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T for Theatre

It's not about organising props on the stage and delivering a drab and monotonous performance,winning a cash prize and going home.

Written by Rohan Swamy |
February 17, 2009 1:15:54 am

Firodiya Karandak-the annual inter-college cultural festival continues to bring out the best in students even in its 35th year

It’s not about organising props on the stage and delivering a drab and monotonous performance,winning a cash prize and going home. It’s beyond that. In fact much more than that. For the colleges participating in the event,the prize is vying for the trophy and the respect of the audiences and fellow participants,” says Ajinkya Kulkarni one of the team members of Sahamati the organisation that has been organizing Firodiya Karandak,the intercollegiate drama competition,every year.

Started 35 years back,in 1974,as the brainchild of Suryakant Kulkarni,the main aim of the competition was to give a platform for college students to showcase their artistic musings. The competition slowly evolved from being a drama competition to one where elements like,sculpture,pottery,painting,orchestra,puppet dancing,and a host of other such events,were incorporated. Moreover engineering college students started incorporating the usage of electronic gadgets like LCD projectors for shadow plays,high-end amplifiers for their sound systems and other such technological advances,which began giving them the edge over other competitors.

Elaborating on the subject,Kulkarni says,”Nothing on stage is pre-recorded or taped. Everything is live. Be it songs,music pieces,dances or even on the spot improvisations; everything is done on the wooden platform in person. If anyone is found using any alternate methods the entire college team is immediately disqualified. The whole idea behind Firodiya Karandak is- ‘Cinema on Stage’ wherein everything needs to be performed live.”

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“Every team is given a time period of one hour in which 15 minutes is given for setting up the props,the lights,orchestra,sound systems and all their paraphernalia. After that they are given 45 minutes to showcase their play. The length of the play should not exceed 45 minutes nor should it be shorter than 30 minutes. Teams are disqualified if they fail to stick to the time boundaries,” he adds.

This year 36 colleges have participated in the event that began on February 9 and will go on till February 18. Eight teams will be short listed for the finals,which will be then held on February 23. Speaking about their play which was performed on Sunday,M. Niyaz,a student of Indian Law School says,”Our play is called- Gharwali,which tells the story of a girl who is born of unknown parentage and has thus been given a bad treatment by a middle aged man who employs her to work for him. The story unfolds as the characters of the quiet Mirza and the full of life- Lajjo,clash. It’s a serious issues dealt with in a comical fashion.”

Sanket Thuse,of AISSMS Institute of Information and Technology says,”Our play ‘Patel Ka Patil’ deals with the issue of inter-caste marriages in a very humorous manner. It is ironic to see that even now such issues are considered taboo in the Indian social fabric. We basically wanted to show people that it’s more important to have a loving family than to bicker about trifles like caste creed and religion.”

Speaking about some of the talent showcased here Kulkarni says,”Famous artistes like Sonali Kulkarni,Girish Kulkarni,Mrunal Kulkarni,Ajay of ‘Ajay-Atul’ fame,have all been by-products of Firodiya Karandak. If one ever wonders why students burn the midnight oil to ensure that they pull off a perfect golden set stage for that particular one hour,then probably this is it.”

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