WALK A MILE IN THE SHOES OF ‘AN UNDEFEATED MIND’ CAST
“The theme of ‘Never giving up’ is important for everyone in everything we do. “
–Dwayne Lau, Playwright-Director-Actor
We are officially less than a month to the showtime of our Juke-Box Musical!
As the meaningful story start to grow on us with the countless rounds of rehearsals and dance practices to perfect the act, the production team and casts are excited to debut the show to convey our message to all our audience.
You may be familiar with some of our casts members who are prominent figures in their own industry. We are glad to have a chat with Catherine Sng, Dwayne Lau, Elaine Chan, Michelle Ler and Amni Musfirah.
Here’s the characters they will be portraying in the musical:
- Catherine Sng – Old Rose
- Michelle Ler – Young Rose and Lily
- Dwayne Lau – Peter
- Elaine Chan – Friend of Old Rose and Patrick
- Amni Musfirah – Guest Singer
On a side note, Dwayne and Elaine are well-known figures in the Musical Production Industry with numerous awards and acclaimed production to their names. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise to know that they will be wearing multiple hats for this musical!
We really wish we could show you the rehearsals when the duo professionally stepped in and out of character to guide the scenes and music. Keep a lookout for the Behind-the Scenes video coming up real soon!
For a quick look at our casts’ biography and significant achievements, view here.
Without further ado, let’s find out more about the musical through the eyes of our featured casts!
Tell us one reason why people are going to love this show!
Dwayne: It will be a night filled with nostalgia, beautiful songs and a heartfelt story. Not to forget, a team of earnest actors from young to old coming together to put up this show just for you.
Michelle: They will be fully entertained and walk away with a heartfelt story that will impact their lives.
Amni: Everyone will definitely leave the concert hall feeling full in their hearts.
MSC: Yes, the keyword is ‘heart’. It’s a musical made with a purposeful heart, that is going to touch all hearts on the night of 11 March!
What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?
Dwayne: Making sure that we do not belittle the experience of what people living with dementia go through. But at the same time, keeping the show light hearted and relatable.
Michelle: As I don’t have personal experience in taking care of someone with dementia, the challenge is to relate to the characters I play and the script in general. I had to ask my friends, who are caretakers of their grandparents with dementia, about their experience and vicariously learn more about how it feels like and understand what are some common things that dementia patients will tend to do or the common behaviors they will show.
Amni: I believe the challenge is deciding how to execute the script without breaking the restrictions.
Catherine: Getting into it.
MSC: Yes, the entire production has never been an easy one from conceptualization to realization. We are truly thankful to our production team and the professional cast for bringing this amazing story to life.
How did you get involved in this production and why did you want to be involved in it?
Elaine: I was in the ‘Remember Me’ production back in 2018. It went well and there was great synergy amongst the cast. I remembered the positive experience and hence the decision to work on this.
Dwayne: Elaine the Music Director (whom I have collaborated with for many other projects) roped me in. It sounded like a meaningful project so I said yes!
Michelle: I worked with Dwayne on another musical few months back and he asked me if I was able to do a cha-cha number haha! I thought it sounded fun! He then mentioned that he was writing and directing a jukebox musical for this fundraiser, and I was very interested to learn more about taking care of dementia patients and how it’s like from their perspective as well.
Catherine: Our show producer, Maryanne Tan, had approached me about this idea and she shared with me their goals and objectives. I believe this is a cause that is worth putting my time and energy into because we are getting older and our family members are too. The most wonderful part of being involved in this is that I actually learnt so much about dementia and how I can handle it.
Amni: Maryanne Tan approached me for this role, and I felt it’s a meaningful project to be part of.
MSC: We have a strongly knitted cast who really cared for the meaningful cause we are pursuing. We will be the epitome of an undefeated mind and we want you to join us!
What will the audience be thinking about on their way home after this show?
Elaine: Hopefully, they too will learn how to better care for loved ones with dementia.
Dwayne: To be more understanding and patient towards people living with dementia. Also, to be present and care for the caregivers cause honestly it does get very exhausting for the caregivers and often they don’t have time for themselves. It’s important to show kindness and compassion. Also, the theme of ‘Never giving up’ is important for everyone in everything we do.
Amni: I believe the audience will first think of their family members who are older and hopefully have more compassion for them. If they’ve been experiencing problems handling family members with dementia, this show will give them some ideas on the way forward. Secondly, I believe they will even start thinking of their lifestyle and how they too can develop a healthier lifestyle so that they can age gracefully.
MSC: Living well with dementia is possible. Everyone can take steps to age well from now on! Find out more here.
Who in the show is most like their character?
Elaine: mm… perhaps Prof Kua? as he is playing himself
Dwayne: Everyone is relatively new to me! So I’m actually still finding out! Guess the fun part is that everyone is enjoying playing their various roles!
Michelle: I would actually say that most of us are quite different from our characters haha – but it would probably be Catherine in terms of her “can one, don’t give up!” attitude and the fact that she really feels like a mother! She takes care of the people around her and often will be the one suggesting new ideas and ways when we are having a hard time figuring certain scenes out.
MSC: Definitely Prof Kua, our dedicated co-founder of the Age Well Everyday Programme. Keep a look out for his cameo scene during the musical, where we try to weave in real advice from the professional psychiatrist on what we can do to enhance our cognitive ability as we inevitably age.
How is the character like you or different from you?
Dwayne: He can be rash and hot headed – I’m like that sometimes. I get impatient easily. BUT like Peter, I don’t hold on to anger to long and I’m always for reconciliation and making peace.
