Dramebaaz—Revels ’22

Nukkad Natak | Arnav Choudhary

The concept of Nukkad Natak originated from an era where communication was slow and the theatre was the best way to know about new policies and current affairs. It was the most energetic event in the ‘Dramebaaz’ category. Held right in front of NLH, it perfectly captured the essence of street theatre. The announcement of the event beginning drew a horde of people. Each group performing contained nearly twenty participants wearing matching ethnic clothes.

True to the concept of street plays, groups accentuated their acting with drums and harmoniums. The performances were a powerhouse of enthusiasm and covered important topics like domestic abuse, organ harvesting and animal cruelty. The dramatics club Ada’s play on the issue of marital rape, which included moving monologues with catchy songs interspersed in between to lighten the tension won the first prize, with Aaina’s play closely bagging the second prize.

Nukkad Natak was a well-organised event and felt extremely authentic in its gritty portrayal of societal problems. As times have evolved, so have street plays—from mere sources of information to a platform for discussing topics too taboo to be brought up otherwise.

A lively street play as part of 'Nukkad Natak'. [Image Credits: Nikita Ranjan]

Curtain Call | Arnav Choudhary

‘Dramebaaz’ saw one of its most colourful and scintillating events in ‘Curtain Call’. It drew theatre aficionados from across MIT and put their dramatic skills to the test. This event was not focused only on acting, but rather, on putting up a play that was a visual treat. Participants arrived fully prepared with their extensive props and elaborate costumes. Five teams participated and brought their best to the dais, dazzling the audience with their brilliant performances.

The first act was an extract from Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry. It was a scathing perspective on current events, politics, art, and the ruling class. The intensity kept ramping up and the audience was at the edge of their seats in anticipation. Their efforts paid off with the resounding applause they received at the conclusion. Another remarkable performance was ‘Charandas Chor’ which had the audience howling with laughter. Originally penned by Habib Tanvir, it is a humour-filled interactive satire, with the performers making sure to cleverly involve the audience as well. One of the most memorable events from another play titled ‘Shankar Bhaand’ was the king and queen’s entry, which was celebrated by throwing gold coins at the audience. Curtain Call was truly one of the most thrilling events of Revels’22.

On the Spot | Arnav Choudhary

On The Spot was an intriguing event from Dramebaaz that showcased the dramatic skills of students in a spontaneous setting. The room was bustling with the many teams that had shown up to participate in this well-anticipated event.

The event was conducted in two rounds in small groups. The first one was called Freeze Tag which required a group to come to the stage and pick a chit, which had prompts for them to act out. It started with two members acting, and when an organiser would call out ‘freeze’, one of the members on stage with switch out with another of their team and continue with the skit. One of the prompts was ‘The death of the family fish’, which was wildly entertaining.

The second round, called ‘Something More, Something Less’ had generated an even greater interest than the last one. The atmosphere was full of infectious energy as participants rehearsed their scripts animatedly. When the organisers would announce ‘something more’, the participants were supposed to exaggerate their plot, and with ‘something less’ they were to play the plot down. The difference between an exaggerated plot and an understated one was stark owing to the skilled actors.

The performances were eclectic and entertaining. The actors had a great command over the audience. “Chhoti bachchi ho kya?” riled up the atmosphere during the event while “Control Uday, Control!” helped to quieten everyone. The organisers were pleasantly surprised that the event was far more successful than they had expected.

Moods | Aprajita Singh

Moods was an online event from the Dramebaaz category. It was a unique idea for an event, with emphasis on how expressions and execution can change the entire mood of a situation. It tested the participants’ abilities to take a situation and wield emotions as a powerful tool to change the narrative. Students were asked to submit a 5-minute recording of their performances to the organisers by a deadline. They had to choose a situation among the many provided by the organisers, and portray 3 distinct moods through their acting.

Some of the situations the participants were given include friends visiting a crime scene, a blind bus driver, friends attending the funeral of a pet fish, and an Olympic mascot on trial. The organisers witnessed much versatility in the emotions portrayed. Participants put their fine-drawn acting skills to use, and turned the grim topics into hilarious circumstances, complete with brilliant physical comedy, before quickly switching over to intense sorrow or fear. The event went well, but the organisers felt that an offline event would have drawn much more enthusiasm and participation.

Spotlight | Aprajita Singh

Spotlight was different from the other events in the Dramebaaz category. Rather than a prompt being the focal point of a performance, the spotlight was instead on the performer. A monologue in a theatrical or operatic format had to be performed by the participants. The piece could be about some other character or autobiographical. A five-minute recording of the monologue had to be submitted for review to the organisers.

The intention was not to work with a team or make someone laugh, but rather, to look inwards and use acting as a medium to tell your story to the world. It truly brought out the best in the participants, with them digging deep to bring out raw emotions that tugged at the organisers’ heartstrings.

Vedanth Shetty, a Core Committee member of Dramebaaz commented, “It was a very hectic but fruitful experience. My time was well spent as the experience I gained professionally and personally is unparalleled.” All in all, every single event organised under the Dramebaaz category was a resounding success. It explored theatre as a form of art that depicts a story and left every member of the audience with something to ponder over.

Image Credits: Photography and Videography, Revels’22

Featured Image credits: Social Media and Graphics, Revels’22