The weekend saw a display of talent and creativity as college students battled it out at the auditions for the 'Deccan Herald Theatre Festival 2017'. Held at Rangoli Metro Art Centre, MG Road, teams from St Teresa's College for Women, Mount Carmel College and Indian Institute of Science (on the first day), and St Joseph's College for Commerce, Christ University and CMR School of Legal Studies (on the second day), showcased a variety of themes and concepts on stage.
The jury, which comprised of Salmin Sheriff, Anmol Vellani and Anitha Mithra, gave their feedback to individual teams at the end of each day. "The good thing was that all the students attempted theatre, though it will be good if they hone their craft. A festival like this is a good chance for students to perform as well as learn about the other aspects like light, sound, costume, sets, and so on," said Salmin.
"I was very happy to see the amount of enthusiasm and work the students had put in. The students only had two weeks to rehearse but their interest and enthusiasm shone through," added Anitha.
"It was a mixed bag because sometimes the team's inexperience was evident. Despite that, they managed to put up a good show," opined Anmol, who advised the participants to watch professional productions. He also prompted them to look at meaningful plays, instead of falling into the trap of relevance and topicality.
Mount Carmel College third year student Preethi Sagar, who was a part of the in-house theatre troupe 'Stage Craft Productions', said, "We had to portray the good, bad and ugly experiences in an actor's life. It was a challenge for us to showcase the various emotions but we enjoyed the experience."
Sahana Venkatesh, a second year student of Mount Carmel College, said, "The comments from the judges were indeed encouraging. The critical remarks will help better our performances and strengthen our skills."
The Indian Institute of Science theatre troupe, called 'Rang Manch', staged 'All by Myself' by Robert Scott. PhD student Shankar R, the director, said "We enjoyed working on this production and this is the first time that we are staging it outside our campus. The comments and observations from the judges will definitely help better the product."
Reshma Khan, lecturer, St Teresa's Degree College For Women, said "The theatre festival will provide encouragement and exposure to students to showcase their talent and be recognised on a bigger platform."
Christ University student Shivangi Nigam, who is pursuing BA in performing arts, literature and psychology, said, "For us, the takeaway from the judges' observations was that what we are doing is right. It made us believe in ourselves. We have been doing theatre for the past two years but today we felt more grounded and humble about the art that we do."
First year BBA student Abhishek, from St Joseph's College of Commerce, opined that it was a great experience for him and others like him. "For students like us, who don't have a background in theatre, the feedback will enable us to rectify our mistakes.
The names of the top three contenders will be announced on November 16 on theatrefest.decccanherald.com. They will get a chance to perform on December 4 at Alliance Francaise de Bangalore as part of the 'Deccan Herald Theatre Festival 2017'.