How is everything?
They say that one should " love arts for the arts sake "...
Being very much true to the cliche ( with full respect meant to the thought..) lets wander in to the world of Elizabethan era's most talked about playwright, poet, actor, director etc.
Earning sobriquets as Bard of Avon after the place in United Kingdom where he lived, Stratford upon Avon, this man has to be studied inorder to understand Drama, performing arts and the very and many arts he was an embodiment of.
To drive home this point, Akshara Theatre located at 11-B, Baba Kharak Singh Marg with the landmark being the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi in collaboration with Eureka bookstore for kids took the pains of presenting to Delhites an interactive symposium which brings the Bard in the psyche of young people.
Akshara Theatre has a homely ambience with no elitist affair in the sense that there is no gaudy decorations inside the stage and only archlights above the spot where peformances are carried out and is a wooden floor with a balcony just at the background, facing the stage is the gallery for the audience.
The programme comprised of three seesions at the stipulated time that intellectualised and presented perspectives on the Bard which took off from 4 pm while the entertaintment segment kickstarted from 7 pm in the evening.
The auidience not only comprised of teachers, academicians or simply Shakespeare enthusiasts but also included students from CBSE ( Central Board of Secondary Education) with schools ranging as DPS ( Delhi Public School) Vasant Kunj to St. Columbus in Goldak Khana near Connaught Place.
The programme began with the graceful address of Madam Jalabala Vaidya an actress of the niche oriented English theatre in India who along with her playwright Husband, Mr. Gopal Sharman has put Akshara theatre into a league of its own.
Session one titled Revolutionary Shakespeare, highlighted Shakespeare's vision at the peak of his career and brught to the fore the universality and continued relevance of the Bard today with a interactive discussion from theatre artists Arka Mukhopadhyay and Parnab Mukherji.
The highlight of this segment was Mr. Parnab's solo act play where he dwelled upon the fact that public places great figures in the annuls of history in a so-called " divine status" and this was brough out poignantly when he said continuously in his performance that " I will shoot you with a Shakespeare gun'' when the other imagined actor whom he was only giving the voice with the apparent fact being that such a referral( the Dialogue) is an apparent sign of anything giving a jolt long set traditions and thought process.
The act was beautifully intervined with present day political and social situation of the country.
Hereafter, the second session was democratic in the sense that it catered the Bard minus his exalted image to the new generation who are unfortunately not much akin to him, courtesy resource person from Publication houses specialising in children and other literature like Vatsala Kaul bannerji( Hachette India group of Publications), Reba Mukherji and Atiya Zaidi. Their discussion was not only limited to search Shakespeare's dramatic and literary genius but going one step ahead sharing their perceptions and imressions of the Bard's work in their lives. This was titled Sharing Shakespeare.
Tosham Acharya a final year fashion technolgy student from the JD institute of fashion design who hails from Karnataka gave audiences a treat of his dramatic enactment from Julius Ceasar
Session Three was titled in a pop-culturish way...Shakespeare rocks..This segment comprised of Artistic director, Anirudh nair of Wide Aisle productions and Sangeeta Nag, a CBSE schoolteacher inputting the modes and nuances used by the Elizabethan Playwright in his times.
This segment was provided variety courtesy a creative interplay between teachers and students which was realised by a dramatic enactment from Julius Ceaser and the Merchant of Venice by the Learing Stage. To give in some details of this performance it was directed by Stephen Marazzi with actors in the following order Zara Khan as (Portia), Abhinav Khetarpal as ( Shylock), Naval K. Grag as ( Gratiano), Joshua Katuka as ( Bassanio).
These enactments were given a generous dollop of music with Anam Panmei at the Violin, Vipin Sharma at the guitar. As no show is a reality without proper management so this programme had Ms. Ragini as the manager.
These were eneded by the 6 pm informal birthday celebrations on Shakespeare with delicious English fare served to invitees comprising of students, teachers, parents, enthusiasts, actors et al. This made the evening meaningful.
An hour later the other entertaintemnt followed with small enactments on Dreams and Nightmares by theatre personality Arka Mukhopadhyay and his students. This was complemented by ann excerpt from Julius Ceaser by Stephen Marazzi, then followed Sudhir Tandon's excerpt from the same iconic play.
Therafter an excerpt of the fantasy drama the Tempest was performed by Anirudh Nair of Wide Aisle productions, this was supported by an excerpt from Birnham Van that is Raghuvir Sahay's Hindi adaptation of Macbeth that was done justice by Baanee Sharad, Tosham Acharya and Mahant.
As the evening grew the performances too with an excerpt from Romeo and Juliet where the scenes run as the Star crossed lovers are shown meeting for the first time under a moonlit night near Juliet's balcony to juliet's end by consumption of the poison. This excerpt was done justice by Anirudh Nair as Romeo and English theatre artist Shona Benson as Juliet.
The performances were given the intellectual quotient by a histrionic and nuance filled excerpt from hamlet performed by Akshara theatre's Gopal Sharman as well as the bard's sonnets being read out by none other than the garcious lady herself, Jalabala Vaidya.
Children add colur and variety to any show and this was eveident when the audiences were enthralled by a fairy tale like performance of the MidSummer's Night Dream with lead characters as Oberon bing played by Dhruv Shetty , Krish Barua as Puck followed by Yashna Shetty as Titania, Jyoti Sharma as the chief fairy. This performance was ably complemented by a host of child artists.
Personalities are there in every passage of history whose pesonal achievements go on to inspire generations and Shakespeare inevitably is that personality. he through his works have down the annuls of modern human progress have become only universal and profound.
Defintely this evening at the Akshara theatre dserves a thumbs up for its endeavours in highlighting the Bard's life and works