Muchos En Uno: A Four-Play Event by ADA
ADA Dramatics shed new light to the phrase, “All the world’s a stage”, with their event Muchos En Uno, which translates to “Many in One”. The title was appropriate as the event boasted of four plays creating a potpourri of varying emotions. The plays touched upon various relevant social issues and dogmas that still plague our society and psyche. The event witnessed an above average turnout and the Library Auditorium truly lit up with the performance of the participants. The ambience was set with dim lighting and soft music, and one could see that the audience was all geared for what was about to come.
The first play, “Monkey’s Paw”, was an adaptation of a short story by W. W. Jacobs. The play revolved around Mr and Mrs White and their adult son, Herbert. Sergeant-Major Morris, introduces them to a mummified monkey’s paw which could grant three wishes. At Herbert’s suggestion, Mr White flippantly wishes for £200, which would enable him to make the final mortgage payment for his house. The next day, word comes to the White home that Herbert has been killed in a terrible machinery accident and the firm decides to make a goodwill payment of £200 to the family of the deceased. Ten days after their son’s death. Mrs White, mad with grief, asks her husband to use the paw to wish Herbert back to life and he does. Shortly after, there is a knock at the door. As Mrs White fumbles at the locks in an attempt to open the door, Mr White, who knows the corpse has been buried for more than a week, realizes that the thing outside is not the son he knew and loved, and makes his third wish.
The knocking suddenly stops, and the curtains fall.
The use of dramatic lighting and sound effects greatly helped heighten the suspense and was effective in getting the audience engaged in the play. The actors did a fairly good job of capturing the grief and heartbreak felt by the parents on hearing that their son had passed away. The play was a gentle reminder of how every action of ours has a repercussion, and how fate is something that we cannot meddle with.
Next in line was “Brahma”, a satirical play that encapsulated the way superstition meddles with our lives. This Hindi play focused on a certain ‘Blind Men’s Club’ that offered evenings of fun and entertainment to visually impaired men looking for some company and merriment. We are introduced to one such man who is over the age of seventy and the play revolves around how his evening progresses. The play had a humorous side to it as the young members of the club entertained the old man with stories of their escapades with women. The audience really enjoyed the passing comments and subtle innuendos. The portrayal of blind men, which is often a difficult task, was handled extremely well by the actors. The play had a dramatic ending as it was revealed that the club was actually just a cover up to lure old blind men. They would then be sacrificed by the employees of the club in an attempt to regain their eyesight. The play touched upon how superstitions still plague our society and prompt us to do heinous and brutal things.
The third play, “You Do Love Me, Don’t You?”, was a romantic thriller that revolved around a young couple madly in love with each other. It started off with the young lady worrying about whether her family would like her boyfriend of eight weeks. The audience then got to meet her quirky family which consisted of a father who fought valiantly and lost arguments, a wife who had very strong opinions and wasn’t scared to express them, and a rather nosy younger sister. There were several humorous exchanges between the young man and the family. However, the darker undertones quickly came to light when the young man murdered his lover’s family in cold blood when he realized that they might stand in the way of the couple being together. The murder scenes were spine-chilling and well-acted. The maniacal laughing, dramatic lighting, heightened music score, and good dialogues helped set the dark tone of the play.
The event ended with “Ande Ke Chilke”, a play that poked fun at the joint family system with all its restrictions and hypocrisy. It focused on a family which hid things from each and had a lot of internal conflicts. The family comprised of an elder sister-in-law who reads romance novels, a younger sister-in-law who cooks egg (an act condemned by the elders), and her husband who smokes. All the backbiting is finally brought to light and humorous exchanges ensue as they try to cover up their deceit with absurd and over-the-top lies. The play finally ended with the members realizing that the elders knew about everything and that they were just silent to see how far the youngsters would go to protect their lies and secrets.
The play tried to bring to light the present situation in most joint families now, where the younger generation has a very different outlook on life compared to the elder and more often than not this leads to confrontation due to differences in ideologies and beliefs.
Overall, the event focused on various relevant issues and was effective in conveying its message to the audience. The organizing committee deserves a pat on their back as the event was up and running in no time with minimum delays. The audience was left satisfied and everyone ended up having a good time. This goes to show that most stories have more than one side to them, and a good drama is one that allows the viewers to arrive at a conclusion by themselves. Let’s all hope for more events of this sort.