as developed choreography and designed staging.

OASIZ explores the issues of multi-culturalism, racism, LGBTQ culture, work culture and regional culture by juxtaposing the local meritocratic characters with non-Chinese ethnic minorities. In addition, this music theatre project depicts some trivial problems which the vulnerable encounters every day in a shared flat and the workplace. The inclusion of lines in different languages, as well as incidents of discrimination within a dramatic context, exemplify a sense of realism. Multi-cultural Music Theatre Performance – OASIZ | 3

Contextualising the city’s landscape OASIZ has made a contextual shift and localised its stage to the ethnically and socially diverse Hong Kong neighbourhood. The socio-historical background against which the action is set, the COVID-19 outbreak in the early 2020s and the influx of new immigrants from across the globe, not only informed the creation of the music theatre piece but also are fundamental to understanding the defiant struggle of the protagonists. Subdivided flats in where the play mainly situated, are no strangers to this geographically densely packed city. More than 90,000 households are living in subdivided flats, according to data from the authorities in 2021. The housing issue is one of the difficulties faced by dream chasers who have left their hometowns. The protagonists who are trapped under the same roof have no choice but to understand and support their devastatingly relatable flatmates when external oppressions arise. Among the protagonists, the seemingly fortunate Oda represents the so-called “Kong-girl” (港 女) on a broader scale who is independent, materialistic, and sometimes self-centred, auditing people by their financial status and family background. Though snobbish, she too is struggling between pursuing dreams and settling down in this expensive city. She is not a rare case in the poor population with high education qualification. As figures show that the average monthly income of aged 20 to 24 with a bachelor’s degree is $18,000 in 2019, which is less than the median monthly employment income of Hong Kong people. The girl from Malaysia, Serene, is deliberately employed to create a sharp contrast with Oda. Both of them grew up in a multi-cultural society. However, Serene is relatively more tolerant and kind to others in difficult times even though she suffers from a serious illness. In addition, she shows tenacious vitality with dance, adding colour to this sad realistic theatre. 4 | Multi-cultural Music Theatre Performance – OASIZ

This play also unveils the facade of the community, revealing how it treats those marginalised by adding a sexual minority Ace. Today, there is hardly anyone who has not at least heard of LGBTQ+ with loads of promotion and movement on social media. Nonetheless, more exposure is not a panacea to everything. Hong Kong neither recognises same-sex marriage nor has legal protection over the sexual minority community against discrimination, with taboos and stereotypes derived from homophobia and transphobia still existing in daily lives.

Despite the fact that Hong Kong is an international city, the traditional Chinese cultural influence is everywhere. Traditional gender concepts are still deeply rooted in some of the townspeople’s mindsets. In the bustling nightlife hub, we could see drag queens performing in 6-inch heels, exaggerated make-up and costumes, featuring high energy choreography and lip syncing. This female impersonation artistry is gaining momentum with more appearances at mainstream events though it is not widely accepted and normalised by the public. Perhaps it is due to the lack of representation in mass media. This play boldly captures some of the perceptions toward drag queen Zero and allows the characters to speak for themselves. Chinese culture also affects the vibrant city’s value on ethnic minorities. Commonly shared struggles of the ethnic minorities in the city are racial bias, language barriers, and narrow recruitment pools, to name but a few. In a 2021 survey by the Equal Opportunities Commission, 51.5 % of the respondents considered racial discrimination to be prevalent. There were about 263,000 ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, or about 3.8% of the population, per data in 2019. Therefore, finding a way to get along with them is indeed the top priority of this Asia’s World City. This music theatre project successfully acts as a mirror to reflect what is happening by portraying the experience of Imran. Multi-cultural Music Theatre Performance – OASIZ | 5

With every minute of OASIZ energised by realistic and dramatised pain, the creative team wisely adopts intricately woven songs to evoke atmosphere and emotions beyond the spoken words. The well-conceived set of instrumental parts includes piano, sheng and violin. The ranges overall are not extreme, and each voice part is comfortable over the medley. The score, which is more atmospheric or narrative than dramatic, is influenced by diverse pop music and some movie theme songs, gently leading the audience to listen to the voices of the city’s invisibles.

An ideological and romantic call from the Generation Z This is not to say that OASIZ is without its flaws, but it is clear that this project is a work of true originality masterminded by a company of young creatives, who passionately express their intention to write of a world, in which love transcends race, religion, sexual orientation, and even death. Indeed, they have created a theatrical event which engages their fellow schoolmates and theatre goers who can, at last, identify with the characters, stories, and music. The appearance of the idyllic community is perhaps a utopian response in capitalist terms to the problems posed by society, as well as a message of hope that these green theatre-makers wish to deliver to their audience, who support their first show.

