Dramatics society


A college festival to a member of a drama society holds a very different connotation and meaning than to an average college student . It means a platform to display their effort and hard work and carve a name for themselves and their society.

An accurate depiction of the what goes through the mind of a first year dramsoc member during fest season, can be seen in the following phases:


1. Initial Infatuation Phase

Ever since the time you enter the society the only word that can sum up your experience  is – awestruck. The idea of making a play, executing it, and getting your first role, are all ecstatic moments for a fresher. You feel you are a part of something big and something important. While trying to imbibe ideas like team spirit and collaboration, which are a hallmark of any dramatics society, you start to learn the art of making sacrifices and placing the societies needs over yours. This initial faze is also marked by friendships with fellow freshers, establishment of hierarchies with seniors, and feeling important because of the new responsibilities you’re faced with.

2. Coping Phase

This is when things start to get a bit harder than you expected. While it includes happy moments such as “opening of your play” or first society trip together it also has moments such as fights over “instrument duties” or losing important stuff. The idea that you get to attend each and every fest, which seemed so amazing at first starts to take toll on you, and all the traveling and the constant hustle gets you. Whether you lose or win, the activity in itself becomes the highlight of your day, and determines your morale for the next performance or the next day. This is also the time when the bubble around you starts to burst and you understand the real struggle of being a drama society member, that you proudly proclaim yourself as.

3. Sinking Phase
This is the phase when the stress starts to take a toll, and you begin to question yourself. This might happen due to a variety of reasons ranging from your rigorous schedule, your inability to give time to your friends outside the society, and the guilt of not having attended any classes. Running the same performance over and over again also adds to the monotony of the routine. Losing or winning suddenly becomes immaterial. It’s actually surprising how you get used to the commotion and the hustle bustle of the fests, almost paying no heed to it.

4. Culmination Phase
This is the time when the routine starts to set in, and you start getting used to all the happenings around you. All you care about is the performance, you’ve bonded enough with your peers and they begin to feel like your real family. The number of fests also start reducing so you get to enjoy here and there. Everything begins spiralling when the season ends, and it’s time to close your play. This performance is packed with nostalgia, and bitter-sweet memories.

The fest season is characterised by its own highs and lows for a ‘dramsoc’ member, it’s not just a place to have fun, but also to learn, grow, and develop oneself. 


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat 

Bhavika Behal

[email protected]

Backed by impeccable acting and an intricate plot, the annual production of Verbum, the English Dramatics Society of Sri Venkateshwara College, trod on the tricky territory of pedophilia and virtual reality. It asked questions like – should our imagination collide with “morals”, what are ethics, and what all constitutes our identity? The prospect of “Hideaway”, a play promising to be a sci-fi drama, which had words “virtual reality” and “near future” in its synopsis didn’t exactly set my heart racing. But then I was given a free pass by the organisers (let’s be real, who resists free stuff), and the venue was the beautiful India Islamic Cultural Centre, I couldn’t resist and went to watch the play anyway and I’m glad that I did. The play opened with the spotlight on the interrogation table. On the table, there was a smoldering cigarette, Sims aka Papa, the creator of a virtual world called “The Hideaway”, where those suffering from the pedophilic disorder can “blow off steam” and lives their fantasies, and Morris, a detective who is trying to uncover the secrets of “The Hideaway”. There are five main characters: Iris, a virtual character who severs “guests” in the Hideaway, Doyle, an investigative agency insider who imposes Iris, and Mr. Woodnut, a frequent visitor to the Hideaway. The crux of the narrative revolves around Detective Morris’s interrogations that aim to expose the Hideaway and the relationships forged in the realm. I can’t write the plot properly, not just because I don’t want to give away spoilers, but also because I’m not sure if my summarisation will be able to do justice to the intricacies of the plot. The direction by Akshaj Saini and Dasoju Sai Sanket is skilled. They made sure that the entrances and exits are smooth.  I felt that they divided the stage space too starkly in left and right which made it inconvenient to see and hear what is going on if you happen to sit anywhere other than the centre seats. The direction predominantly had two main backdrops: one of interrogation table and other of the realm.  The background in the later stages changed often. There were instances where two scenes were running parallelly. These settings called for proficient light work and this is where team Verbum fell short. The folks who managed the lights were spot on with the spotlight, but fell prey to clumsiness while adjusting lighting from A to B, revealing a significant portion of the crew (dressed in black and unnerved by the onslaught of visibility) swiftly shifting chairs and tables. The music, handled by Ankita Podder and Abhimanyu Singh, complimented and built the atmosphere. At certain segments, it was so melodious and calm that I felt myself being physically relaxed. The last scene, which is marvelously executed and written, owes its impact to the music that accompanies it. The story could have been made more interesting by imaginative staging. It’ll be great if Verbum changes the obnoxious gramophone. When even their cognac bottle looks perfect then the ersatz gramophone appears to be a shame. Akshaj Saini mastered the art of body language; you could see his posture shift from confident to defensive. When he coddled Iris, I could sense slyness underneath the charm. His subtle, but impactful expressions like a simple stare or a slight movement of hands across his face conveyed all messages. Every time he uttered “Fuck”, I twitched because the pronunciation was so definite with disgust.  Karthik Dammu played Mr. Woodnut satisfactorily. To put it simply, he effortlessly humanised pedophiles, that’s how convincing his guilty demeanour was. Natika Niyogi embodied Iris with utmost grace. When she cried I was pained. Her sorrow was all-encompassing, and her acting was skillfully executed. I would have “crossed-over” into the play, only to give her a hug. Rishika Kaushik’s enaction of Detective Morris was powerful. She made me sign up for team Morris from the very first scene. Her conviction and self-righteousness seeped out of each word she spoke made and made me root for her. Deepan Gondolay played Doyle and he is neither good nor bad. In all honesty, I didn’t notice him (but I did notice his pepper grey hair) until the last scene which, in all fairness, he owned. Watch this some one-hour long production if you are interested in digital humanities, psychology, or good theatre.   Feature Image Credits: Verbum Niharika Dabral [email protected]]]>

