Theatre, drama and plays are a form of art not greatly appreciated by the younger generation today. While enthusiasts exist, easily available digital forms of art have taken away the charm from the painstaking efforts put into theatre. In its endeavour to revive this with newer, more relevant, and contemporary theatre: Centre stage, Dramebaaz’s event in Revels 2016 remained quite successful. The judge for this event was Prerna Kaul, from ‘Thespo’: A youth theatre movement in India that accepts only actors under the age of 25, and enthusiastically encourages theatre among college and school groups.
The event was a series of six plays, all performed with amazing grace and brilliant timing. As compared to the usual single act plays lasting forty minutes, these plays were around sixty, giving the directors and scriptwriters more room to manoeuvre. Some scripts were self-written, some were inspired, but the execution of each play was flawless and commendable to the very end.
The first play was about child abuse by priests, and how it is more prevalent than we would like to believe. The second one was an adaptation of Julius Caesar, titled ‘Jai Caesar’. An indianised version of one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, depicted and enacted with utter ease and beauty. A truly commendable play, where Mark Antony also assumed the role of Brutus, bringing out the theme of betrayal two-fold. The scriptwriter’s understanding of human emotions, and Shakespeare’s portrayal of the same deserved a resounding applause.
Play three was about the condition of farmers in India, and the insanity they are driven by trying to make ends meet. The fourth play was about a man, and his growth from a confused pubescent, to a great scholar and renowned celebrity. The play touched upon many of the Indian political issues, censorship and so on. The play did lack a certain degree of clarity, but was entertaining, especially the music and rhythm.
The fifth act, was hands down the best performances of the evening. A story about relationships. Young, old, complicated and simple, all of them. The play was in the form of a conversation between 2 or 3 people with scenes changing frequently. With perfect coordination, the team won many hearts, restoring the audience’s faith in love and making them question the ‘kind’ of love one’s heart makes him/her follow. Revolving around a park bench, the essence of the play lay in its simplicity, and it was presented flawlessly. The last play was about a murder in broad daylight, and of a secret held from everyone else present there.
The event was coordinated marvellously. A standing ovation to the stage set up, lights and sounds and backstage teams that ensured smooth functioning of an event this massive. The accident of the backdrop being torn down was fixed deftly, and the show was never allowed to stagnate. The judges, true to their word, provided teams with constructive feedback. These 6 One-act plays were performances to be cherished, and each and every one of them was simply in a class of its own.
~ Qais Akolawala, for MTTN