“TWELFTH NIGHT: Romantic Love Vs. Infatuation” – By Sayma Ahmed Shanta

“TWELFTH NIGHT: Romantic Love Vs. Infatuation” – By Sayma Ahmed Shanta

In Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the theme of Romantic Love vs. Infatuation is seen in many of the initial stages, through the different characters.


Orsino, the great count, is seen portraying this theme, in a major role throughout the play. The opening lines of the play are an ideal example of this theme, as we see love trying to break through amongst the riddles of infatuation which Orsino is intertwined between. An important quotation from this opening poem dictated by Orsino is shown taking on the theme of infatuation.

“If music be the food of love, play on

Give me excess of it, that surfeiting.” (1-2, Act 1, Scene 1)

The first two lines of the play as above, show that Orsino is very deeply captured in loving the feeling of being in love, as he says, “give me excess of it.” The word, “it” in this phrase is showing love, as in “give me excess of love.” And that boldly points out that Orsino is yearning for affection, being infatuated, especially because his love for Olivia is single sided and remains as so for the rest of the play.

Another reason showing that the love that Orsino feels is really infatuation with being in love is seen in the last part of the play. Wherein Orsino casually and easily consents to make Viola his lady, after Olivia rejects his proposal for marriage. It very obviously lines out that Orsino just wants to be loved, or be in love, with whom, to him that doesn’t matter. As against, romantic love which would be tragic, where Orsino (to actually be in romantic love) must love Olivia, and no one other than her to show that he is actually in real love. However Shakespeare decides to make him as a character who just loves to love, or else, Viola wouldn’t have been married to Orsino.




This idea is supported by a quote given from the same poem that Orsino starts the play with, which is shown below.

“O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou,” (9, Act 1, Scene 1)

“Even in a minute. So full of shapes is fancy,” (14, Act 1, Scene 1)

These two lines create an effect of foreshadowing to show that the spirit of love is “quick” and “fresh.”How Orsino feels from time to time that love itself comes naturally, and is very quick and fresh. And the start of line 14 directly points out about how love can change, or come, even in a minute with emotions that are strongly felt. So emphasizing that love, in his life is bouncy, and he is happy as long he is loving and that love is being reciprocated.

This situation, seen in a different light, embodies irony. It is composed of the idea that it is ironic that Orsino loved Olivia so eminently, that he had hired and sent Cesario with a ring to marry Olivia, although just in an instant, he switched from wanting to marry Olivia to marrying Viola, just like that, without hesitation. This ironic sight of love that Shakespeare integrates in this play, although if hidden, gives insight to reality in the real world where many people just change from loving someone dearly for many, many years perhaps, to looking at someone else and starting to admire/love them instead, just because his/her love isn’t reciprocated or due to being rejected. For example, the way that Olivia rejects Orsino. Where looks are the trap and eyes are the gateway to one’s vulnerable heart.

“I pray you, do not fall in love with me, for I am falser than vows made in wine.” – Shakespeare (As You Like It, 1599)


Farewell to Leaving Teachers

Apoorva Chugh captured the voices of some of our students to let us know that our leaving teachers will not be forgotten at ISS.  Apoorva says, “We just went around the school to ask everyone which teacher they would miss the most and why.  This video is just a short thank you to all the teachers who are leaving ISS this year. We will miss you all a lot.”

Watch the video at:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuLXlrOPtDQ

Goodbye to all our leaving teachers and all the best where ever you are headed!




A Cruel and Complex World

We strive for peace
By inflicting pain

There’s no sense in that
When it is all in vain.

There are people we cannot face
Fearful that they are the reason
This world is a disgrace.


Always a Day Away

The blue sky was not just clear of clouds,
but clear of airplanes and birds.
There was no sign of life,
No sign our world was still alive.

You swallowed the air
Of the clouds that would cry
You folded the wings
Of the creatures in the sky,
You stopped all engines,
Of the planes flying by

The sky is dead today,
So we wait for tomorrow’s

Though tomorrow,
Will likely be another today.


Untitled 1

The moon
The stars
The atmosphere gave all,
A feeling that would make them fall.

