High on Drama

From portraying mid-19th century America to raking a debate about Shivaji Maharaj’s education and showcasing human bond — the top three winners of recently-held Purushottam Karandak explored bold and complex subjects

Written by Anjali Jhangiani KP | Pune | Published:September 3, 2013 2:36 am

Ulagaddi

(Department of Fine Arts,Bharati Vidyapeeth)

Set against the backdrop of the series of unfortunate events in Uttrakhand — the floods,landslides,lost homes,orphaned children and devastated parents — the play titled Ulagaddi,presented by students of Department of Fine Arts,Bharati Vidyapeeth,stirred the emotions of the audience during the finals of Purushottam Karandak at Bharat Natya Mandir. By the end of the evening,they were declared winners of the first prize and the bylanes of Sadashiv Peth echoed with celebratory shouts.

Director,script writer and actor Shivraj Waichal composed himself,realising that all his hardwork had achieved success. “The situation in Uttarakhand,sad as it was,had so many human emotions. I came up with a story about a Maharashtrian man and a girl from Karnataka stuck on a tree as they tried to survive the flood. One thing led to another and I had the script ready,” says Waichal.

The play showcased the bond between two people from different cultures but the same motive — to survive. The team came up with elaborate sets that transformed the stage into an almost-real location. Along with the best director and experimental scriptwriter,Waichal also bagged the best actor award for his role as the manus (man),along with co-actor Chaitali Bakshi,who played the girl. “I wrote the script in Marathi and then took help from my mother,who is fluent in Kannada,to help me with the girl’s dialogues. Chaitali didn’t know a word of Kannada,but she worked hard on her diction and accent till she sounded convincing,” says Waichal. The characters of the play are rescued by a helicopter,another spectacular technical stage trick they managed to pull of flawlessly.

Bell

(SP College)

Inspired by the story of American scientist Graham Bell,Bell,showcased by SP College,bagged the Hari Vinayak Karandak. The champions of last year didn’t hesitate to cheer for the winners even though they came second this time. “We put in great effort and it was appreciated,” says Kshitij Date,director,script writer and actor. Their play was set in late 19th century America,where a mime artiste takes the audience on a journey through a time machine to uncover how the “tele-sound” device was invented by Bell. “It is known that Bell’s mother and girlfriend had hearing impairment,I explored this aspect of his life and how it must have inspired him,” says Date. Given that it is a period play,the team left no stone unturned with their research which ranged from their costumes to dialogue delivery. The script was written by Pranav Bapat. Best actor awards were bagged by Date,who played the role of Bell,Ashwariya Shidaye,the mime artist and Sachin Bunakhe who essayed the role of Thomas Watson in the play.

K La Kana “Ka?”

(MIT,Pune)

The students of MIT,Pune,are not novices in exploring new ideas. Though their subject was sensitive,they wanted to stage their opinions. Their play K La Kana “Ka?”,which is based on the controversy of Shivaji Maharaj’s education,bagged the Sanjeev Karandak as they finished in the third place. The plot revolved around the dilemma of a Class IX student,who seeks answers to whether Shivaji received a formal education. But in the course of finding answers,the play touches upon political issues. “We wanted to show how something trivial can kick a storm. How the present education system does not allow us to raise questions,” says director Sainath Ganuwad. The students consulted many dramatic critics to ensure that they don’t hurt sentiments. “A play is a reflection of our society and so we wanted to showcase something which affects us at a personal level,” says Ganuwad.

For all the latest Cities News, download Indian Express App

    Live Cricket Scores & Results
    Express Adda