Reference Census and Statistics Department. (2020, December). Hong Kong Poverty Situation Report 2019.https://www.povertyrelief.gov.hk/eng/ pdf/Hong_Kong_Poverty_Situation_Report_2019.pdf Census and Statistics Department. (2021, November 10). Hong Kong Poverty Situation Report 2020. https://www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/ data/stat_report/product/B9XX0005/att/B9XX0005E2020AN20E0100.pdf Equal Opportunities Commission. (2021, November). Equal Opportunities Awareness Survey 2021. https://www.eoc.org.hk/Upload/files/ research-report/EO-Awareness2021_Report-Eng_3Nov2021_clean.pdf

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LAM Tsz Ho (Director/Music Director/ Composer) Morningside College Undergraduate Year 1 in Medicine Hong Kong

“Even from its very conception, to say this project was ambitious would be an understatement. A creating and rehearsing process that would usually take months, even years, was bullishly condensed into a timeline that would span over only several weeks, against the backdrop of the unpredictable local COVID situation. In this short period of time, there was a spectrum of ideas that the team wished to cover under the umbrella discourses of representation, prejudices, and multiculturalism. Therefore, one of the greatest challenges I think that we all faced was how to interpret the narrative identity of the story and which key aspects of these themes we wanted to express the most. In the end, it was a really unique and rewarding experience to collaborate and be surrounded by such talented individuals, with everyone bringing a different perspective to the creative process yet united in commitment to presenting a great show.

I hope the audience will find as much value after viewing the musical as I have had in directing and working on this show alongside my peers.” Multi-cultural Music Theatre Performance – OASIZ | 7


Vincent CHENG Kak Chi (Composer/ Music Director/ Musician~Piano) New Asia College Undergraduate Year 1 in Quantitative Finance and Risk Management Science Hong Kong

“It is amazing to be able to participate in this music theatre project. The best part is probably being able to collaborate with other members of the team, playwrights, dramaturge, choreographers, actors, other composers etc. Looking back at the piles of drafts and many hours of meetings and practice, I believe everyone has put in so much effort to make this performance a reality. In this project, I composed the music of three original songs and assisted in the composition of two other songs. Without extensive training in music composition, we pretty much had to learn everything on the spot. A fascinating thing I observed is that most time was not spent in front of a piano brainstorming but reading the script and trying to take the perspective of the characters. Each character in the story has their own struggles and personalities and it is truly not easy to take all that into account. When creating the performance, we cannot help but ask ourselves why a character should suddenly burst into a song. While it may seem silly and preposterous, I believe it is precisely its absurdity that allowed us to explore controversial subjects in the story, such as discrimination, personal struggles, and sexual orientation. By having songs and dances intertwined with the plot, it clearly shows that the performance is just an act, and I believe this helps us distance ourselves from the story and be more comfortable discussing such topics. When I enrolled in this project, I certainly had not expected so many things: the opportunity to work with so many talented people, the creative ideas in the script and music, and of course the time scrambles and panics in the last week of rehearsals. I hope that our efforts can make the performance more enjoyable and

hopefully leave you with something to ponder after the show.” 8 | Multi-cultural Music Theatre Performance – OASIZ

SYNOPSIS AND SCENES How many colours are truly allowed to shine in this globalised city? Differences collide among five young people from diverse backgrounds in a shared apartment, but voices are heard by each other for the first time. How would they choose to survive in such an urban desert? Scenes: Scene 1

– Same roof, same misfortune

Scene 2

– The muse-seek journey begins

Scene 3

– All on board

Scene 4

– When water meets oil

Scene 5

– You hung the moon!

Scene 6

– The silent victim

Scene 7

– Find your tongue

Scene 8

– Shines like a Queen

Scene 9

– Turn over a new chapter

Scene 10 – In deep water Scene 11 – Kiss this cruel world goodbye Scene 12 – Rise from the ashes Scene 13 – Showing our true colours Scene 14 – Oasiz

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am very thankful to the Office of Students Affairs for the opportunity to be part of the multi-cultural music theatre project. Throughout this project I have met some talented and good people who always think out of the box. It’s true that we have created some ugly standards to judge people by their race, wealth or religion. We have forgotten to be human and consider human beings as human beings. It’s always hard to create change unless you’re welcome to share the same space as a minority group!

Masruck ALAM Ashik (Actor~Imran)

PhD Year 1 in Biomedical Engineering Bangladesh


have had a dream on theatre and arts since an early age, so I feel lucky to join the project! Maybe this is the rediscovery of and the first step to my childhood dream.

Annie BU Andong (Set Assistant)

Postgraduate Year 1 in Journalism Mainland China

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am really grateful for being part of the project. From the weekly classes at the beginning, I have learnt the different formats of musicals and how to create our own one. Since rehearsal started, it has become more interesting. The rehearsal time was like a small musical with a lot of fun. Moreover, I was able to learn how to control lighting etc. The whole experience has enriched my life in the entire semester.

Steven CHEN Yu Jen (Actor-Ace’s Dad)

Chung Chi/Undergraduate Year 4 in Economics Taiwan


orking with Dr. Law and every other music theatre enthusiast has been inspiring. I was in awe at the original music pieces and play script created in such a short period of time and how they have connected students across cultures almost immediately. The amount of talent and effort put cannot go unnoticed. It’s safe to say that everyone is proud of being part of this student project.

