Shakespeare Sabha, the Multilingual Dramatics Society of St. Stephen’s College organised Daastan’14 – the first national theatre fest of the college on 22nd-25th February. The four-day festival saw famous personalities coming in, theatre conferences, the desi-street passion and the set stage performances.
Personalities and Theatrics
The festival kickstarted on 22nd February and was inaugurated by Mr. Barry John who held a panel discussion in the college on the topic – Scope of Experimentation in Campus Theatre. He talked about how flexible the campus theatre format is to encourage certain degree of experimentation into theatre and other panelists were presenting their views on the same.
This was followed by the Student Paper presentation where students who believe that they know and understand the fascinating world of theatre, had to present their views on the topic “Theatre and Ideology”.
Day two saw an interactive session with Mr. Girish Karnad, one of the foremost playwrights and directors in India. This was another discussion on theatrics and implementation.
Anhad: The street fever
Followed by different call songs, loud voices, social issues, self composed tracks, dhols, drums, dance and reality, day two also featured Anhad – The Street Play competition. As a part of the same, 13 teams from the University performed their annual productions on different social issues.
Anhad was judged by Ms. Dhwani (a theatre alumni from Kirori Mal College), Mr Rahul Khanna (Works with Asmita Theatre Group) and Mr. Anuj (Works with Tadpole Theatre). Mr. Anuj said, “All 13 teams presented a spectacular show infront of us, and it was tough to jugde and decide the winners.”
The results were as follows:
First Position – Ankur, The street play society of SGTB Khalsa College for ‘We, The People’
Second Position – Shri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce – Manchantantra for ‘Chidiya ki kahaani’
Third position – Kshitij (Gargi College) for Joota and KehKasha (Jesus and Mary College) for Guna hai, par sazaa nahi
Bhaasha: Ramjas takes home the stage
Day 3 and Day 4 were slotted for Bhaasha – the multilingual one-act play inter-college competition. The event was judged by Mr. Benil Biswas – Assistant Professor at the School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University where he teaches Performance Studies. Second judge for Bhaasha was Mr. Neel Sengupta who is an alumni from Kirori Mal College and works with Tadpole Theatre Company.
Bhaasha saw 9 stage performances from various different colleges of Delhi. The festival witnessed both original and adapted scripts alongside competent story lines and execution. Plays talked about identities, emotions, friendships on one hand and betrayal, revenge and loss on the other. They were beautifully portrayed by different light effects, sound and music and flashbacks as suited.
The results for Bhaasha were as follows:
First Position: Ramjas College for Nishaanchi
First runners-up: SGTB Khalsa for Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay
Second runners-up: Hansraj College for Holi
Special Mention: Delhi Technological University for Kya Dilli, Kya Lahore
Best Direction: Nishaanchi (Ramjas College) – Directed by Gopal and Prashant
Best Actor: Praveen Shukla for Nishaanchi (Ramjas College)
Special Mention: Kshitij Mervin for Nishaanchi (Ramjas College) and Gagan Arora for The Dark Room (SBSC Evening College)
The Prize Distribution Ceremony was followed by individual team feedback from both the judges. Mr. Sengupta said, “College plays that are self scripted are generally found to be adapted from the popular culture, that is our cinema and adapted plays sometimes fail to impress due to certain miscalculations. Though there is a lot of scope in campus theatre, teams need to explore and research more.”