If you have a hidden flair for acting, you can brush up your skills by joining the theatre society of your college. Be it script writing, acting, direction or stage production, there is enough to learn and explore in the theatre societies of Delhi University’s (DU) different colleges. With an alumni featuring names like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, DU has been the training ground for many budding actors. Have a look at some of the most popular dramatics societies on campus.
Hans raj college, Dramatic Society
Many students join Hansraj’s theatre society, as they are inspired by the life of its most famous alumni — actor Shah Rukh Khan. “I wish his luck rubs off on me,” says Prem Parija, 20, third year History Honours student. For Ayushi Kumar, vice president of the Dramatic Society, college means attending the practice sessions for plays. The society’s street play, Laalsa, was performed about 60 times and won 40 awards.
Formed in: 1987
Number of members: 25-30
Biggest competitor: Ankur of SGTB Khalsa
Ramjas College, Shunya
This society is known for its out-of-the-box ideas. Getting into the theatre society of this college includes five to six eliminatory rounds that test one’s clarity of expression, understanding of text and improvisational skills, over two days, after which, about 20-30 students are selected. The society has been the training ground for Bollywood celebs such as Manoj Bajpai and Shekhar Suman, among others.
Formed in: 1994
Number of members: 30
Biggest competitor: KMC and LSR
Kirori Mal College, The Players
This society, which has actor Amitabh Bachchan among its alumni, is regarded as one of the best theatre societies in the varsity. “There are two major reasons why people join KMC, because of The Players or Musoc (the music society of the college),” says Gandharv Dewan, former president of the college. Aspirants have to attend a month long workshop to join The Players while students applying through the extra-curricular activities category need to go through seven rounds of audition. The college has two theatre festivals — Sareaam for street plays and Curtains for stage plays.
Formed in: 1958
Number of members: 35-40
Biggest competitor: We don’t believe in competition
IP college for women, Abhivyakti
This was one of the first few all-women theatre societies in DU. After starting with street plays, it now has four new productions each year, including a stage production, a one-act play and a Shakespeare play (started last year). Interested members can attend the orientation in the first fortnight of the college’s reopening. There are separate auditions for actors interested in street plays and stage plays. Their street play, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai?, won nine awards.
Formed in: 1965
Number of members: 30-40 core members, total-300
Biggest competitor: Players from Kirori Mal College
SGTB Khalsa College , Ankur
If you see people crying, consoling each other or laughing aloud at the basket ball court of this college, don’t be surprised! This is the practice hub for Ankur — the theatre society of this college. The members work on four productions every year. Last year’s production, Park, which was about the problem of displacement, was selected for the SAM festival at the National School of Drama in Delhi. Their latest street play, Dharm, about people divided by misinterpretation of religion, won nine awards last year, including one in HT City’s Youth Nexus. The society has performed its trademark street play, Bazaar, based on human trafficking, more than 50 times this year. “DU is a great training ground for budding actors,” says Ayushaansh Gupta, 21, president of Ankur. Students have to go through a two-day acting audition to be a part of Ankur.
Formed in: 1996
Number of members: 30
Biggest Competitor: The Players on stage and IBTIDA for street plays
Hindu College, Ibtida
Started by filmmaker Imtiaz Ali in 1991, IBTIDA is known for its street plays such as Kachde Mein Power Hai, Kahan Jayenge Bhaiya and Kyon Karen. Experimenting with new ideas and techniques is the hallmark of this society. The group’s last stage production, Uss Parr, was a multi-award winner, while their street play, Zaroorat Kya Thi, won 11 awards across the university last year. Interestingly, the society has a lawn named after it in the college, where members often practice. Those interested to join the society have to go through a two-day audition for voice modulation, physical strength and acting talent. The forms are available for free in the second week of the college’s reopening.
Formed in: 1991
Number of members: 21
Biggest competitor: The Players from KMC
Shri Ram College of Commerce, Dramatics Society
This college gives equal focus to the organisational and productional aspects of theatre along with acting. The society is divided into two parts — production and acting. The aspiring actors have to go through a 10-day audition, which also include a week-long workshop on theatre activities. About 40-50 actors are chosen during the final two day audition. “Theatre has given me a new identity on campus. People see me and recognise me as the ‘rain girl’ from my character in my first play, The Experiment, in 2010,” says Medha Bankhwal, 20, Economics Honours, third year.
Formed in: 1983
Number of members: 113
Biggest competitor: The Players from Kirori Mal College
Lady Shri Ram College, Dram Soc
You will be greeted with the roll of a daphli and a call song on the first day of this college. Well, this is the Dram Soc inviting you to join them. The society, which has alumni like Sakshi Tanwar and Lillete Dubey, conducts a two-day audition before every production to give a chance to everyone. About 10-15 people are selected for the first production to be performed on Independence Day. Last year, the college drifted towards dark comedies like Shrink Resistant and The Skeleton Woman. The street play about gay rights, Kya Bura Hai kya Galat, was quite a hit.
Formed in: 1960
Number of members: 100
Biggest competitor: Ramjas and Kirori Mal College