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts”

These famous lines from one of Shakespeare’s brilliant pastoral comedy, As You Like It, has become the beacon of hope for many in their existential bouts. The magical world of theatre had transformed how those before our time lived their lives and continues to inspire the generations to come.
This world theatre day, we celebrate all those who have contributed to the dynamic field of theatre and pursue to do so all around the world and, more close to home, in the University of Delhi (DU) circuit. Before we jump into the vibrant world of DU theatre circuit, a small introduction to where it all started.

We can thank the small country of Greece for being the birthplace of one of the world’s oldest art forms, theatre. Incepted in ancient Greece, this 5000year-old art form is a result of ceremonial and ritualistic practices that took place in the everyday lives of ancient Greeks. Interestingly enough the term theatre existed, but not as a separate entity. It was a constituent of an already existing culture of performance that included ritualistic practices, music, politics, poetry, weddings, funerals, and many more such activities which were a part of Greeks lifestyle. Participation in such theatrical practices was not considered recreational, but rather necessary for citizenship and to assert one’s existence as an active member of society.

Oh! how the artists of our era would kill for their performance to be mandatory, but nevertheless, despite all the struggle and starvation, we are blessed to bear witness to their brilliant pieces of work. Be it nukkad or stage productions, the talented dramatics societies of Delhi University never disappoint. The beat of the drum announcing their arrival in college has become a familiar resonance. You know when you hear ‘YAY YAY DRAMSOC’ there’s a special treat in store for you. The culture of performance is used conscientiously to highlight the socio-cultural problems of our society. It elucidates serious issues and comedic adaptations alike. Social evils like body shaming, rape culture, bullying, caste struggle, etc are covered along with dramatic adaptations of Shakespeare’s Macbeth or William Congreve’s restoration comedy, The Way of the World.
Theatre has never been restricted to the stage and over the years, DU’s theatre circuit has evolved into a platform for social change and activism.
We talked to some of the genius minds behind these theatrical masterpieces to get a better sense of what theatre means to those who create these wonderful performances.

“A play always has layers of social issues. We pick a play with normal setting and then we try to un-layer the characters by working with the undertone,” says Meenal Bhalla, Vice President of Verbum, the English Dramatics Society of Sri Venkateswara College.
“Theatre can transform your life, with respect to the environment of the society and the kind of plays you do. With theatre, you are forced to think about the smallest of things: questions like, ‘How should I treat my mother?’, ‘Is the love behind pedophilia justified?’
It makes you more patient and understanding and opens up your mind to different perspectives, especially when you sit and watch someone else’s production, you see their side of the story and try to connect it to the environment of the society that you live in”, says Meenal.

Over the years, the themes for the productions by Shri Ram College of Commerce’s (SRCC) dramatics society have ranged from sexual abuse, acceptance of the mentally challenged, and the education system. Alaukika, Joint Secretary of SRCC’s DramSoc says, “Theatre started off as a hobby for me, but today with theatre, I feel like my voice can be heard and I actually understand the kind of impact it has on our lives, in the way a character can change your perspective.”