Arian CHEUNG Hoi Lam (Media Designer)

PgD Year 1 in Education Hong Kong

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s a backstage team member involved in make-up and lighting design, I pretty often faced the fact that I was not an expert in these fields. But everything went a lot more smoothly when my passionate teammates were willing to rack their brain with me. It is always a joy to collaborate with people towards the same goal wholeheartedly. I am happy to be part of such a fun, motivated and meaningful project that is dedicated to promoting multi-cultural diversity and inclusion.

Linda CHIU Ka Tsam

(Make-up Designer/ Light Assistant) Shaw/Undergraduate Year 2 in Nursing Hong Kong


eing a light assistant in this music theatre project was really an unforgettable experience for me. I did not have any backstage experience so it was quite shocking when I knew that we did not only need to control lighting on stage but also do lighting design. I am thankful for this opportunity for me to explore more and learn something different from my major lectures.

Serena CHONG Sze Ping (Light Assistant)

Chung Chi/Undergraduate Year 3 in IBBA Hong Kong

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If they don’t see us as anything but monsters, then, be the most stunning monster they’ve ever seen.” - Ace Remember. Everyone is unique, and beautiful. It is really fun to cooperate with buddies from different parts of the world in a music theatre production! This is my first time working in a multi-cultural team, it is challenging but at the same time rewarding as we started on a blank sheet and now it is time to put it on stage! Hope you will enjoy the performance! :D

Alex FUNG Lok Fung (Actor-Ace)

Undergraduate Year 3 in Journalism and Communication Hong Kong


y first reaction to the theme of the musical was, ‘wow, this is going to be a hard one to do,’ especially the drag queen character - Zero. I did not really want to play Zero at first because it was a challenging character to play. But when I finally landed the character, I was scared and excited at the same time - it was my first musical, and I had to play someone who is extravagant and glamourous. It was certainly a challenge. I had to remove all of the concepts of myself and put Zero on the show. I had a fun time playing him and acting with my fellow actors and actresses. The meaning of this performance is really deep, and I love it! It brings down the stigmas, the insults, and the stereotypes in our current world.

Justin Keane HANOV (Actor~Zero)

New Asia College Undergraduate Year 1 in IBBA Indonesia

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t was awesome to work on the project with many wonderful peers. I made a lot of friends and we had so much fun when working together. Without their efforts, the project could not be such a success. Great thanks to the creative team for composing the songs, writing the script and choreographing the dance movements. They worked hard to be creative, and at the same time were open to everyone’s opinions in order to make the production better. I would also like to thank the backstage team, for all the stuff that made the show impressive to the audience, be it lighting, costume design, stage management. Thank you onstage team members as well. I remember those times we practiced together till late at night, memorised the movements, the script, and trying to be the character. Last but not least, Katie KWOK Tsz Yin great thanks to Dr. Law, our supervisor. She gave (Musician-Violin/Actress-The Woman/ us many professional opinions so that we could Phone Voice 1) improve. This is an unforgettable experience that Chung Chi/Undergraduate Year 1 in Engineering I will smile at whenever I look back in the future. Hong Kong


his is an amazing opportunity for me to engage in this project. Throughout the process in these few months, not only could I expose myself to a widened horizon on multi-dimensional music theatre knowledge, but also meet new friends with different backgrounds and cultures but share similar interests. This is my first onstage acting performance and I am lucky to play one of the main characters. Trying our best to unleash creativity, collaborating with different team members, paying extra effort in learning and practicing days and nights consecutively, I could feel everyone’s passion for making this performance a reality. In this project, I played a double-role as a movement designer cum choreographer, apart from an onstage performer. This was a challenging task to organise a mass dance for people with various dancing experience. I was honoured when everyone put trust in me. I could feel a sense of satisfaction when seeing my ideas and imagination happen with a message behind. In this musical, I play Serene, a Malaysian dancer diagnosed with breast cancer. I fell in love with this character once I knew her background because we shared the same interest in dancing as well as the optimistic personality. I really hope to portray this character well so as to inspire those who are suffering in life. Another unforgettable

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Laura LAU Wing Lam

(Actress~Serene/Choreographer) Postgraduate Year 1 in Linguistics Hong Kong moment is the planning of movements in the song ‘Light of Hope’. I want to reveal Serene’s inner emotions when she recalls memories of fighting between illness and brightness at the same time. By incorporating another dancer to portray her two different sides, this is interesting to show a gradual change from frustration to hopefulness within one part of the dance.


fter several months of organisation and planning, I have met many talented students here. Our preparation time was very short. In such a short time, the creative team had to sort out the script, design the plot according to the actors’ characteristics, and write lyrics and compose music, which opened my eyes; the actors also needed to memorise their lines. Everyone involved in this project may not have much relevant experience. However, this project provided guidance and sharing from many professionals, so that we could know more about the performing arts in many different fields. I learned about stage design in a course last summer, which covered scenes, choreography and the use of lighting. I stepped out of the comfort zone to try lighting design, which was a bigger challenge than I had thought, because I had to know the actors’ blocking and the lighting conditions on the spot before I could gradually complete the lighting design, not only to realise the undertaking of scenes and plots, but also to support the actors’ emotions. I’m glad to participate in this project. Everyone has put in a lot of time and efforts, and I’m really looking forward to the final performance.