“Staging The Unstageable” – By Sayma Ahmed Shanta

“Staging The Unstageable” – By Sayma Ahmed Shanta

“Staging the unstageable,” putting real life experiences on stage. As the cambridge.org online dictionary defines, the medieval Latin word, Verbatim, is the use of the same words that were originally used. (Dictionary.cambridge.org, 2017) Thus when Verbatim is conjoined with theatre, it implies the re-telling of a situation. However, the scene isn’t narrated, instead, it is acted out in theatre format with the “…same words that were originally used.” And since the concept of Verbatim is based on theatre, not only is it the use of the original words, it is also the use of the exact same facial expression, posture, gestures, body, movement, use of stage/space, pitch, pause, pace, tone that will refine the theater piece significantly as a true verbatim, because everything remains intact. Thus nothing changes, not the dialogue, the setting, nor the emotions, it is the re-simulation of the exact unaltered original situation. Which is the reason that this theatrical playwright involves a large process, consisting of research, brainstorm, interviews, and composition of colloquies (conversations), incidents, trials, or even tv shows regarding the chosen topic, or event trying to be re-portrayed.

So in simplest terms, verbatim theatre is a piece of theatre, wherein general public, witnesses, public figures or celebrities are interviewed about their experiences in a specific event or their experiences with a subject. (An introduction to verbatim theatre, 2014) Afterward, these interviews are collated, compressed and conjoined in an orderly manner to emphasize emotions into a play which uses that specific primary, original, first-hand dialogue material to portray the specific event, or a topic in depth as to what general public or public figures have said about it, through actors and actresses.

Verbatim theatre is a style of drama that requires much documentation, which is shaped by the different stories and scenes that it captures, formulated and built upon the foundation of any political, controversial, emotional topic or a particular event. The stages which mold this foundation topic into a full verbatim theatrical piece consists of four main stages. The first stage, is to research as much as possible about the chosen topic or event, gathering primary sources, to bring out authentic information, such as telegrams, diary entries, interview transcripts, videos, and recordings, or secondary sources which can give a broadened understanding of the chain of events surrounding a particular event in history, or extend one’s knowledge on their chosen topic. The second stage, is to focus on the people involved; to find people who can be interviewed, and collect firsthand information about their experiences with certain topics such as, racism, immigration or depression, or even interview about their experiences in world events, such as the World War One, presidential elections, American Civil War, Brexit or the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The third stage, is to edit and condense, where the whole array of interviews are brought together, and then some are carefully selected to be performed in the play, as part of the script. Bringing in the fourth stage, where the interviews, after being condensed and edited, must be evaluated, so that the play and dialogue paint a true picture on the stage, as well as to make the portrayal as accurate and as sensitive as the topic or event is. (Lauren Kirby, 2014)

During this process of creating the theatrical piece, if the play is expressed in an order which emphasizes the criticality and sensitivity of the topic, instead of sitting down on stage, and normally showing people being interviewed, the play will have a great emotional impact on the audience. It will certainly convey the experiences of people in a more convincing manner when it is flown through and organized well. For example, the Verbatim theater piece called, “Child Brides,” (Rachel McCue, 2016) is an exemplary piece of theatre, surrounding the idea of child marriage and abuse, especially for marrying off young girls as brides for money, because the parents might not have money to pay for her. This also steals the education, freedom and the childhood of the girl, as she has to take on the duties of a homemaker and work as a sex slave for the man she is married to. Seen as stigmatic, hard to talk about topics, these are the sorts of issues that verbatim theatre can tackle. The theatrical message and topic with the dialogues of people clearly spoken by the actresses and actors, play on very smoothly with the facts that they present, “…that’s one girl every 28 seconds.” And straight after there is a movement of a girl being given away, and slowly her side of the story, as in someone’s real life interview dialogue is played through the actress, “I was married when I was 14.” Continuing this, the play also uses repetition to emphasize their point, this can be seen as they get in a line, push each other in a domino effect, the person at the end falls, and he/she are pointed at from center stage left to downstage center. this can be seen as the introductory scene to bring on and show different girl’s anecdotes which were said in the interviews which they collected to create the verbatim piece.