In the last 5 years, Kahkasha, the Hindi dramatics society of Jesus and Mary College has taken up issues like rape, corruption, the treatment towards the juvenile delinquents, and discrimination towards the LGBT community. “Theatre and Kahkasha have been everything to us. All that we have learned in the past three years is through Kahkasha. Acting is secondary, theatre teaches you how to express your emotions and be around people”, says Mallika Dutta, President of Kahkasha. Ananya, Vice President of Troubadours, The theatre society of Jesus and Mary College says, “Theatre attracts people. Live performances create a lot of impacts and you connect with your audience on a greater level. This year, we did a play on matriarchy in a control based society and how a matriarch tends to lose her power if she exerts it in the wrong way.”

Theatre is a culture in itself. It is based on interpretations, analogies, different perspectives, and points of view. It makes you wonder, question, think, criticise, and be. It is an art that lets you be completely free and creates a safe yet vulnerable space around you. It’s really important that we don’t let this art die down, rather create spaces for it to flourish.

We leave you with these pearls of wisdom provided by the drama geeks that walk amongst us. We hope this, if not encourages you to participate, then at least helps you appreciate those who take the pain to entertain and educate us.


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Meher Gill
[email protected]
Muskan Sethi
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PRATIBIMB’17, the street play fest of Sri Aurobindo College hosted by Moksh Dramatics Society, came to an amazing end with a string of memorable moments attached to it. It lived up to the expectations of the event and proved to be bigger and better. In fact, one of the best. With 15 top teams of the drama circuit of Delhi University performing at the event, the atmosphere was filled with a competitive outlook, a blend of creativity and dramatisation of facts and figures, all well described and depicted. The performances were astonishing and gripped the attention of the audience without breaking up their interest. They stood their to witness these performances straightaway without an interval. The battle of creativity, art of acting and the essence of drama were displayed at their best. Every team proved to be better than the other and thus, the judges found it difficult to choose a winner amongst winners.

shri aurobindo college
Lakshya from Kamala Nehru College bagged the first prize while Natuve from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (M) came in second.

But every competition needs a conclusion. Thus, the prizes were announced in spite of the cutthroat competition. The first prize was grabbed by Lakshya, the Dramatics Society of Kamala Nehru College. The second prize went to Natuve, the Dramatics Society of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (M). The best actor was awarded to Divyam of SBSC(M) and the best actress was awarded to Tejaswani of Lady Irwin College. In order to honour the writers, Likhat sponsored the Best Script Award and Ayaam, the Dramatics Society of Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology won the prize.
This event was a well organised and coordinated one with a beautiful ambience and lovely hospitality of the hosts. It fulfilled the expectations and thus, indeed opened up the fest season of DU with a great beginning. Moksh- The Dramatics Society of Sri Aurobindo College proved to be humble hosts and with their skills and abilities, made PRATIBIMB’17 a memorable event.*

The society activities at St. Stephen’s college came to a closure with its famous Informal Discussion Group aka IDG hosting an interactive session on student politics in India. Its Music Society celebrated the first edition of its annual ‘Milestones in Music’ and Sabha (the college’s multilingual dramatics society) presented an interesting play, ‘No One Killed Mr Malik’.
The IDG hosted Dr. Rajarshi Dasgupta who works as an assistant professor at the JNU, New Delhi. He spoke on the topic ‘Theological Turn of Political Rationality’. The lecture was dense and technical enough to keep students involved. Dr. Dasgupta theorised the dimensions of growing authoritarianism in the country and its growing acceptance. He also talked about and interacted with students regarding the sacrifices that students of different backgrounds are seen making. Numerous questions were raised regarding the recent rows at Hyderabad Central University and Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The Music Society of the college came up with the first edition of its annual ‘Milestones in Music’ which witnessed a jam-packed audience. Milestones was the last society event this year in the college. The event started with Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D and then went on covering several genres and paying tributes to eminent Indian singers like Asha Bhonsle. Though the audience looked captivated throughout the event, the electrifying Sweet Child O’ Mine guitar performance and the Bow Band/Girl Group Face Off gathered most of the shouts. The event ended with a huge round of applause.
Sabha’s annual production, ‘No One Killed Mr Malik’ brought together college’s well known faces in acting. The play was a thriller, full of mystery, and attracted a huge crowd as well.

