Stage Theatre


Old Wives’ Tale by Memesis, the dramatics society of Daulat Ram College, speaks of women empowerment, the making of myths, and ecofeminism.

The University of Delhi’s street theatre and stage plays have prided themselves for the portrayal of thought-provoking and bold theatricals on an array of social and political issues. The all-girls colleges of Delhi University have always championed the cause of female emancipation. Old Wives’ Tale, the latest production of Memesis, the dramatics society of Daulat Ram College, is the newest addition to the ongoing legacy of feminist theatre.

The 45-minute-long production is an adaptation of The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, the first story from the book of the same name authored by film actress and interior designer, Twinkle Khanna. It tells the story of Lakshmi, a common village girl, who in an attempt to increase the independence of women introduces the idea of planting 10 saplings of mango trees every time a girl child is born. The play encompasses many themes such as domestic abuse, dowry, and female foeticide. It also highlights how myths and rituals are created out of old incidents, and end up becoming a part of the same system of oppression against which they had originally rebelled.

The screenplay is written by the students themselves, and showcases proficient stagecraft. The narration of the story floats effortlessly between the past, present, and future. There are several powerful dialogues dotted across the play. The direction and casting choices are well thought out.
Exchanges between Lakshmi, played by Chavi Sagar, and Sukku, played by Manshi Joshi, are delightful, funny, and convincing. While for the most part the performances are believable, at some points, the acting seems forced as well as amateurish, especially during the second half.

The set and the props are beautifully constructed. There are four to five different backdrops, and the transition from one background to another is smooth, but a few seconds too long. The delay in the setup change interrupted the attention of the audience, who were otherwise immersed in the play.

The makeup and costumes hit the bull’s eye and match the aesthetics immaculately. The lighting, managed by Swaranjali Chaudhary, is perfectly timed. In one particular scene, there are three different arrangements on the stage, all complementing each other due to the lightning, which adds beauty to the scene. Palak Soni skillfully handled the music which complements the plot and tone of the play.

Though I’m glad that I got to watch the play for free, I wouldn’t hesitate to spend my money to buy a ticket for a visual treat like this. Go and watch Old Wives’ Tale in the upcoming fest season, as it will definitely be worth your time.

Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat

Niharika Dabral

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The Prayogshala Theatre Group performed their first play Kathakaar in The Attic, Connaught Place. Their first project was a huge hit among the audience and garnered rave review.  This play was a collaboration of alumnae and members of Natuve – Theatre society of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Deshbandhu Dramatics Society, Memesis – Theatre society of Daulat Ram College, Manchtantra -Theatre society of SGGS and Anubhuti Streetplay society of JDMC.

The play Kathakaar presented the relationship between Kanhaiya and Rishi, and how they struggled with their respective homosexual identities. The character of Rishi struggles with his love for Kanhaiya and his homosexual identity. Kapil Sian as Rishi does an astounding job to bring out the perplexities of his character and leaves the audience wanting for more. The play quickly takes many interesting turns as the audience soon discover that Kanhaiya suffers from a split personality syndrome.The play manages to leave the audience intrigued in the backdrop of murder and dual personality of Kanhaiya. Akshat Chauhan pulls off the character of Kanhaiya or Krishna splendidly, and deserves appreciation for his portrayal.

The play is written and directed by Akshat Chauhan. The script is crisp and deals with the romantic  homosexual relationship between Kanhaiya and Rishi quite delicately and maturely. Kathakaar; as an experimental and intimate theatrical play, does an exceptional job. The director utilised the performance space brilliantly and left no stone unturned in leaving a lasting impression on the minds of people.

There were only a handful people and both, the audience and the actors occupied the same space. A makeshift stage was set up and the ambiance was cosy, warm and relaxed. The dynamics between the audience and the actors was considerably different because of the form of the play.  The audience was as involved as the actors in the performance.

