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All the street’s a stage!

If there’s a budding theatre artiste in you, then you can hone your skills when you make it to the campus of Delhi University (DU). We get you an insight into the functioning and year round activities of five street play societies of DU colleges.

art and culture Updated: Jun 26, 2011 02:11 IST
Vaishali Bhambri
Vaishali Bhambri
Hindustan Times

Among the many cultural societies in the varsity, there is also the dramatics society, of which, nukkad natak (street play) forms an integral part. These societies of different colleges of DU perform on socially relevant issues such as dowry, early marriage, corruption and more, all around the year. Loud drum beats, bold slogans and bolder expressions, make the performances by these societies quite appreciated in the campus.

Ramjas College
Name of the society: Shunya

The members of Shunya, the dramatics society of Ramjas College, explain that the name of their group is so because they don’t believe in any rule or philosophy. Dramatics to them is about few like-minded people exploring the stage. Formed in 1994, the society has 33 members, out of which 14 are girls. You can become a member of this society by qualifying the Extra-Curricular Activities (ECA) quota while taking admission in the college. For others, there are auditions that test the voice modulation and expressions among other qualities of the applicants. The team has won many competitions. Their annual street play titled Soch Badlo, based on bringing about a change in the stereotypical thinking of the society, got selected by the Asmita Theatre Group. The group performed their Hindi play, Peele Scooter Wala Admi, by Manav Kaul, at the Old World Theatre Festival.

Hindu College
Name of the society: Ibtida

The Hindi dramatics society of the college - Ibtida, is known in Delhi University for its record in street play competitions being particularly impressive. The society works on Hindi stage play and street play productions every year. There are about 20 members in the group, who share a common passion for theatre. Bollywood filmmaker Imtiaz Ali began as a member of this street play society when he was in Hindu College. The society recently bagged the awards for the second best street play and best street play actor at the annual fest of BITS Pilani. They have performed at coveted platforms including the Ateliers Youth Theatre Week and the Jaago Grahak Jaago campaign.

Kamala Nehru College
Name of the society: Lakshya

The street play society of this college is called Lakshya, meaning mission. It is one of the most talked about street play societies in Delhi University. With about 15 members in total, the group has performed at reputed theatre festivals and platforms including Jan Natya Manch. The society follows a strict procedure of auditions, where the aspirants have to undergo seven rounds that include testing of intonation, pitch, voice modulation, expressions and presence. Their annual street play production called - Udaan Ab Bhi Baaki Hai - is a satirical take on women liberation. Last year, they bagged first positions at the annual fests of Hansraj, Gargi and Dayal Singh College. The society is currently working on Jashn, which aims to give a new angle to street theatre.

Hansraj College
Name of the society: Dramatics Society

With no particular name given to the society, this group is simply known as the Dramatics society of the college. The street play group forms a part of this society. They are best known for their annual theatre festival - Eclat, where the best of DU’s street plays and stage plays are performed. The society follows a four-tier hierarchy - with a president, vice president, general secretary and a treasurer. A formal audition by the senior members of the society is conducted to induct new members. The society has about 20 members and has won may inter-college festivals held in and outside Delhi. Their annual production for this year is called Inquilab.

SGTB Khalsa College
Name of the society: Ankur

The members of the street play society of this college - Ankur - believe that their ideology is unique. With the theme and the presentation of their plays being their USP, the society has performed at all major college festivals. Ankur has 19 members in total. To be a part of the society, one needs to undergo auditions that include testing of skills, ability and aptitude. Another unique feature of this society is their two mentors - Saikat Ghosh and Kuljeet Singh. The annual production of the group for this year is Bazaar, which is a play based on the theme of human trafficking. The group is known for other plays such as Dekh Mat Khareed Le - based on consumer awareness and Khel Khel Main on Commonwealth Games. The society has won accolades including the first position at the Institute of Information Technology Kanpur’s Fest - Antaragni ’11.

Atma Ram Sanatan Dharam College (ARSD)
Name of the society: Rangayan

Projecting different shades of street theatre is Rangayan - the dramatics society of ARSD college. Formed in 2003, the society has about 25 members. This group, which comprises of young theatre activists, is all about experimentation and improvisation. The last time the group was in news was for its alumni, Raj Kumar Yadav, who played one of the leads in the bollywood film Love Sex and Dhoka. The union of the society conducts trials for inducting new members. The group recently performed their annual production, Dilli Chalo by Utpal Dutt, in collaboration with the National School of Drama. The society has many awards to its credit, including securing the top position at the annual fest of Delhi College of Engineering.

Other street play societies:

Gargi College
Name of the society: Upstage

Shri Ram College of Commerce
Name of the society: The Dramatics Society

Lady Shri Ram College for Women

Name of the society: Dram Soc

Indraprastha College for Women

Name of the society: Abhivyakti

First Published: Jun 25, 2011 16:01 IST