Monday, Apr 19

Acting, Group formation for Water Repentance Text begins

September 06, 2019 | Jonas Trinidad

The team of Taiwanese instructors for the Water Repentance Text stage play returned to Manila on September 6 for the next stage of rehearsals. They’re training local talents, like this group for acrobatics, to prepare them for the roles. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

Story Highlights

  • Preparation for the first Philippines Water Repentance Text stage adaptation commence at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus. Instructors from Taiwan trained local talent in acting and group formation for the performance.


Practice for the upcoming Water Repentance Text stage adaptation moves on to the next stage, with instructors from Taiwan now mentoring actors and performers.

23 Tzu Chi volunteers from Taiwan returned to Manila on September 6 to continue teaching local counterparts for the upcoming adaptation of “Water Repentance”. Aside from the sign language and group formation, the team started auditioning local talents to act in the different episodes of the stage adaptation.

Although “Water Repentance” was written more than a thousand years ago, but its interpretation of stories on human nature still hold true to this day. Episodes on “The Bottomless Pit of Desire” interprets man’s never-ending desire for wealth and power, while “The Four Evil Karmas of Speech” show us the ill effects of gossips.

Since the whole play doesn’t have any dialogue, actors have to interpret the text with their body language. Taiwanese actor Chen Ting, who is also a Tzu Chi volunteer came with his wife Chen Cieh-Ing were tasked to teach the actors on how to portray the different characters of the play.

“This is no ordinary play. We are conveying an important message to whoever come to see the play, our body language tells the meaning of the story and the lessons each and every one of us should learn.” Chen explained.

He also adds that only through diligent practice can the actors exemplify the essence of the text.

“Every day of practice is like our morning prayer. Whether we’re Catholic or Muslim, we treat this as a prayer to be able to convey the meaning of the text,” Chen said.

Training the young performers is Tzu Chi volunteer Lee Tung Chun. They held their practice in a room where the floor is padded by flattened cardboard boxes to cushion any hard fall and minimize injury. Lee instructed them to do a series of warm-up exercises, as well as a number of routines like vaulting and tumbling.

“During the play, they will be using their bodies to project negative actions like killing, this part is very powerful because it warns people on the effects of karma.” Lee said.

“All these exercises tell a story. We hope that, when they learn these exercises, they would be able to use it as body language,” Lee added.

The Philippines’ first Water Repentance Text stage adaptation will be held on February 29, 2020 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

  • Tzu Chi Philippines volunteers welcome their Taiwan counterparts with open arms. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Prior to the rehearsals, a meeting was held to update on the 3-day workshop for all the participants. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers Teodulo Granada (left) and Chen Ting (right) reenact a scene in one of the adaptation’s play. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • In the Jing Si auditorium, the participants practice their group formation. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Taiwan Tzu Chi volunteer Lee Tung Chun oversees physical action for the performance. Participants has to undergo a series of exercises such as tumbling. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • The first day of practice lasts well into the evening, as the participants are taught new sets of actions. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】