As it can be seen, this piece of theatre, “Child Brides” has been stylized to create an atmosphere which is remorseful and melancholic, displaying the dark side of the world. It uses music, giving off a helpless tone. Further to stylize, a convention of drama which the group uses is the cannon effect which they use in multiple situations of the story, such as the part when they say, “It’s just the way it is…” One person says it, then two people say it together and after that everyone says it all together. Another drama convention that is incorporated throughout the play, is the one of melodrama, even if the interview stories are untouched and ‘verbatim’ as in the original words that are used, the flow through of their material and information as it is presented is exaggerated melodramatically, “My father told the school that I had died,” is one such line that is portrayed melodramatically as one person says it, then the rest of the group says it and falls to the ground, to emphasize the point. All in all, this verbatim theatre is very powerful and leaves a great impact on the audience because of the severity of the issue, and due to the reality of the truthful interview answers which they had captured, and portrayed on stage, each story per victim, and the real picture was portrayed. This realism emphasized the piece because the facts and the dialogue felt so real.

Verbatim theater surrounds experiences of real life, real events and real topics, which means that it must bring out the truth, and stand as a voice to the voiceless. It is also a form of theatre corresponding to documented events or interviews, which utilizes the precise words, actions, and emotions of the event in question to bring to life in theatre. The process involved in creating Verbatim theatre lies in the key of finding it’s script, thus the documentation period. In this documentation period, one needs to collate interviews, and snippets to observe and draw out questions to conduct interview(s) surrounding the specific topic in the piece one is to perform. And after this period is the stylizing period where the documentation is brought together and stylized to put together a greater piece. Which is finally wrapped up in the performance by the practice periods, where exact lines must be memorized to keep the piece of theatre, ‘Verbatim.’


Child Brides – Verbatim Theatre. (2016). Rachel McCue.

Dictionary, v. (n.d.). verbatim Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary. [online] Dictionary.cambridge.org. Available at: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/verbatim [Accessed 5 Feb. 2017].

Dramaonlinelibrary.com. (2014). Verbatim theatre – Drama Online. [online] Available at: http://www.dramaonlinelibrary.com/genres/verbatim-theatre-iid-2551 [Accessed 4 Feb. 2017].

Kirby, L. (2014). ‘A Guide to Creating Verbatim Theatre’ | Birds Eye View Theatre Company. [online] Birdseyeviewtheatre.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk. Available at: http://birdseyeviewtheatre.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/2014/05/26/a-guide-to-creating-verbatim-theatre/ [Accessed 5 Feb. 2017].

Final Days in the MYP

Final days in the MYP

Article by: Kyi Shinn Khin

The 12th grade students have recently just finished their high school careers and are heading onto university, and meanwhile, the 10th grade students have just finished the MYP programs. The MYP programs starts in grade 6, and ends in grade 10; nonetheless, right after one has finished their e-Assessments, the student is no longer considered an MYP student. I guess right now, you can say that we’re somewhere in between the MYP and DP; but heading more towards the DP.

Even though it is not seen as a very big step like completing grade school; the MYP program was something that all of us 10th graders went through in order to prepare ourselves for the IB, and later for university. Some of us can’t even believe that we’re done with the MYP and are heading to the IB soon. To us, transitioning from the MYP to DP program is a very big step that we have been preparing for.

As a part of this article, I interviewed a couple of anonymous 10th grade students to give their feedback about how the MYP program went for them. The students had many different backgrounds; some of them have been studying the MYP program since grade 6, while some of them just arrived recently and are still fairly new to the program, despite the fact that they just finished it. Most of the students agreed that the MYP is somewhat helping them prepare themselves for the DP. One of the students talked about the Personal Project. “I think the Personal Project helped me prepare for the DP, particularly with organization and time management,” he said. Another student compared the MYP to her previous school’s system. She told me, “It was really interesting how MYP focuses a lot more on critical thinking and concepts. It was different from my previous school so it’s kind of nice to see a change in the way I study.” All in all, we can see that the MYP has prepared students immensely for challenges to face ahead in the DP. Now all we can do is see how well the MYP has prepared students for DP.

And as the 10th grade students approached their final exams and completed their World of Work internship programs, many are anticipating what they will do next for Pre-IB. This year went by so quick, and it won’t be long before us, 10th graders who just completed the MYP, will soon complete the DP program as well.

New Student Council

Written By: Scott Liu

The election for student council concluded on the 13th of April. Our 10 brave and outstanding candidates have shown the students their excellence skills and determinations. They are great Risk-takers and Communicators. Four of them were chosen by students to be the member of the new student council. The new student council is then officially in charge!

The four new student council members are, President Chelsea Chen, Vice-President Yuya Itokawa, Secretary Kate Judith Reidinger and Treasurer Scott Liu.