Vero LI

(Lighting Designer) Postgraduate Year 2 in Architecture Hong Kong

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feel honoured for having this valuable opportunity to take part in this project and working with some talented and dedicated teammates, and collaboratively producing the show to make our summer break more meaningful. Simple yet amazing, my duty is to control all the sound effects and cues to sync with the performance on stage, which does not require complicated skills but my high concentration to facilitate the smoothness of the show. I hope all the performers and our audience will enjoy the show!

Johnny LIANG Chung Yat (Sound Assistant)

United/Undergraduate Year 1 in Social Science (Broad-based) Hong Kong


his is my first time joining a music theatre production, where we can incorporate music and dance into a performance. I have learnt a lot about the differences between a drama and a musical, no matter whether in terms of acting or cooperation. It is a much bigger production, with roles like the musical directors and choreographers, which require much more cooperation and adjustments. Although it might be challenging at times, it is a very pleasant and awarding experience.

Throughout the project, I have also met participants from diverse regions and cultural backgrounds, and I have definitely learnt a lot about different cultures that I had no chance to come across in daily life. Our experience of exchanging cultural thoughts is also very rewarding, and I feel like I have learnt more about the impression of people from other countries towards Hong Kong.

Carolyn LIU Ching Yin (Actress~Oda)

Chung Chi College Undergraduate Year 3 in English Hong Kong

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t’s a great honour for me to join this project. Since I have fallen in love with musicals for several years, I was always looking forward to opportunities to join the production of a musical to better know backstage work. During the project, I realised that creating an attractive script was not an easy task for scriptwriters, especially when there was no inspiration. Moreover, I have learned a lot from the preparation meetings. Joining the project allows me to know how difficult and complicated it is to produce a music theatre performance and how important teamwork is.

Ellie LIU Chunya (Sound Assistant)

Postgraduate Year 1 in Chinese Studies Mainland China


was very happy to physically meet the fellow students from diverse cultural backgrounds during this online teaching period. This project gave full scope to our creativity which made this musical project fantastic! Although I have joined the team for a short time, I could always feel everyone’s enthusiasm for our project every time we met and rehearsed.

Vivian LU Yilan

(Sound Designer) United/Undergraduate Year 4 in History Hong Kong

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s one of the librettists, I was involved in the project quite early on. We had relatively less limitations when creating, so we went pretty wild with the script. We genuinely did not consider the staging or the costumes or whether it’s easy for the actors to memorise the words, especially not when the time allowed for us to write was so short. But during the rehearsals and production meetings, we really see the backstage team and the onstage team rack their brains to make this whole performance happen. There were things I wrote and thought were completely impossible to do, and they asked us to amend, but they still managed to pull together and even gave us some advice. It truly shows that collective efforts and coming together to think of solutions are very powerful in the face of a problem. The backstage team is very overworked and the onstage team had to practise for very long hours. They all deserve a lot, a LOT of appreciation! And of course, the creative team as well. As the lyricist, I must say I think the songs are absolutely stunning. Writing lyrics is like having inspiration constipation, but it was not painful because listening to the songs was really enjoyable. Big kudos to the composers for that! The dramaturges helped us out a whole lot on making the story smooth, believable and meaningful. I just cannot thank them enough! The director and assistant directors managed so many things for us, like planning out all the details in advance and answering a lot of our questions. We would have fallen apart without their lead. Writing with my fellow librettists was a truly valuable experience. We clearly differed in a preferred genre, so it was inspiring to see them write a scene I would definitely not be able to come up with. Also, they wrote almost all of the script when I was busy with the lyrics. They’re really amazing! Being in this project with everyone has been very fun so far! I only wished we had more time to work together face to face so that we could have more opportunities to get to know each other better. Here’s hoping that our production turns out to be every bit as fantastic as all of you!

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Cherie MA Cheuk Wai (Lyricist/Playwright/ Actress~Ace’s Sister)

New Asia College Undergraduate Year 1 in English Hong Kong


enjoyed working with Dr. Law, the other choreographer Laura and the rest of the class. We watched many dancing movements from internationally well-known musicals, such as Chicago and were inspired by those pieces. I have learnt a lot from this unforgettable experience.

Alice MIN Zibei (Choreographer)

Postgraduate Year 1 in Translation Mainland China


am glad that I decided and was given a chance to be part of this project. Being an international student from Shan ethnicity in Myanmar, this multi-cultural music theatre project is something that reflects my identity. Moreover, OASIZ makes me realise different norms of varied cultures and also value diversity more. I was afraid that I would not be able to do well as I almost have no experience in performing or acting. But with the workshops and supports from Dr. Law and other members, I have the motivations to try my best in my role. I would like to thank Dr. Law, staff of the Office of Student Affairs and also every crew member for helping me and making this music theatre performance happen. I believe this project will be one of the best memories during my university life.

