COLLEGE CAMPUSES are abuzz with preparations for annual fests and several student groups are busy, taking to the streets to raise awareness about social causes through street plays.
Street plays, which are part of annual fests at many colleges, have been planned with themes which are relevant to current times. Students from Mithibai College, Vile Parle, performed street plays at Juhu beach and Carter road earlier this month to encourage people not to waste food. “The idea was to tell people the importance of food through our play. We wanted to discourage people from taking food for granted so we even enacted ways to avoid wastage,” said Farizeh Daveirwalla, vice-chairperson of Paparazzi, the annual fest of BMM students of Mithibai college. She said the team received an overwhelming response. “Many people told us that they found the play informative,” said Farizeh.
At St Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao, the street play event scheduled on August 15 is called Aakhir Kehna Kya Chahte Ho. Non-acceptance of homosexuality, lack of sanitation, and alcoholism are some the themes around which participants have to perform the play.
“Apart from last years’ themes of poverty, illiteracy, suicide and child labour, we have added themes such as water wastage, global warming, child abuse, dowry, negligence of animal rights, rape, eve teasing, food wastage,” said Bandhuli Chattopadhyay, chairperson of Xavier’s annual fest Malhar to be held between 14 and 16 August.
This year, the event is different because one participant from each group has to actually portray the social issue or has to represent the problem, said Pratha Shah, organiser-in-charge of Indian Performing Arts, Malhar.
Shivani Patekar, a third year BA Sociology student of St Xavier’s, said she is writing and directing a street play on economic exploitation. “The theme encapsulates many of the problems plaguing our country such as corruption, class-discrimination and gender discrimination,” she said.
NM College, Vile Parle, too will hold its annual fest Umang in mid-August and has dramatics events lined up. A new event called the “Viewfinder of the Past’’ requires participants to stage plays on historical events but from a third person’s perspective and a contemporary outlook.
“The audience will be able get a glimpse of how the events affected those who were not directly involved in the event,” said Sakshi Jani, who is associated with the Umang festival.