Darpan, the annual theatre fest hosted by Christ University offers a space where students can express their stage skills. Students engage in street theatre, mime, proscenium and dance competitions, displaying an array of unique ideas and exploring creative means of bringing to light original stories. This year, as a part of the TheActrix workshop, Pierian Spring, the English literary club sent forth two troupes to compete alongside the university teams in street theatre and proscenium.
The proscenium students drew inspiration from the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana, and explored Ravana’s version of the battle. The actors brought to life the demon king’s nine emotions, commonly portrayed as his nine extra heads, and gave them unique characters. ‘The Eleventh face of Ravana’ revolved around the internal conflict of Ravana before his final battle with Lord Ram and brief courtship with Sita. His eleventh face, a dimension not seen in the original epic is heart-warming and even Sita, the loyal wife of Lord Ram, falters, as Ravana reveals the human side of his demonic personality. The play was well-received and left the audience with food for thought.
Street plays are aimed at bringing about social awareness and this time, the theme chosen by the troupe was ‘organ donation’. ‘Santa’s Satchel’ began as a casual piece but took a turn when the actors began questioning why organ donation remains nothing more than an idea and why very few people execute their best intentions. The message came out loud and clear through the performance and organ donation, a much-overlooked social cause drew the attention it deserves.
Students learnt a lot from the experience, both in the craft of theatre and in perspective. From a subaltern approach to mythology to a distinctive topic in street theatre, the actors put their best foot forward and presented one-of-a-kind plays at the fest.
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