Taylor’s students perform legendary tragedy by William Shakespeare, Macbeth – an educational production in aid of Kiwanis

The 21-member strong theatre students from various majors in the Taylor’s University American Degree Transfer Program (ADP), under the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences (SLAS), performed the play ‘Macbeth – A Musical Theatre’. This is the first full-scale theatre production presented on such a magnitude in Taylor’s University, where all proceeds were channeled to the Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation (KDSF).

According to the Dean of ADP and SLAS, Dr. Andy Nazarechuk, “It is not easy to put together a production of this magnitude, given that both lecturers and students have a variety of subjects on their plate. It is to their credit that those involved have been disciplined enough to handle the academic aspects of the program as well as devoting almost every evening to rehearsals.”

Macbeth, portrayed by Nik Amiin Imran bin Nik Hafiz – a business major student at the Taylor’s American Degree Program – contemplates and proceeds with the murder of King Duncan in Shakespeare’s Macbeth – A Musical Theatre

Under the tutelage and direction of the program’s theatre lecturer, Ms. Pat Chan, the performance will offer a platform for novice actors to showcase their talents, as well as to exercise the knowledge and skills they have acquired through the theatre course. Ms. Pat said, “ADP believes that it is a privilege for young, novice actors to be involved in a professional classical play such as Shakespeare’s and an even bigger privilege to give to charity at the same time.”

Due to the collaboration with ADP and SLAS lecturers and students, the performance is being hailed as an educational charity event – where the cast has also dedicated their efforts to raise additional funds by crafting handmade flower crowns. Their charitable endeavor and support will look to make a positive impact for the children at Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation (KDSF). The team presented a cheque for RM5, 000.00 after the main show.

Angie Heng, Administrative Director of KIWANIS National Centre highlighted the importance of instilling and continuing to develop altruistic values in young people, as they will be the future leaders. “We are happy to have Taylor’s nominate KDSF as the beneficiary of the Macbeth Educational Charity event,” she said. “In order to provide adequate education for the students at KDSF, we require a substantiate amount each month. The funds received will assist us in the cost of providing the Early Intervention Programme for our students and generate public awareness programmes.”

Macbeth, at the peak of his ambition to be the next King of Scotland - for which comes true after a murderous deed foretold by the witches

Lady Macbeth, played by Emalina Zulaikha binti Aruljudin Raj, trusts that education is of the mind, the heart and the hand. She said, “Education of the mind refers to knowledge; education of the heart refers to good values, while education of the hand refers to the application of knowledge and values into action through community service. I feel that our efforts mean so much more to us and we want to make sure we put our best foot forward during our performance.”

Work on the production started in February this year, with a division of labor that spoke to the strengths of the many lecturers involved. For instance, marketing the production fell squarely on the shoulders of the ADP economics lecturer, Ms. Lim You Ping; while project manager, Mr. Leong Soo Ming, a U.S graduate with Master’s Degree in History and Political Science, sought to create a platform for Taylor’s staff to ‘teach’ and ‘demonstrate’ social responsibility to the students.

Scotland rejoices as the rightful King takes his throne after the demise of Macbeth – a production by theatre students in different majors at the Taylor’s American Degree Program

“Theatre is a great platform to be exposed to new skills and perception – some things we may never consider if we stayed in our comfort zone. I am grateful to my lecturers at ADP, who have helped in grooming me to be future-ready and encouraging me throughout the preparation process of this production,” said, Macbeth, portrayed by Nik Amin Imran bin Nik Hafiz.

The exposure students received from involvement of Macbeth: A Musical Theatre continues to complement Taylor’s University’s efforts in helping students develop future work skills, proficiencies and abilities recognised under its SHINE Award. A first in Malaysia and in the Southeast Asia region, the award, in the form of a second transcript, complements and supplements the academic transcript in providing expanded opportunities for students to develop skills required across different jobs and work settings through structured out of class activities. This second transcript is Taylor’s University’s answer to providing graduates with the requisite knowledge, skills and attitude demanded by today’s employers.

A group photo with Dr. Andy Nazarechuk (furthest left), Dean of Taylor’s American Degree Program presenting a cheque of RM5,000 to Angie Heng (middle), Administrative Director of KIWANIS National Centre