Nang Sam Si PHONG

(Actress~Female Customer/ Dancer~Serene) S.H. Ho College Undergraduate Year 1 in Public Health Myanmar

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t is my pleasure to join this multi-cultural music theatre performance - OASIZ. The workshop offered by OSA was very useful and equipped me with different theatre knowledge. Being a first-time dad, I’d like to dedicate my performance to my 3-month-old daughter, Amelia. Enjoy the show!

Tony SO Lok Pui

(Assistant Director/Actor-Oda’s Dad/ Musician-Sheng) Postgraduate Year 2 in Education (Educational Psychology) Hong Kong


eing part of the music theatre project is like an adventure. As a PhD student in medical school, I never imagined I would be able to do something unrelated to science or medicine. As a layman without any experience in performing arts, I never imagined I would work in two different positions - production manager and costume designer. I still remembered that in the first lesson I chose to work as a production manager because I thought I was good at managing money, and in the first production meeting, I chose to work as a costume designer because I like shopping. The reasons drove me to work as a part of the project seem to be ridiculous, but they made me realise that we just need some stupid reasons to do something different and something big. Working with people from different backgrounds is also an amazing experience for me. I could feel that I was also gradually unlocking my hidden talents, especially when I was working with them in costume design!

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Claire YANG Tongxin

(Production Manager/Costume Designer) PhD Year 1 in Chemical Pathology Mainland China


am very privileged to be part of this project. This is no doubt a precious opportunity to work with my fellow schoolmates and beloved alumni from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. What is even more valuable is to discover that there are many talented students on campus. I am glad to meet friends who love drama and are willing to contribute to this project together, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated. Witnessing the process of ‘poiesis’ which brings something into being that did not exist before is amazing, and that encourages me to continue to develop my work. Frankly, this is the first time I involved in theatre production, and it is also my first time taking up the role of a dramaturge. In the beginning, I found it difficult and didn’t know how to perform this role.

Michelle YAU Ming Suet (Dramaturge/Playwright/ Costume Crew)

To be a good dramaturge is not easy. One shall support Chung Chi College and challenge at a proper time, in a proper way but Undergraduate Year 2 in Social Work watching and listening well is already an art in itself. Hong Kong Knowing when to intervene and when to remain silent and leave the company to make gradually the discovery through a journey of trial and error requires both professionalism and artistic sensibility. Taking up a completely new role though, I found that the goal of a dramaturge to help creators (or people) to get as near to achieving their full potential as possible is surprisingly aligned with my mission to be a social worker. This is perhaps an unexpected gift for me in the project and I look forward to experiencing more with theatre in the future.

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LY R I C S SONG 1 – AM I FREE? (Composed and lyrics by Jessica)

Oda’s dad: When will you learn? You are wasting time Just be a doctor like you should be Oda: Can’t I lead a life true to myself That’s shining and bright and all I would like Oda’s dad: Wake up you’re just dreaming on a cloud Fall back on the ground And get a real job Oda: Just let me do what I love Oda’s dad: Grow up and see money’s worth more Ace’s sister: Big brother you know you’re such a creep At your age, don’t you know? Everyone has a girl Ace: Please stop changing who I am attracted to Ace dad: 兒子應該為家裡着想 (Translation: A son should be considerate to the family’s need) Oda & Ace: You are the ones Stop me from living A life that’s true and worth our time Oda’s dad: What’s the point playing around She’s better off climbing high in society

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Ace’s sister: Some bad big brother he is Don’t think of the family Put shame on our name Oda & Ace: They tell me what I should do But deep down inside my heart Am I free? How can I be strong enough? Just so I’m honest with me And be who I am

I flew alone and saw more than what they see I can’t go back, be caged and cry on my knees Maybe it’s hard and even now I feel at a loss I only wish for someone to understand

SONG 2 – HEARD (Composed by Tsz Ho, lyrics by Cherie)

Serene: I miss them all All that I love at home I left for my dancing dream to come here My strength, my friends they all here with me until there’s breast cancer in my life Chemotherapy after the surgery was best But what’s lost is lost Who wants a girl with such disease? So I’ll stay back here till it all gets better Good things come to those who believe Zero: So you too Suffer from biases Being judged by what you look like outside I would know it too Question to the world What’s so wrong with not dressing like men?

Back at home I felt At least they would let us live But here in this town Walk away before a glance But I’ll never stop standing on stage to perform Good things come to those who keep on to fight Serene + Zero: Now I see in this global city there are still lots of problems Never thought I’d encounter someone to share them with Taking this chance since I’m staying, kinda stuck here with you anyway Why sit apart when we can open our hearts? Oda: But I don’t have troubles as big as yours Ace: We all go through something big or small For me it’s ‘cause of my family Deny me if I say I am gay Social norms to keep Never expect they’d change for me Oda: Maybe I’m the same They don’t respect my choice, my dream Oda + Ace: Usually I hide all this deep down in my heart Serene + Zero: But there’s still some room for a change Imran: And I always say not a word during the day No one cares, no one hears, so no one will understand Serene: Hold on, you can talk?

