Leap from laboratories to the stage of theatre

Last Updated 29 March 2013, 18:37 IST

Leela and Bhaskar are a couple living in Mumbai. On an unfortunate day, a women is brutalised right in front of their eyes. Leela’s repeated pleas to her husband to save the women goes in vain.

The scene is part of an english play titled ‘Lights Out’, which is among the two plays to be screened at Vanaranga on April 1 and 2.

Although there are hundreds of plays staged at the venue, the factors that makes the performing troupe, ‘Abhiyentararu’, in question, unique is that the troupe consists entirely of engineers and engineering students.

Medhana Shanbough, a fourth semester student at Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering plays Leela in ‘Lights Out’.

The play, in the wake of Delhi gang rape issue, will focus on the atrocities committed against women.

She says that acting in a full-fledged play is a big leap from performing in small skits at school day functions.

Although she is nervous about her first performance, she is happy that her interest in theatre has borne fruit.

Being a student of Information Science, both acting and studying might be hectic for any other student.

She does not disagree. “Though managing both is hectic, you cannot deny yourself the things you are interested in,” she said.

Call of Art

It is not just engineering students who will be stepping into the shoes of actors. A few lecturers and professionals too have discovered the calling of art, and have found it irresistible. Playing one of the lead roles in ‘Soole-Sanyasi’, is Lakshman Dutta, a lecturer at Vidyavardhaka Polytechnic. Since he is acting in his second play, he is one of the few with experience of facing an “unforgiving audience”.

‘Soole-Sanyasi’, a comedy drama with a social message, tried to showcase the conflicts people faced in the society.

“Both students and lecturers have a hectic schedule at colleges. But, since the day we started working on the plays, the troupe has discovered how much of a stress buster having a hobby is,” he said.

Play director, H S Suresh Babu, who is also president of Abhiyentararu, established in 1993, said that more than 65 students from reputed engineering and polytechnic colleges in the city have participated in the theatre course by Abhiyentararu.  This is the second time after 2009, have the troupe organised theatre courses. Encouraged by the response, the troupe is contemplating of organising few more courses  in the future.

(Published 29 March 2013, 18:36 IST)

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