United with a passion for theatre, students take social issues on stage
By Parvathy Nambidi | Published: 30th September 2013 12:00 AM |
They come from different backgrounds, but theatre unites them all. Maharaja’s College Theatre Group, that belongs to Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam, has an eventful history of more than thirty years. “We don’t have much idea about the pioneers of the group. With the admission of every new batch, a fresh group of students join the group and it goes on like that,” says Amarnath H, the fine arts secretary of the college, and an active member of the group.
This year is special for the college, as the fourteen-member theatre group bagged first prize in Mahatma Gandhi University Youth Festival with Rahana Mansur, a member of the group winning this year’s ‘best actress award’ in mono-act play. “Fifteen years back, when present day filmmakers like Amal Neerad and Anwar Rasheed ruled the roost, the college won the first prize for drama,” gushes Amarnath. He along with another member, Ajithkumar, got selected to this year’s national-level theatre competition.
The prize-winning play was Ellamma, that dealt with women trafficking. “Ellamma focuses on a girl who was pushed to prostitution by her father. This play has immense relevance in the present day scenario where girls are being abused everyday,” says Amarnath. The students train under Sreekumar, a theatre artist based in Thiruvananthapuram, a disciple of renowned national pantomimist Niranjan Goswami.
Mime and skits are also held. “We opt for political and social satires as themes for skits. They often throw light on those government policies that affect the common man and such other topics,” explains Amarnath. Their mimes often have light subjects that are told in a humorous vein. But however for its plays, that often convey a social message, the group toils rigorously. “We start practising at least three months earlier. While practising we stay in the campus together as a family,” shares Amarnath. Being in the group has taught a lot, feel its members. “It teaches us how to interact within a group. Our communication skills have improved tremendously and boosted our confidence,” says Amarnath.