Chelsea and Yuya as the president and vice-president, have exhibited many impressive ideas and plans to the student group. In their speech, they addressed some issues around the schools and formulated plans to solve them. One memorable example is their plan of having new water cooler at the basketball court. There is always need for cold water while doing any sport in Singapore. The demand has been noticed and will be fulfilled. Also, they have been working collaboratively with the marketing team to run the ISS Official Snapchat Team, making it possible to launch next semester. Chelsea and Yuya will be the brain of the new student council, leading the students to unite the community.

Kate has always been a communicator in our school. She often seeks for opportunities to know the people around her better. Also, Kate has participated in many ECA activities to serve the community. As the secretary, she will be the eyes and ears of the new student council so that students can provide feedback, ask questions or give suggestions. This is both a suitable job and an excellent challenge for her. Kate will do her best.

Scott is our treasurer. He is principled, organized and highly effective. Both of his double science courses and higher level math has made him sensitive to numbers. This will definitely help him in accounting. Scott will be the vein of the new student council as he must collect and control every single penny that they gain, or lose. His job requires him to be highly skilled to do it right, but he tries his best, just like he always does.

For now, the new student council is working on the production of senior hoodies. Let’s congratulate them once again and hope they do a wonderful job this year!

Vesak Day :: Birthday of Buddha :: The day when Buddha came :: Buddha Purnima


Vesak day is the celebration of the day when Buddha ‘came’. There is a diversity of Vesak day celebrations all over the world, showing how Buddhism has been deeply rooted into cultures. Vesak day is an Indian word used in Singapore. The word Vesak originated from Vaishaka month (2nd month) of Indian calendar, which is the month that Gautama Buddha died and Buddha was born through enlightenment and achievement of the state of nirvana. Nirvana is the state of mind where one achieves complete Buddhahood and has been enlightened. To celebrate such religiously significant month, Buddhists or even non-Buddhists around the world celebrate the day. The date of Vesak day changes every year due to the effect of Lunar calendar.

In Singapore, it is 10 May and celebration is not simply a Buddhist celebration. It’s a national holiday. People get a day off and practically, this serves as an effective reminder for people of Buddha’s teaching. If there is a public holiday, anyone would wonder why they have a holiday. If you’re looking forward to be immersed in Buddhism and love to experience new part of the world, you should use the holiday to visit Bright Hill Temple, the biggest Buddhist temple in Singapore where Vesak Fair happens. Free snacks are given out, thrift stories are told and lanterns are offered for you to learn and enjoy the Buddhist culture at the same time. At the temple, you will notice that the majestic temple is completely different from what you’ve seen in the modern city of Singapore.

Korea is another place famous for a rich and unique Buddhist culture due to its long history of national faith in Buddhism. The annual lantern festival of Korea holds a significant meaning since it includes almost everyone in the country. Temples are lighted with hand-made lanterns, free foods are given out to those in need and a colourful marching of young monks with lanterns are in their little hands is not just for Buddhists but has always been a harmonious celebration for everyone. Just like how Christmas is celebrated beyond religion, The day when Buddha came (Seokka Tanshinil) has become more than a religious celebration, a form of art and a sign of union in Korea.

Birthplace of Budhha, India has another name for Vesak day. They call it Buddha Purnima. People dress themselves in pure white, avoid non-vegetarian food and Kheer, a sweet rice porridge is commonly served to recall the story of Sujata, a maiden who offered Buddha a bowl of milk porridge. Ironically, even though it’s called Buddha’s Birthday, it actually commemorates the enlightenment of Budda (nirvana) and death (parinirvana) of Buddha at the same time. Basically he died after obtaining Enlightenment to become the Buddha we know as today. People visit temples to offer holy water, flowers, candles and fruits to the statue of Buddha. The most interesting fact is, caged animals are freed to highlight the message that freeness is everyone and every animal’s basic right.

It’s a beautiful celebration, an evidence of how people around the world can be diverse yet unified under same belief. The importance of everyone’s right to freedom is valued and therefore, celebrations can differ depending on the culture. It is the day for Buddhists to show their values and for non-Buddhists to deeply relate to them in many ways.


“석가탄신일 유래와 부처님오신날 등다는 이유”. 유라준. N.p., 2017. Web. 25 May 2017.