Dr Jessie Chung’s ‘Moonlight’ stage play shines
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
It was a full house down at the Kenyalang Theater on June 11th as excited spectators came to watch the spectacular ‘Moonlight’ stage play, which ended with a standing ovation.
Based on a true story, ‘Moonlight’ tells of a tragic love story between the carefree yet indecisive Xian Fan (played by Dr Jessie Chung herself) torn between her childhood friend Zi Heng (played by Marcus Choot) who nurses an unrequited love for her and the very charming Jun Hao (Tylor Chen) who is also torn between his affection for the heroine and obeying his old-fashioned mother.
As all the actors from the stage play are not professional actors but are actually staff from Natural Health Farm (NHF), it was enjoyable to see their genuine and raw emotions. Added to this emotional drama is an unexpected twist in the ending, making ‘Moonlight’ both engaging and entertaining to watch.
While the whole play was conducted in Mandarin, it was extremely helpful for non-Mandarin speakers that the production team had prepared subtitles throughout the whole play which was projected onto the wall, making it seem as if you are watching a life-sized 3D television.
The play was brought by Dr Chung, a Kuching-born international artiste who holds a doctor of medicine degree (MD) in Clinical Chinese and Western Integrative Medicine-Oncology from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and her performing entourage.
It was performed for the first time in Kuching which aimed to raise fund for cancer patients under the Dr. Jessie Chung Cancer Fund, organised by Malaysia Naturopathic Association (MNA) and Symphony Musical House in collaboration with NHF.
Behind the scenes
According to chief executive officer (CEO) of NHF, Vernon Tee, the performing team took about two to four months to rehearse everything, while planning of the performance took about a year to plan.
“I would say it probably took us a year to plan everything because we did it all inhouse. We do not have professionals to do it. We started everything from scratch, from the lyrics and the scripts,” said Tee.
“All the actors are actually our staff and we do not use professional actors, but they had to go through auditions first. They are all volunteers, doing it for free for the cancer fund,” added Tee of the staff dedication towards raising fund for the cancer patients.
Adding that the staff had no acting background, they needed several months to perfect their performance as all of them were working at the same time.
“For a lot of them, this is actually the first time,” said Tee.
For Dr Chung, acting seemed to come to her naturally as she has been active in acting since secondary school, having taken leading roles in her school play and was also a scriptwriter and director for her school stage drama.
Under the Dr. Jessie Chung Cancer Fund, they aimed to raised RM500,000 in which the fund will be used to cover medical treatment for cancer patients.
“We allocate about RM5,000 to RM10,000 for each cancer patient. So, the fund will be used to cover the medical treatment for the cancer patients using natural therapy and Chinese herbs,” said Tee.
Besides the stage play, a Chinese Orchestral concert was also performed at Kenyalang Theater on June 12th by Dr Chung and her performing entourage.
Before performing in Kuching, Dr Chung and her performing entourage performed the stage play four times at the Symphony Theatre, Kuala Lumpur and will be continuing with their performances to raise funds for cancer funds nationwide in Penang, Johor Bahru, Perak, Sabah, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and also in Singapore.