What happens when a group of techies take a break from their mundane routine and take to the stage? They transport you to the mid-1930’s with their performance. Well something similar was showcased recently through a play My Fair Lady based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion staged by 50 city-based techies. What started as an after work discussion over a cup of coffee gained momentum and materilised into a full fledged performance.
The play revolved around a snobbish phonetics professor, (Henry Higgins) who agrees to a wager that he can take a young flower seller (Eliza Doolittle) and make her presentable to the upper class society.
The team members took over a year to present the final product. In an interaction with City Express, the director of the play Priyanka Shetty, a senior software engineer, spoke at length about the challenges she faced as a director, support from the organisation and her earlier experiences of staging a play.
Speaking about the practice sessions, Priyanka said, “A year ago we started discussing the script. And as days went by we brought in a few changes in the dialogues. Every day, we came together for two hours and dedicated the time for practice.”
Besides directing the play Priyanka also played the role of the young flower seller, Eliza Doolittle. Choosing the artistes, making them understand the character were some of the challenges she had to face. “Many employees felt that staging My Fair Lady would be a difficult task. But we took that as a challenge and made an earnest effort to put forth the play,” she added.
Artistes in the play had an opportunity to exhibit their hidden talent. While speaking about his role as Henry Higgins, Shishank, of retail department said, “When I was first approached to play the role of Higgins, I was reluctant as it was not an easy task to memorise over 80 pages of dialogues. At the same time, most artistes in this play had to dance and sing as well, which was not easy for me.”
The team had presented Chokher Bali, a play written by Rabindranath Tagore, over a year ago. This boosted the team’s confidence and gave them the opportunity to perform My Fair Lady.
When asked if the artiste would like to continue to work as techies or whether they would opt to pursue their passion, Priyanka added, “The organisation is providing a platform to display our talent. This has boosted our confidence to perform better in our next plays. We would like to excel both as artistes and as a techies.”