Imran: Always could But I was just so afraid I have had enough with judging eyes I don’t belong in this big city anyway I just zip my lips I wouldn’t bore them with my song Zero: So you carried on with your own words, not theirs Ace: Stay away then they can’t make it hurt Everyone except Imran: But you are here to be heard Everyone: Let them know in this global city there are still lots of problems Never thought I’d encounter someone to share them with Taking this chance since I’m staying, kinda stuck here with you anyway Why sit apart when we can open our hearts? Now I see in this room we share more than we could’ve imagined From different places but life has come to screw us all Maybe should’ve started with something a little more positive But why should we if this is what we feel inside? From now let’s all just turn our backs to judging eyes Imran: Maybe with you I could share what I feel inside

SONG 3 – SPOTLIGHT’S ON YOU (Composed by Vincent, lyrics by Cherie)

Ace: Hey I know what it feels like Try hiding in broad daylight Multi-cultural Music Theatre Performance – OASIZ | 23

But turn their backs on you They’ll miss out the show You are the start of something Zero: It’s small and yet to be seen Ace: We can still hope If you stay who you are Crowd: Tonight is Halloween night Let’s go and party alright! When everyone’s in disguise Bring yourself to the light Tonight we are all monsters Hide faces under the mask Rise from the grave and tell them you won’t stay down Serene + Imran: You are not alone We’ve felt it too The way the world threw us out because They have never tried So never seen The shining stars right under their nose Crowd: So what if we are monsters Tonight we’re in centre stage Now they’re paying attention Bring their eyes to your light Everyone is a monster Everyone is imperfect Come out, come out from the dark You are who you are Crowd: Spotlight’s on you On the stage Who cares what you are just shine all you want Standing tall Who cares who is hiding now We won’t ever know

24 | Multi-cultural Music Theatre Performance – OASIZ

Ace: We are like everyone We are so different though But who would know if everyone has secrets to conceal? Then what is wrong with us Is wrong with all the world So turn it upside down Tonight we are in the right Crowd: Spotlight’s on you On the stage Who cares what you are just shine all you want Standing tall Now your chance to show them all Now all eyes’ on you Zero: So this is it Now they see All of me Just tonight But when morning comes Who is still here? Can’t change the world But with you here I can go on And tonight rest well

SONG 4 – LIGHT OF HOPE (Composed by Vincent, lyrics by Cherie)

Serene: You are afraid And nothing we say’d make it go away But we are here And here we see you as you always were You are strong Zero: All is gone (overlap with previous) Just when I thought I’ve got a chance So everyone sees who I am

Serene: I still do For us your beauty always stays the same

Lying here, nothing done All the pain, I’ve been through But your heart doesn’t stop Unless you give it up Lying here, nothing done All the pain, I’ve been through But your heart doesn’t stop Unless you give it up In my darkest I found you all here Don’t close your eyes just look at me Serene + Zero: I see a light of hope your eyes adorn I see a fire burning through the storm You are still shining, guiding although we are apart Hanging on, don’t ever stop

Ace: Perhaps everyone has beliefs they can’t concede Stay in your little world keep you safe Imran: Much fear, much hate to deal with so Everyone: Take time, take risks, take steps Footsteps never stop going forth Crossing paths will always crash hard But the pain will stay So at least I’ll listen when you would grumble ‘Cause we somewhat somehow someday Talking, living in the same place Isn’t that enough? For a start A tiny journey with me (x 4)

Everyone: We see a light of hope your life adorn We see you burn from the start to days go on Zero: Then for the last time keep the flame alive in your hearts And in place of me It stays with you

SONG 5 – STEPS (Composed by Vincent, lyrics by Cherie)

Oda: From here we started outright in shambles From there we sang and we tried to understand Serene: Our roots are not the same It’s hard to see, to change me

Multi-cultural Music Theatre Performance – OASIZ | 25

CREW LIST Masruck ALAM Ashik (Actor~Imran) /PG /BMEG

Carolyn LIU Ching Yin (Actress~Oda) /CC /ENGE

Annie BU Andong (Set Assistant) /PG /JOUR

Ellie LIU Chunya (Sound Assistant) /PG /CHST

Caryn CALLISTA (Dancer~Serene/Phone Voice 2) /SHHO /BSCI

Vivian LU Yilan (Sound Designer) /UC /HIST

Penny CHAU Pui Yee (Set Crew) /NA /CULS

Cherie MA Cheuk Wai (Lyricist/Playwright/ Actress~Ace’s Sister) /NA /ENGE

Steven CHEN Yu Jen (Actor~Ace’s Dad) /CC /ECON

MAK Ka Yu (Set Crew) /SC /MEDU

Vincent CHENG Kak Chi (Composer/ Music Director/Musician~Piano) /NA /QFRM

Alice MIN Zibei (Choreographer) /PG /TRAN

Arian CHEUNG Hoi Lam (Media Designer) /PG / PGDE Linda CHIU Ka Tsam (Make-up Designer/ Light Assistant) /SC /NURS

Airlangga Prema PERWIRA (Set Crew) /SC / BERG Nang Sam Si PHONG (Actress~Female Customer/ Dancer~Serene) /SHHO /PHPC

