During the first week of November, the High School ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association) Festival took place in Bangkok. We were a group of 8 students from both the French and International streams - Audrey, Lucien, Pauline, Louis, Sophie, Gabrielle, Alice and me - accompanied by Mr. Burt.
We left school at around 9:00 in the morning on the 2 November for the airport. The three hour flight was filled with laughter and fun for most and some just slept. After the long queue at the immigration, we were happy to have arrived at the hotel the host school had picked for us. We checked in and had a nice dinner at the hotel's restaurant. The group started to get to know each other better.
The following morning we had to wake up around the 6:30 to get ready. We headed straight to the host school and were pleasantly surprised to see a lovely assembly where traditional dances were performed by students of Conordian International School. From then onwards the ISTA festival had truly started. We started by doing full-group theatre exercises to get to know some students from other schools. We got allocated into our ensemble groups and we then did a few exercises as well.
The theme of this year's ISTA was the "Rot Fai Train Night Market".
We interviewed the stall holders in the night market with the help of the Concordian school students, the host school. After an hour, we had the immense pleasure to explore the market for ourselves: shopping was inevitable - we had bought cool sunglasses, fake branded t-shirts, and tasted special Thai delicacies i.e. bugs!
On the third day, we started off by doing multiple workshops which consisted of Thai traditional dance, drama and music. During that time we learned about the different Thai traditions while having fun with our fellow students. We did multiple exercises as a full group and our ensemble groups where we had already started creating our final performance.
The last day, we had a few full-group warm ups and from then onwards our time was thoroughly spent finalising our pieces. During the breaks we spent our time singing, laughing and talking to other school members. At around 4:30, we performed our creations to some parents and the school staff.
The performances were full of creative ideas, they included amazing lighting, spacing and different techniques.
A couple of schools bid farewell right after and only a school from Shanghai and FIS were left. We spent our last night in Bangkok eating together and exchanging our experiences during our ensemble times.
At the airport the next morning, we reminisced the amount of fun we had, the things we learned and a séjour we will remember for a long time to come. We arrived late at night back in Hong Kong - sadly, this meant the end of a wonderful experience.
The following morning, we were back in school with the memories of a lovely trip - until we make more in the next ISTA!