Emoting complexities of life

Emoting complexities of life


In a dimly lit auditorium, two men on the stage kept the audience captivated. These artistes were performing the Indian adaptation of Edward Albee’s classic play, The Zoo Story, as part of the ‘Teen Natak – Festival of American Plays’ by Atelier Theatre Group.

Captivating : Aritistes performs in the play, The Zoo Story.

The three-day festival held at the American Center, provided Delhiites with a much needed relief during the weekend.

The three plays that staged during the festival were: Khusar Phusar, The Zoo Story and Laughter on the 23rd Floor.

The American play The Zoo Story originally had Peter and Jerry as its characters and explores the themes of isolation, loneliness and social disparity in a commercial world.

Kuljeet Singh’s adaptation had characters living in Delhi and staged contemporarily issues about the life of a person living in a metropolitan city.

Kuljeet says, “Adaptation is a creative call. You can play how much you want to, with the written word. I maintained the comic element in the play and did not change the script in any major way apart from setting it in Delhi.” He adds, “Adaptation is a good medium but should be carried out without compromising with the sensibilities of the audience.

Tushar Dhaundiyal, who played Partha in the play says, “Conceptualising The Zoo Story from an Indian context was interesting for me. The character of Partha appears to me as one who has always been burdened by family and has missed enjoying his childhood in the process. That is why when he tries to catch parakeets, it is somewhere symbolic of the child that is within all of us.”

The brilliant performer Sumedh Sachdev enacted myriad emotions, while playing the character of Jerry. Sumedh says, “The character of Jerry is extremely challenging because he laughs and cries at the same time. With monologues forming the highlight of this character, the crux is to express his failure in acquiring love and his broken relationships. He knows that he wants love but doesn’t know how to get it and therefore ends his life dramatically.”

The play attracted a lot of youngsters who could connect with the character of Jerry.

Leena Saxena, a student of Jesus and Mary College, says, “When you hear the name The Zoo Story, it is difficult to believe that the American play could be set in modern day Delhi. It was presented in a unique manner and we could relate to the characters as Jerry is inside all of us but we find it difficult to confront it.”

Namash Bradwaj, a student of Khalsa College says, “The acting was absolutely fantastic. I am a part of the theatre society of my college and know how difficult it is to play such characters on stage and at the same time convince the audience about their existence. Performances like these set a standard.”

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