Serena CHONG Sze Ping (Light Assistant) /CC /IBBA

Tony SO Lok Pui (Assistant Director/Actor~Oda’s Dad/Musician~Sheng) /PG /PEDU

Echo DU Shihong (Playwright) /PG /TRAN

SO Tsz Wai (Costume Designer) /UC /BIOL

Alex FUNG Lok Fung (Actor~Ace) /SC /COMM

Rebecca TAM Jia Huey (Make-up Assistant/ Costume Crew) /NA /BMSC

Justin Keane HANOV (Actor~Zero) /NA /IBBA Richard Keane HARTONO (Set Crew) /UC /FTEC Kara KONG Kei (Stage Manager) /WYS /IASP Katie KWOK Tsz Yin (Musician~Violin/ Actress-The Woman/Phone Voice 1) /CC /BERG Evelyn LAM Kam Yan (Assistant Director/ Set Designer) /CC /ELED LAM Tsz Ho (Director/Music Director/Composer) /MC /MEDU Laura LAU Wing Lam (Actress~Serene/ Choreographer) /PG /LING Vero LI (Light Designer) /PG /ARCH Johnny LIANG Chung Yat (Sound Assistant) /UC /BSSC Yoyo LIE Yung Chui (Props Designer/Set Crew) / NA /NURS

Nicole TAM Yat Tung (Costume Assistant) /LWS /TRAN Shalina Alisha TELAGA (Make-up Assistant/ Costume Crew) /SC /BMSC Eric XU Erxi (Dramaturge) /PG /MGNT Jessica YANG Jiaqi (Composer/Lyricist/ Assistant Music Director/Costume Crew) /PG / TRAN Claire YANG Tongxin (Production Manager/ Costume Designer) /PG /CHPY Eva YANG Yixin (Teaching Assistant ~ Stage Management) /PG /ANTH Michelle YAU Ming Suet (Dramaturge/Playwright/Costume Crew) /CC /SOWK

OASIZ - English translation of Chinese lines Scene 1 Cold call 1: 喂靚女你好啊,有冇興趣聽吓我哋公司嘅投資計劃啊? 你知啦,咁嘅時勢, 多個錢傍身⋯⋯(Hi pretty, are you interested in our investment plan? Do you want to make more money? You know, during uncertain times…) Oda: 唔駛喇,我好忙㗎。係咁先啦。(Not really. Well, I’m quite busy right now. Bye.) Cold call 2: Hey, do you need plastic surgery? Changing your face can... Oda: I’m sure I don’t need any, bye. Oda: 乜料啊?想點啊你又?(Jesus! What! What else do you want?) Oda’s dad: Oda,你而家咩態度啊?(Oda, what’s with the attitude?) Oda: Daddy? 係你啊?sorry, 哦,冇⋯冇嘢啊。你打畀我有咩事啊?(Dad, it’s you! It’s...nothing. But why are you calling me, dad?) Oda’s dad: 開 camera啦,想見下你。(Turn on the camera. I want to see you.) 近排有幾個人call我,問我「Hey are you renting out rooms? 」 你知唔知咩事啊? (People have been calling me and asking if I'm renting out rooms. Do you know what's going on?) Oda: What!? I didn’t rent out... 啊,唔係。 (Wait, no.) I'm sure those are just scam calls, dad, don’t... [singing] Ace: Ahaha... sorry to interrupt but 喂,老爸,找我啥事兒啊? 你們最近身體咋樣呀? (Hi, Dad, what’s up? How’re you doing?) Ace’s dad: 你給我閉嘴,少來這套忽悠我!(Shut up! Don’t you dare fool me again.) Ace: 發生甚麼事了嗎? 家裡還好嗎? (What’s wrong? Something happened at home?) Ace’s dad: 我問你,你上個星期是不是又讓人家女孩子乾等了?你長沒長心啊你?你知 道我花了多少心思才給你弄到一個門當戶對、身家清白的姑娘? 我告訴你,你再這樣吊 兒郎當,你下半輩子甭想結婚了。你認真的回答我,你喜歡女孩子嗎? (Tell me, did you stand that young lady up again last week? Are you serious? Do you know how hard it is to arrange a date with such a proper, nice lady? If you chicken out one more time, you’ll end up being single for the rest of your life. Tell me, seriously, do you like girls?) Ace’s sister: 爸,你也知道哥就是那些神經病同性戀的。(Come on, dad. You know brother is one of those Queers.)


