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Celebrating theatre

Baishali Adak, Feb 19, 2013, DHNS 19:47 IST

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THEATRICAL: The four-day-long Histrionica saw amazing performances by theatre groups of several DU colleges.
It was a riot of ideologies, energy and expressions! Sri Ram College of Commerce’s dramatics society recently celebrated its annual theatre festival ‘Histrionica’ 2013.

Spread over four days, it attracted the best of theatre groups from Delhi University with no less than 30 plays being staged. These included every form of theatre prevalent today from the rustic nukkad-natak to classic stage acts and short skits to even stand-up comedy.

This society was started back in 2004 by a group of SRCC’s theatre enthusiast
students. Today, it is patronised by the biggest theatre schools in India like the National School of Drama and Film and Theatre Society. A student Sugandha Jindal says, “Unlike the fests of other drama societies in DU, Histrionica is not a competitive event. The performance of each college team here is reviewed, not judged, by a panel of
eminent theatre persons.”

“As a result, no one is scared of losing and everyone tends to experiment. All kinds of plays are staged here from time-tested classics to new scripts by students, abstract to realistic and slapstick to issue-based. The overall quality of theatre improves.” Evidently, at least two colleges – Hindu and Khalsa – launched their new plays at Histrionica 2013.
The fest opened with the loud and boisterous street-theatre event Aahavan. Nine college teams went about the campus beating drums, singing their traditional ‘calling songs’ and asking students and passersby to see their plays.

The Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies’ team presented a play on the differently-abled called Aakhir hum bhi insaan hai. Hosts SRCC staged Daud on the negative spirit of competition. Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College highlighted the pros and cons of quota policy with Reservation Leela and Hinduiites commented on how protests have become fashionable with a play called Mudda kya hai, maksad kya hai?

Street theatre’s vibrancy charged up students for the second day’s stage play event Charades. Kirori Mal College presented a thoughtful play on eight students, teachers and staff of a college discussing a case of sexual harassment. They begin fully confident of the boy’s crime and the punishment he deserves. However, in the course of discussion, questions start cropping up if the boy has done this at all. It was titled Room for doubt.
Maitreyi girls staged Premchand’s evergreen Bade bhai sahib wherein an elder sibling, inspite of being studious, continues to fail in school, while the younger playful sibling is promoted every time leading to both ending up in the same class. However, the girls added a twist – the elder sibling here is a victim of the newly introduced semester system.

Equally fantastic plays were presented by students of Lady Sri Ram College, Hansraj, Dyal Singh, Ramjas, Venkateshwara, PGDAV College etc. on the last two days. In the meantime, students also enjoyed a hilarious mimicry competition, a skit contest as well as a performance by the Faridkot music band.

As Manjari Dash, a participating student from PGDAV College said, “Histrionica
mirrors the essence of theatre. Theatre means losing one’s inhibitions and letting go.
Similarly, in Histrionica, one is easily able to take risks as there is no question of losing anyways. Everyone goes home a winner. Everyone comes back a better actor.”

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