Nimish Nanda, Anisha Baura, and Anshul Mahindru as supporting cast members revved up the energy up of the play with their exceptional acting and deep portrayal of their characters.  The lights by Prashant Ved and sounds by Jyotish Dhanwani and Chavi Sagar left a mark.

Kathakaar tries to bring the issue of homosexuality to the forefront with the sensitiveness that it requires. The relationship dynamics between Kanhaiya and Rishi is explored wonderfully. The play was appreciate by the audience and had two successful shows one after another.

This effort definitely deserves praise as the chemistry between every member was palpable, and the dedication of every member to make this show a success could be seen in every scene of the play.


Feature Image credits:DU Beat

Anukriti Mishra

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Shunya – The Dramatics Society of Ramjas College at the second position with 7 points. The Dramatics societies of SRCC and S.G.T.B. Khalsa share the third place with 5 points each. Undoubtedly, all teams put up spectacular performances that have been appreciated  at various fests by the audience and judges alike.

The Winning Society at a glance

Hans Raj Dramatics Society

The Hans Raj Dramatics Society led this year’s fest season with their annual production Holi. The play narrates the happenings of a day in the lives of a bunch of hostel friends Gopal, Ranjit, Srivastav, Laloo, Madhav and Anand among others, who come with all sorts of temperaments and histories. The day starts off with the announcement that they won’t be getting the day off from classes for Holi. The students, who were already dissatisfied with the college’s policies, are angered and things take a turn for the worse when the principal’s nephew is injured in a tiff. What started off as a normal day, changes the students’ entire lives by the end of it. Holi is based on a very well-known script of the same name by playwright, Shri Mahesh Elkunchwar. Revolving around various tangents of college, particularly hostel life, the play has managed to touch a chord with judges and audience alike. Adapting a play that has been performed innumerable times in the theatre circuit and has been turned into a motion picture, was definitely a herculean task for the directors, Purusharth Budhiraja and Anil Kumar. The play was originally written in 1970s and was adapted into a contemporary setting, keeping most of the original characters and creating some new ones along the way. “We at Hansraj believe in promoting good theatre and not focussing on the competitive part of events. This was exactly the theme of our theatre fest this year as well. This year has been a great journey for us, not only have we grown as theatre practitioners, we have also witnessed very high quality contemporary theatre. Irrespective of all the hiccups we faced, however big or small, it was a tremendous learning opportunity and I am sure next year will bring in even better things”, said Purusharth, the society’s President.

Cast and Crew

Cast: Purusharth Budhiraja, Anil Kumar, Abhinav Sharma, Aishwary Rajput, Rajat Katiyar, Kaushal Raj, Parth Paliwal, Nirmal Kothari, Saksham Shukla, Vikrant Verma, Shaman Goel, Shivika Chauhan, Iresh Gupta, Hansa Malhotra, Srishti Babbar, Sahiba Bali. Backstage – Kamal Kishore, Abhishek Mittal, Harshit Joon, Intaquam Hussain. Sound – Gurjot Sidhu. Lights – Aayushi Rathi, Karishma Khullar, Neha Agarwal. Note: The thirteen fests included in our analysis for this series include SRCC’s Crossroads, Gargi College’s Reverie, Sri Venkateswara College’s Nexus, LSR’s Tarang, Hans Raj’s Confluence, I.P. College for Women’s Shruti, Daulat Ram College’s Manjari, Hindu College’s Mecca, Jesus and Mary College’s Montage, Miranda House’s Tempest, Kamala Nehru College’s Ullas, Kirori Mal College’s Renaissance, SGTB Khalsa’s Lashkara. Out of the fests listed, only 6 had conducted a competitive stage theatre event. To collate this tally, the prizes for the best play were taken into consideration. Update: This story earlier listed Ramjas College at the first position in the DU Beat tally. However, after rectifying a computational error that was later pointed out, the Hans Raj Dramatics Society stands at the top. We apologise for the mistake made by the DU Beat team.]]>