By Maggie He and Leanna Duong (Class of 2018)
Title: Ten Dharma Realms Play
Location: Black Box Theater
Date: June 7, 2017
Time: 9:40-10:25 AM
The curtain rises and the scene begins with two Buddhas and their disciples. The gleam of the Buddhas’ yellow silk robe is unmistakable under the Bodhi Tree, a sign of peace. However, it is not before long when all calm and serenity is eternally shattered by the malicious gambit of greedy hell beings and animals. A distressing ruckus–complete with guns and knives–takes way as the audience gasps. With so much action packed in just the beginning, onlookers knew this would be a play to remember.
On Friday, June 7, the 11th and 12th grade students of Developing Girls Secondary School put on a play in the Black Box theater, titled “The Ten Dharma Realms” in correlation with the text they have been reading in Buddhism class. With Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and even hell beings, the students got together to create a play that would be able to educate everyone about the Dharma Realms. The Buddhas tell the tales of beings in each of the different realms and how, through their karmic actions, they have been reborn in their respective realms now.
We got the idea from our teacher, who proposed to us the idea of putting on a play. At first, we had no idea where to start. But with the guidance of Ms. Virginia Hanley, a volunteer who is an actress and avid theater artist, we composed, edited and tweaked our play. Taking over a period of a couple of months, we finally brought it to life on stage. We did everything from the script to the costumes by ourselves—and with the help of Ms. Hanley, of course. It took a great deal of effort to put on such a play on such a grand scale, but we are glad that it has made an impact on the audience members, some of whom told us it was “superb!” After all the hard work, we are glad it was a success.