Friday Night Live in Hong Kong: A Play in One Act for Young Adults
This play was developed working together with Drama Club students at the American International School of Hong Kong. When we started this project, we knew we wanted to put together a performance that consisted of a series of skits, something in the style of Saturday Night Live. As we brainstormed and improvised and worked through ideas, many details about the students’ home lives began to come out—parents’ high expectations for top grades; the often hilarious cross-cultural misunderstandings that occur when Asian and Indian students in international schools learn to speak in American accents and emulate an American lifestyle, while their parents remain traditional and sometimes do not even speak English. The nuances of daily life in a cosmopolitan multicultural Chinese city like Hong Kong color this play. Daily realities, like riding the MTR (Hong Kong’s mass transit system) to school, coping with wearing unflattering and uncomfortable school uniforms designed in the colonial era, and the pressures of consumerism are all issues addressed in the play. Admittedly, some of the themes in the play are edgy, but they are themes that are important to high school students. While working out ideas for this play we followed a simple rule: You can make fun of your own culture, but not someone else’s. I insisted that even as we laughed or gently criticized the students’ home and school lives, that we always remember the other side of the equation—their parents love and support them, and they want them to be successful. Writing this play, my goal was to create a play that is relevant to the cultural climate of contemporary international schools in Asia and to today’s Asian and Indian students, who live in a fast-paced and constantly evolving society. I wanted to write a play that is both fun to watch and to perform. A play, which, I hope, tells a larger story about the contemporary lives of young adults growing up in today’s Asia.
Scotts Valley, CA
English Language and Literature
Sruoginis, Laima. "Friday Night Live in Hong Kong: A Play in One Act for Young Adults", CreateSpace (2013).