BANGALORE: To many, the idea of a nerd and an artist getting along may sound alien. But 54 students from seven schools in Kerala , Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were in the city recently to prove that it can happen. The Southern India Science Drama Festival held at Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum saw these students switching effortlessly between the two roles; with great precision, they expressed their understanding of science through theatre. The programme was inaugurated by director, National School of Drama, Suresh Anagalli on Thursday on VITM premises.
Negating any perceived difference between the two subjects, Director of VITM, Shivaprasad Khened, says: “The mutual relationship between science and art has coexisted since many years. The concept of light and sound in a theatre performance is scientific, while the application of scientific fundas can be equated to an art form, simply put it is an exhibition of creativity. A teacher uses her creative skills to get across science concepts, is it not?”
C Basavalingaiah, ex-director of Rangayana, Mysore, and one of the judges says, “It was nice to see how these students took a concept of science, studied it, understood it and implemented the same in their plays with such perfection. Science through drama is an excellent way to impart better understanding of the subject.”
The performances best explained the motto of Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre — I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand. The enthusiasm levels exhibited by the students were overwhelming as they showed an understanding of science and even better, an understanding of the politics of science. “It was an amazing to be a part of an experience like this,” says Harish, a student of Ratnam HS, Nellore. According to him, enacting in the play helped them understand issues relating to conservation of energy, bio-diversity etc. “Through the play, we grasped aspects of science that we would otherwise miss by just reading,” says Uthra, a student of Ratnam HS, Nellore.
Kelappaji Memorial Vocational HSS presented Mariyude Diary (Marie’s Diary) that bagged prizes for the best play, actress, director and scriptwriter. “There were things about Madam Curie which we were unaware of. The play gave a great insight into her life and her work,” says Mallewara Rao, programme director All India Radio, Tirupati.
Unfortunately, the festival came across as a bid to provide opportunities to rural schools as there was only one school that participated in the Karnataka State Science Drama Competition held at Chickballapur. “We do not know the reason for this,” said Khened. “It could be because such opportunities are already available in the bigger schools. That said, we would like them to participate as well,” he added.