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Theatre......and conservation?

By Mike Han

So "theatre" and "conservation", two words that I don't hear together in my acting experiences up til now.

Rewinding back to the time when I first heard these words. I thought to myself "well why not sign up for the project and see it for myself". It was one of my life decisions that I didn't regret at all. Like all my other co-participants, we were selected and our project started off with an incubation weekend, the first activity taking place in Tasek Merimbun.

So on the day of my first visit ever to Tasek Merimbun, it involves a really long drive assisted by Waze. I admit that long solo drives aren't really my thing hence I prefer carpooling whenever possible. However, when I got there, all my physical and mental exhaustion disappeared as if there was an invisible force relaxing me down.

"Oh my god this view is gorgeous!!" was the internal dialogue that played in my head. I mean the pictures were already beautiful but seeing the place for myself was even more beautiful. I was literally speechless for a while as I tried to take in the beauty of Tasek Merimbun. The lake, the Purun grass, the trees, even the black waters was a wonder to look at.

I may have been involved in a lot of acting-related experiences in both theatre and film but nothing truly prepared me for this project. Unlike a normal theatre, conservation theatre carries a much deeper aspect to me. Here in Play Naturally, I learnt about the Dusun community and how the culture itself is slowly declining, much to my surprise as I remember the Dusun as being part of the seven natives of Brunei (correct me if I'm wrong, history is not my forte)

When used right, I feel conservation theatre is a really great way to engage with the preservation of such declining cultures. I am truly blessed, to be involved with such a project that can possibly be part of our history for future generations to come.

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