Promoting arts for charity

Continuing its tradition of promoting arts for the benefit of charity, WOU hosted a musical drama staged by the theatrical troupe of Dalat International School.

Originally written and produced by the school’s drama club, “A Tad of Trouble” played to a theatre packed with over 300 guests on a Saturday evening.

Tad begins a new life with Obediah.

Tad begins a new life with Obediah.

It was the school’s first charity performance, with proceeds of close to RM 6,000 successfully raised to aid the hospice programmes of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia’s Penang branch.

WOU Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, was supportive of the idea of a charity performance to benefit one of society’s most caring welfare bodies.

With Tad as his apprentice, the duo sets off to con an unsuspecting customer.

With Tad as his apprentice, the duo sets off to con an unsuspecting customer.

“This is our way of giving back to the community. Dalat approached us with the plan for a charity show; we have the facilities, they have the resources. So we went ahead, giving our best in our own different ways,” he said in an interview.

The story of Tad Phinehas, a mute and wayward lad played by 19-year-old Jonathan Hayashi, opens with the scene of him caught drinking by his father one day. Frustrated at how Tad had turned out, Phinehas agrees to let a travelling salesman, Obediah, played by 16-year-old George Merusi, ‘groom’ his son into a responsible man. Instead, all Obediah teaches Tad are ways to cheat poor, unsuspecting customers with their fake goods.

The scheming Obediah conning yet another customer into parting with her money.

The scheming Obediah conning yet another customer into parting with her money.

The two-hour play, dotted with humour and songs, shows how Tad eventually hands over the scheming Obediah into the arms of law while turning a new leaf himself. Other notable characters in the play include the guardian angels Olivia and Xander; Temperance, the brash tomboyish girl who helped Tad trap Obediah; and her uncle Marshal Smelts.

More than 20 cast members, aged 14-19, were involved in the production of the play, which started rehearsals as early as January.

Mrs Phinehas seeks the Sheriff's help to look for Tad.

Mrs Phinehas seeks the Sheriff's help to look for Tad.

Dalat’s drama director, Mark Sasse, was visibly pleased that it turned out to be a positive experience for his students and hoped to stage a similar production again.

Also present at the performance were Puan Sri Sue Dhanarajan, NCSM Penang vice chairman Datuk Seri Dr T. Devaraj and Datin Seri Elizabeth Devaraj.

The cast taking a final bow during the finale.

The cast taking a final bow during the finale.