On 23rd of July 2023, we had the opportunity to sit down with Jedidiah Huang, our facilitator for a two hour workshop on Building with Drama. It was attended by ten participants including myself. It was the second time we met him for a workshop. The first one was Drama in Poetry that happened back in October 2023. The participants rallied to have another workshop with him and, through the generosity of Sing Lit Station, our request was granted.
As we were sipping our morning coffee with our volunteers, the door suddenly opened and we could hear him shouting “Hello everyone!”, going up the staircase with a huge smile on his face. It was so infectious that we couldn’t contain the excitement. We gathered inside the workshop area and he started by introducing himself and what he does. According to him, he is a Singaporean spoken word poet who has been into different competitions and his works have been published in anthologies.
When it was our turn to introduce ourselves, he tried memorising all our names – but I didn’t check if he could still remember after the workshop (haha). He first discussed with us what “drama” is and in my mind, I could only think about the scenario of me and my ward when she wanted something that I did not allow her to do. There’s crying, screaming and that was it, it’s drama!
Drama is a conflict between characters and to put it into good use in a story, we need to create an “imbalance” between characters that we chose to use. Imbalance can be in knowledge, status or ability. And to get it more exciting, we also need to find way to “balance the imbalance “ in order to give the scene an interesting twist.
We did a few activities, watched short video clips to better understand the topic, and I especially like how he went around trying to explain things and give feedback on how we can improve our works. He also commended how I put the thoughts, words, actions and habit of my characters in the dialogue I wrote.
I also took note of his reminder that as a writer, we shouldn’t be limited by our own judgment. Writing a story doesn’t always need to be our own. We can be creative as much as we want but we shouldn’t be afraid that the character we used will be ridiculed because it does not describe who we are are, instead, they are the characters of our story that we want the readers to know. I realised that what I know is just a tiny dot from the plenty of things that I could learn in this literary world and most importantly, to be able to write a powerful piece, we should not limit ourselves to what we can write. Explore, expand and enjoy the process of learning!
I can see the enthusiasm on every participant’s faces and I enjoyed the sharing part when some gets the chance to read the dialogue they wrote. There was a conversation between employer and helper, about borrowing money as well as the difficulties of making decisions being a mother who wants nothing but the best for her family.
Time passed by unnoticed and as much as we wanted to extend the workshop, there are other things that we needed to do on the rest of the day but we didn’t forget the important part, the picture taking!
Thank you so much Migrant Writers of Singapore, Sing Lit Station and The Majurity Trust for another enriching workshop that we had.