UPH students take campaign against drugs to new level

Drugs make Maia delusional in the play Maia's World staged by Pelita Harapan University students at Teater Jakarta in Taman Ismail Marzuki cultural center on May 28.
Drugs make Maia delusional in the play Maia's World staged by Pelita Harapan University students at Teater Jakarta in Taman Ismail Marzuki cultural center on May 28. Viriya Singgih.

Pelita Harapan University (UPH) students have taken the drug awareness campaign to the stage in Dunia Maia (Maia’s World), a play that follows the journey into a delusional world as a result of drug abuse.

Maia’s World is a collaborative effort by student activity units under UPH’s art division, including vocal, theater, choir, band and dance groups along with photography and movie production clubs. Staged at Teater Jakarta in Taman Ismail Marzuki cultural center in Jakarta on May 28 and involving 350 UPH students as cast and crew, the play is also part of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN)’s campaign against casual sex, alcohol and drug use.

“The interesting part of Maia’s World is its storyline, in which we divide Maia’s emotions into several different clans and present it with a digital mapping concept,” said producer and director Boy Marpaung.

Maia is caught and locked up by the Sgurd clan in her own delusional world.
Maia is caught and locked up by the Sgurd clan in her own delusional world. Viriya Singgih.

Maia’s World follows a girl named Maia who develops a drug problem after despairing over the death of her little sister Yuna.

In a scene in which Maia is approached by drug dealers, an image of a news article on a 14-year-old girl who was brutally raped and murdered by 14 drunk boys in Bengkulu was projected onto the backdrop. It was as if the play was reminding the audience, especially youths, about the dangers of alcohol.

However, Maia finds herself unable to resist the allure of drugs and becomes trapped in her own delusional world called Semosimesta. Later in that world, she meets clans that represent each of her emotions, from Der (the reverse of the word “red”, which means anger), Hsub (bush: despair), Enots (stone: stubbornness), Sgurd (drugs: addiction to narcotics) and Ecarg (grace: conscience).

Digital video mapping was used throughout the entire play, mostly on the backdrop. For instance, there was night sky in the scene on Yuna’s appearance and images of each clan’s distinctive features in the delusional world.

Eventually, Maia succeeds in returning to the real world with the help of the Ecarg clan. “Wake up, Maia! Do not dwell in the past. The past never returns. The past is not meant to be regretted!” said one member of the clan.

A scene in which the queen becomes angry and plans to make Maia vanish.
A scene in which the queen becomes angry and plans to make Maia vanish. Viriya Singgih.

Meanwhile, music director Andreas Arianto was the orchestra conductor for the play, which was intended to be a musical. But Maia’s World did not fully match the libretto, the words sung or spoken in a musical work.

Later after the show, Andreas acknowledged that that he had faced challenges in interpreting the music for both the real and imaginary worlds on stage. “Music in all scenes in the real world was organic music, but we used electronic music for the scenes in the world of Maia’s mind,” he said.

Unfortunately, the quality of the sound system was criticized by some members of the audience.

“The music was great, but the bad sound quality made it hard to hear what the actors or actresses were saying,” said Titus Christopher after the play.

***

Note
1. This story was first published on The Jakarta Post website.

Share

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top