Michelle: I play 2 different characters – Young Rose and Lily. I think I would say I’m pretty different from both characters, Young Rose is a very confident and pretty flirtatious girl. She knows her own worth and likes to tease around with Young Patrick — but I’m more introverted and less playful in real life! Not as confident as well haha. Lily has a slightly quicker temper and is not afraid to say things on her mind directly — a more straightforward and firmer person — which is one of my biggest struggles.
Catherine: Very forgetful like me.
What do you love about your character?
Dwayne: That he is teachable, humble and able to say sorry when he is wrong and make amends.
Michelle: I love that both Young Rose and Lily are characters who are very secure and sure in themselves, and they are not afraid to speak up or to take the initiative in things. Despite that, they both still harbor a more empathetic and softer side to them as well, which I love!
Catherine: Most of the time Rose try her best to be happy and never giving up even though she knows about her own condition and struggles with it.
MSC: We love all the characters, especially how each of them plays a role in the supportive community and depicting what it means to impact each other’s life in ways unimaginable in the beginning. With such an environment, we see the characters conquer their challenges and grow to be their better self.
What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
Dwayne: That I’m ALSO directing the show? Hahaha, so I’ve to effectively multitask without compromising with any one role.
Michelle: I think differentiating the two roles is my biggest challenge. To make it obvious enough to the audience that they are two different people, but yet not too different as they are technically mother and daughter, so there are still certain characteristics in their behavior or personality that may be the same!
Catherine: To understand the character of Rose. It is not easy to because of her condition and I’m quite lost sometimes. I had to do more research on dementia.
MSC: Each main character has a growth journey that will relate to the audience. Some of us may have been the one who struggled or the one who inflicted pain to others through their careless words. To depict their growth within a 90 minutes show is an amazing feat. Trust us, we’ve seen the rehearsals multiple times and every run has something that surprises us!
Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?
Elaine: “I’m undefeatable!”
Dwayne: “I’m marrying you! Not your mother!”
Michelle: “Ouch! Why the cushion so hard one??”
Amni: “Is she going to be there on our wedding night?”. This scene made me gasped. hahaha
Catherine: “Why you give our house key to a thief?”
MSC: There you go, it sounds epic from the above lines already!
If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?
Dwayne: Michelle’s role. Kidding! I want to be one of the dancers! The dancers are from SINGAPORE DANCE ENSEMBLE! Under the very strict and exceptional training of Mdm Yan, they will wow you with their poise and technique! They are very riveting and fun to watch.
Michelle: One of Rose’s friends haha! They always seem to be having so much fun playing those characters and being Rose’s “girl gang” that supports her and dance together with her!
Catherine: None other than Rose
MSC: Hands up if you want to see how our playwright – director – main lead plays the role of Lily or Young Rose! We are seeing the entire team’s hands waving in the air~ Alright, let’s make it happen!
When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?
Dwayne: I change hats to become the director and playwright and review what we just did.
Michelle: The breaks are my favorite part because our producer, Maryanne will always cook food for us and bring to rehearsal or bring the pastries that she baked in class to let us try during break time! She always makes sure that we are well-fed and happy hahaha
Catherine: To the rest room.
MSC: Our rehearsal schedules are always back to back, as its difficult to gather the entire cast and crew together. During such rehearsals, those with multiple roles will be busy taking on multiple hats. It’s hard for words to describe all the effort the cast and crew have put in for this production to come to life.
Share one interesting happening during the rehearsals with our audience.
Dwayne: It was during our first full dress, it was the first time the cast was getting use to their quick change. But as the Wedding Scene carried on our ‘wedding guests’ had not arrived because they were still changing! Needless to say, there were all eyes darting around on stage wondering where everyone else were. But don’t worry, we’ve sorted that out already!
Michelle: Rehearsals with the dancers from Dance Ensemble Singapore is always very interesting! So not really just one happening but I think every rehearsal with them is interesting as we all come from very different backgrounds and as dancers, they have never worked on a musical with actors as well! So, we always learn a lot about the differences (or similarities) in the way we work, the culture, the different skill sets that we can all bring to this show.
Amni: The most interesting thing that happened during rehearsals is definitely my dance routine with two beautiful ladies, Ai Ming and Elaine Chan. We are not dancers by nature and so we’re always questioning how we can dance and hold our microphones and it’s always a real discussion but I think it’s adorable. I really want to thank Madam Yan and her team for guiding us so patiently and tolerating our mis-steps. It has definitely been so much fun!!
And one last bonus question! Who’s the funniest person in the cast in real life?
Elaine: Think everyone has their own charming idiosyncrasies but perhaps Dwayne can take this honor?
Michelle: Dwayne! He’s such an amazing actor and person to be around and always encourages everyone to play and have fun as a director. He has a natural sense of humor and is playful as an actor as well.
Amni: Actually, everyone is funny in their own way. hahaha This is a really nice bunch of people and they’re full of life and just enjoying every moment of this production. Everyone has their own set of quirks and jokes and that’s why the bond is beautiful!
Dwayne: Me lor!
MSC: And there you go, by majority, our playwright-director-actor (Dwayne) takes the crown!
Struggling to navigate through uncharted waters of an unfamiliar surroundings, Rose persists in holding on to her memories and the happy times. With the love and support of her family and friends, and restored confidence, she rises above her bleak circumstances, rides the waves and is determined that her best years are yet ahead!
Through this production, we hope to warm the hearts of people, which includes you. Will you join us on this heartfelt journey at Esplanade Concert Hall on 11 March 2022?
Receive a complimentary ticket for every $500 you donate* and enjoy tax deductions of 2.5 times the donation amount.
*Subjected to availability and seating will be predetermined.
For more information about donations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.