Featured image credits: PhotoSoc, St Stephen’s College

Anukriti – The Hindi Dramatics Society of Miranda House, organised their Annual Theatre Fest – Rangotsav on the 19th and 20th of March. A joint collaboration with the National School of Drama, this two-day fest was a great success. Day – 1 involved the staging of Anukriti’s annual full length production, a tradition since 1957.  The play was called ‘Seedhiyaan’, which was directed by Shri Ramji Bali, an alumnus of the National School of Drama. It was performed twice in one-day and saw an attendance of over 500 people with members of other DU dramatics societies in attendance. Set in the Mughal Era, the play was a successful satire on the existing norms of society, then and now. Day – 2 saw the staging of the play, ‘Tamasha na Hua’. Written and directed by Bhanu Bharti, an eminent Indian theatre director and playwright, the play was enjoyed by all. There were other notable personalities present, like Vishva Mohan (Secretary, Delhi Government, Department of Arts and Language), Harisuman Bisht (Secretary, Hindi Academy), Daya Prakash Sinha (Playwright, ‘Seedhiyan’),and  Akshat Verma (Scriptwriter, Delhi Belly). A result of the hard work and dedication of the Anukritians, the fest was spectacular and one which definitely satiated everyone’s hunger for thespian pursuits! Akriti Gupta [email protected]]]>

So, who doesn’t fancy a little drama in their life? At the risk of sounding slightly presumptuous, I would have to say that most of us do. For those who prefer their dose of it on stage rather than off, Hindu College’s annual theatre festival—Masquerade—was the place to be.

The two day event hosted by the English Dramatics Society, ‘Masque’, saw some of the finest colleges of DU showcasing their acting prowess. On day 1 of the fest, IP College for women, LSR, St. Stephen’s and SRCC proved their mettle as masters of nuanced expressions; while on day 2, Kirori Mal College, Hindu College, Sri Venkateswara College and Ramjas College gave them a run for their proverbial money.

To judge the participating teams were two distinguished members of the theatre fraternity. Ms. Amina Sherwani, a distinguished theatre person, journalist and sculptor. She has vast experience in people’s theatre and has performed all over the country as scriptwriter, director as well as light and set designer and has produced and directed over fifty plays. Mr. Milin Kapoor, renowned cinematographer and special effects editor. He has more than 28 years of experience in film, video design, interactivity and cyber space. He has worked on over 400 productions and with some of the biggest names in the Indian film industry.


The most striking performances on the first day were that of LSR and SRCC; wherein SRCC stole the limelight with their witty mystery piece titled ‘Three Blind Mice’. While each member of the SRCC team did a commendable job; it is noteworthy that the IP team consisted of only three members and their dedication was par excellence. Their play ‘Sonata’ explored the world of a writer as the events of one night that occur in the lives of these women are penned down. LSR presented ‘Skeleton Woman’, a story about two people who defeat fantastical odds to be together. St. Stephen’s had put together a play that dealt with the phenomenon of False Memory Syndrome called ‘Anna Weiss’.

On the 22nd of February, Sri Venkateswara college mesmerised the audience and the judges with their play ‘Pulp’, a  comical journey of two playwrights and their rushed attempt to churn out one decent play after another, in order to pacify their producers. Hindu College won many accolades for their production ‘Dead Man’s Testimony’—an adaptation of Ayn Rand’s ‘Night of January 16th’, although they did not compete. KMC presented ‘Line’– a story about five people attempting to reach the front of a queue using all kinds of strategies and Ramjas told us what happens when a joke goes awry in ‘Mr. Kolpert’.


The results declared were as follows:

1st place – Sri Venkateswara College for ‘Pulp’

2nd place – LSR for ‘Skeleton Woman’

3d place – KMC for ‘Line’

Outlaw Award (For the team which did something different)  – St. Stephens for ‘Anna Weiss’






‘The Skeleton Woman’ was applauded at SRCC’s annual theatre festival ‘Histrionica 2012’ for the bravery in their choice of script and use of techniques seldom used on stage. It was also one of the six short listed plays at National School of Drama’s Campus theatre festival. Garima Jaju says that “One of the greatest challenges faced by us was to build a romantic heterosexual chemistry required between the characters and to break the monotony of mundane daily life activities that we are trying to depict, during our performance.” Through the course of the writer’s journey to success we realize that the world of fantasy and the domestic space constantly overlaps. Thus, the skeleton woman is neither a mere figment of his imagination nor just a metaphor. Where a memory ends and imagination takes over is hard to say. The biggest asset of this play is that the reality it portrays leaves a lot to the imagination of the audience, giving them a choice to pick the reality they seem most fitting for the characters. Pragya Lal [email protected] ]]>