[singing] Ace’s dad: 唉,都老大不小了,別再玩小孩家家了,趕緊找個人,生個娃給我抱抱。 (Sigh. You’re not a child anymore, Ace, stop fooling around. Start your own family. I want a grandchild.) Ace: 爸... (Dad...) Oda’s dad: 你以爲自己仲細啊?快啲正正經經搵多啲錢,音樂呢啲嘢只係興趣嚟㗎咋。 (You think you’re still a kid? Hurry up and find a serious job to earn money, music is just a hobby.) [singing] Scene 3 Serene: Nice to meet y’all. 叫我 Serene得喇,你係包租婆?(Just call me Serene. You’re the landlord, right?) Oda: Why do you know Cantonese? Aren’t you Malaysian? Serene: 你唔知咩?馬來西亞都有好多華僑㗎。你夠識講廣東話咯,又唔見你講? (Don’t you know that we have lots of overseas Chinese in Malaysia? Why don’t you speak Cantonese then? You’re native.) Oda: Anyway, nice to meet ya. The name is Oda. Serene: 喂,靚仔﹗(Hey handsome!) I think you’ve gone too far. Are you looking for a flat? Here it is. Scene 5 Oda: What’re you doing behind me, Serene? 行開啦,(Get lost,) I’ve got no time to play with you. Serene: 放鬆啲啦,香港人,睇吓我整咗咩?(Chillax, you Hongkonger. Come and see what I’ve made.) Oda: What on earth is this? Serene: 月餅囉,一眼就睇得出啦﹗(A mooncake. Can’t you see?) I spent several nights making it. Oda: Didn’t know that you celebrate the mid-autumn festival too. Serene: Of course, you don’t. 你成日都掛住望部電腦,出面世界發生咩事你梗係唔知啦! (You’re always looking at your laptop, of course you don’t know what’s happening outside.) 2

Scene 6 Oda: Hi, Oda’s speaking. ...Oh! ...You’ve read my script? Great, great... Look forward to working with you. Female customer:你個死啊差啊! 你知唔知我係邊個啊?(You Paki. Do you know who I am?) Can you earn thousands of dollars in an hour like a doctor like me? Huh? How dare you waste my precious time! Oda: Imran? Is that you? What’s going on? Female customer: You better compensate for my loss, or I’ll file a complaint! Oda: 喂,你以為投訴大哂啊?你唔好恰人哋唔識廣東話喎。 (Hey! Do you think making a complaint makes you all high and mighty? Don’t bully people who don’t understand Cantonese!) Imran? Say something. Female customer: You’re just a labour worker and you can’t even do your job well? 你躝返去巴基斯坦啦﹗以後都唔好返嚟添啊﹗(Go back to Pakistan and never come to Hong Kong again.) Ew, your odour disgusts me! Oda: 頂你! 你啲銅臭味都臭到我想嘔啊,仲有啊 (Your stinky money disgusts me too. Also,) your time isn’t even worth wasting! Scene 10 Oda’s dad: Oda! 啱喇! 我攞咗啲防疫物資比你-- (Great! I’ve brought you some antibacterial supplies--)呢班咩人嚟㗎?又係搞音樂嘅人啊? (Who are these people? Musicians again?) Imran: We’re Oda’s friends and we live here. Oda’s dad: You live...!? Oda: Shit. Oda’s dad: 我幾時批准你放啲生番入嚟住㗎?! 連通知聲都冇, 你個腦究竟諗緊咩㗎 吓? (I’ve never permitted you to share our apartment with foreigners! You didn’t even notify us! What were you thinking?) You could’ve been infected! Ace: Hey hey, what’s with all the yelling? Oda: Father, it’s a pandemic, we all could’ve been infected. Oda’s dad: 我唔理, (I don’t care.) this is our apartment, and I don’t welcome outsiders here. Who knows where they came from? You all, move out today! Or I will call the police. Oda: You can’t do that! Oda’s dad: 我聽日再黎 check 過。 (I will come again tomorrow.) 3

Scene 13 Ace’s sister: 哥我來了,原來你在這兒啊!哎哎哎⋯⋯?你這是個啥?化妝舞會啊? (Big brother, I’m here, there you are……Whoa, whoa……? What is this? A masquerade?) Ace: 明明! 想不到你真的來了。(Ming-ming! Didn't expect you'd come today.) 爸媽知道你今 天來找我嗎?(Did mom and dad know that you are coming to see me today?) Ace’s sister: 算我求你的,當著這麼多人面,別叫我小名行嘛?(Please stop saying that pet name in public.) 看我帶了什麼給你?(Look what I’ve brought you.) Ace: 啊,是脆麻花﹗(Fried dough twists!) Ace’s sister: 媽說你肯定饞死了。(Mom said you must’ve missed these.) Ace: 媽真的這麼說?她人都沒來,怕是不想再理我了吧?(Did she? She isn’t even showing up. I bet she doesn’t care about me anymore.) Ace’s sister: 怎麼會?哥,你聽我說。(How come? Big bro.) I... I’m sorry about before, I hadn’t known any better. But when you invited us to this show, I heard your explanation, and I looked it up on the Internet, and I was wrong, you aren’t a freak. Now I know but it’s... it’s harder for mom to accept it. 你知道爸媽他們一直以來都是這樣。(You know mom and dad are always like that.) Traditions and all. Ace: I know, Ming-ming. Thank you for showing up anyway, 老媽沒少嘮叨你吧? (Mom must’ve been bugging you for it, hasn’t she?) Ace’s sister: 哈哈,你說呢?(Haha, you bet.) This place is awesome. Never thought my own brother would someday come to such a stage. 真心替你高興! (I’m really happy for you.) Ace: 妹,謝謝你,真的。(My dear sister, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.) Oda: Ace!? The mask... Ace: It’s okay. I’m done with hiding behind masks. We are who we are, the masks can’t conceal us and don’t defend us. I think... Zero would say that.