Student Stories: Ruam Bo Lea from Theatre

Ruam Bo Lea is a theatre student at Phare Ponleu Selpak. At 12 years old, she is the youngest of five siblings. She has two older brothers, and two older sisters. However, none of them attend Phare.

So how did she end up studying theatre with us?

Her family lives in Ahn Chahn village, quite close to the campus here at Phare. Both her mother and father make candles and incense for people to bring to the Buddhist Pagoda and offer during their prayers.

Two years ago, Ruam Bo Lea was 10 years old and attending public school classes at a local school. She spent her days studying and playing with her friends. But then one day, she saw something that piqued her interest.

The artistic training programs at PPSA periodically do outreach programs to local public schools in the area. During these trips, we present our programs, and invite young students to register for the free trainings. Two years ago, Ruam Bo Lea saw one of these presentations.

Next thing she knew, she signed up for her first theatre classes at Phare. Introductory theatre classes are a mixture of games, improvisation, and character building activities.

Student Theatre Performances at Phare Ponleu Selpak

Now, after two years of classes, she has begun performing with a children’s theatre troupe. Theatre performances at Phare Ponleu Selpak focus on raising awareness of important issues in Cambodia. Issues such as HIV/AIDS protection, and safe migration abroad.

Theatre Students Perform
Theatre students perform during the Open Day Festival

This year she had her first performances during the Open Day Festival, and during our Children’s Day Celebration, both on our campus.

On Children’s Day, the theatre troupe presented a show that addressed the dangers of child trafficking in Cambodia. The show, titled “My Father is Different From The Others” told the poignant story of a young girl who was sold to a stranger so that her father could make some money.

Luckily, the story ends well for the young girl, she is saved from the traffickers. Not so for the father, who is carried off to jail.

For Ruam Bo Lea, she loves playing the games with her friends and learning about theatre here at Phare Ponleu Selpak, but looking into the future, she has different plans:

“I want to be a famous singer!”