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Coming back to the real world: Perd (Kra) Pong Convent

There are no famous actors or actresses. There is no professional director or playwright. There are only brains and the strenuous effort from students studying at the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University.

Coming back to the real world: Perd (Kra) Pong Convent

We are talking about an annual play. "Perd (Kra) Pong Convent" (Revealing a Secret of Convent School) is being performed this month at the auditorium of Chulalongkorn University.

Over the past years the play produced by the Faculty of Communication Arts was about fantasy. But this year it's a story of daily like.

"We just want to make something different and keep developing," says director Rangsima Ittipornwanich. "So we choose to come back to the real world."

Perd (Kra) Pong Convent is a comedy-drama set in the time of World War II.

Many high society families sent their daughters to study in convent schools in the hope that they would receive a better education and strict training in good manners. But all the students at the girls' school are not girls. There is a male student who has never known that he is a boy. It's been a secret kept for a long time.

What happens if one of the girls studying in the convent school turns out to be a boy?

"You don't need to know anything about convent school to enjoy the play. It's like when you are watching a movie about the Mafia. You don't need to know about Mafia way of life," says Lackana Boonbut, 20, an actress in the play.

"And if you think you know about the convent type of school, are you sure you know it well enough?" she asks.

The strength of this traditional play is its mix of performing arts: students singing, dancing and swapping dialogue.

"It's not just a play, it's teamwork," says Lackana.

Every process in the production is done by the students from stage design, make-up, costumes and brochure publishing. The senior students organised the play with the cooperation of students in other years. Production started early this year. Students performing in the play rehearse for more than five hours a day.

"Some students never ever performed. We started from zero but we practised hard," says director Rangsima.

The curtain rises on August 24 at the auditorium of Chulalongkorn University. The play runs on Friday to Sunday at 1pm and 7pm until September 2. Bt160 and Bt180 tickets are available at the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University and Chulalongkorn Bookstore, Siam Square.

For more information, log on to www.nitadechula.net.

By Suwicha Chanitnun

The Nation

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