Contributor: Aprillia Priskila
Friday 23rd of August 2019, I managed to be able to catch Theatre Spotlight’s original musical production of Kirana. It follows a story of a girl that lived with both her parents in a rural area in Bantul, Indonesia. With their unfortunate economic conditions and hoping to live achieve a better dream and stable condition in the future, the family decided to move to Jakarta.
Like other kids, Kirana has a big dream to become a traditional singer. She firmly held her dream up until Junior High School and it slowly faded away through the shifting of cultural values, and unpleasant moments she endured during her life in Jakarta. Her dreams of becoming a traditional singer started to become lost and her goal now is to only be famous, due to wanting revenge on people who picked up on her and bullied her for the past few years.
Living with a mother who still holds true to her moral and cultural Javanese value, and with a dad who wants to become rich faster in despicable ways, was always difficult for Kirana as a daughter to endure.
Lifting up stories from current issues in the nation such as bullying, difference of social statuses, economical factors, egoism, as well as narcissism that has been a hot topic and has developed through a lot of the citizens of Jakarta nowadays, this musical cleverly mixed these issues up with contradictory positive traditional Javanese values.
The performance opened up with musical arrangements, props and dances that are very heavily influenced with the Javanese culture. Guided by the pupeteer’s mastermind (dalang) that visually appears like the characters from Indonesian puppetry wayang was very interesting to watch.
The opening was spectacular and interesting but unfortunately was interrupted by the unbalanced microphones of the cast, so people cannot hear them talking or singing in certain parts.
The settings of the props that are minimal doesn’t make me feel the Javanese environment on each scene, but the acting of the majority cast was very intense in a good way, covering the lack of the property and the setting. And it was also unfortunate that a few sware words that were included in the musical was unnecessary looking at the audience of the musical were mainly elementary and high school kids, since fearing that these swear words would cloud the real important meaning of the story.
I would like to appreciate the scriptwriter Hadyus Santoso for caring about moral values and humanity that always needs to be implemented into each and every individual. The writer itself did some research to Bantul, to really dive in to the details as to the message of the musical can be clearly seen well enough.
Overall, Kirana was a fun show to watch! An original story with intense moral values to each scene, motivates the main character Kirana to have a strong faith in order to achieve her dreams.
Congratulations to Theatre Spotlight and I look forward to another spectacular production!