The White Rabbit
Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre auditorium, March 2023
Artistic Instructor: Li Yanfang
Set Designer: Aaron Yap
Lighting Designer: Aaron Yap
Produced by Nam Hwa Opera
This production of The White Rabbit was an abridged version of the original classic Teochew opera of the same name, using only 2 of the most important scenes to tell the story of how Liu Chengyou found his natural-birth mother Li Sanniang during a hunting expedition during a harsh winter season, and subsequently got approval from his father and foster mother to fetch her back home.
As it was produced in conjunction with Lunar New Year in the year of the Rabbit, the set was designed to incorporate the element of the rabbit visually. A plum blossom branch serves as the overarching visual element of the play. It not only acts as a visual clue to the background setting (winter time), it is also a symbol of perseverance despite hardship, a reflection of the heroine Li Sanniang’s character. The plum blossom branch was deliberately designed as an abstract representation of a rabbit, not just due to it being staged in the year of the Rabbit, but also as a reinforcement of the rabbit motif, which is an important theme in the original classic version.
Due to the minimalist nature of the stage setting, strong coloured washes are used to create the required moods and ambiences, with subtle slow fades to go in line with the gentle elegant nature of the play.