Aurora’s Degree College has created a landmark in the history of Andhra Pradesh Educational Institutions by initiating Theatre Culture. Aurora has left no stone unturned, be it the field of education, business management and many other professional courses and created history by introducing Theatre for the first time at the National Level for the UG students which is first.
Aurora’s Theatre Festival 2005
Venue: Aurora’s auditorium
Date: 24th -31st August
Convenor: Ms. Rohini Rao
(An Indian Experience of English Drama)
The Theatre which remained in an embryonic stage for far too long, now became full- fledged with impetus given by the management of Aurora’s Degree College and was opened in the form of festival week on 24th August, 2005 for the audience .yes the cast was well equipped with its dynamic directors to treat its audience to a performance. The curtains went up at Aurora’s Degree College for a week long Theatre Festival from August 24th to August 31st, 2005. The audience was more than contended to applaud rhapsodically the ingenious settings, props, costumes with splendid direction and fantastic performances of the students.
The theatre which is a means of learning language as well as communication both verbal and non verbal was an opportunity for the students to experience it as Indians. The students worked hard for over a month to make this event possible. The theatre was declared open by the Chief Guest Dr. DSN Moorthy at 5.15 pm after the formal lighting of the lamp.
On day one 24th Aug, ’05, the curtains raised for ‘An Inspector Calls” by J.B Priestly. The play was put up by students of Life Sciences as well as Commerce stream. The play was directed by Ms. Tina Ghelani. The Chief Guest Dr. DSN Moorthy, Professor of SN School, Theatre Department, Hyderabad Central University, analyzed the play and gave his valuable judgment.
“An Inspector Calls” which was brilliantly, compelling and haunting thriller was applauded by the audience to a great extent.
On day 2 of the theatre week, the audience got to see the light hearted satire and dazzling honor of “Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wild.
The play was directed by Mr. Harish Kumar and Mr. Arjun. The Guest of Honor for the second play was Prof. Bikshu of SN School, Theatre Department HCU. At the end of play, Prof. Bikshu interacted with the participants and gave his suggestions to improvise.
The 3rd play “Where there is a will” by Mahesh Dattani was directed by Enoch P James and Pavan Kumar. The paly projected the parental hegemony which is challenged by the individual in contemporary society. The participants were appreciated for the ingenious setting.
On 29th Aug, the audience watched one of the Shakespearean earliest comedies, “taming of the shrew”. Taming of the shrew lampoons male chauvinism and celebrates the quick wit and fiery spirit of its heroic Kate, while reviling in her humiliation.
On 30th Aug was the day when “Final Solutions: by Mahesh Dattani was enacted. It exposed the bitter truth of communal violence and also portrayed the suppression of women in India. The play was directed by Ankush and was enacted by the students of Commerce stream.
The last day of theatre festival, 31st Aug, 2005 was an important day for the audience could watch the
Dr. Shivraj of theatre Department of HCU and Dr.Nagraj of folk culture Dept. HCU were the distinguished guests of that evening. A week long theatre festival came to an end with a formal valedictory function with awards being given for the best direction, best action, best costumes etc.
Finally the Principal, Dr.Ravi Paturi announced the awards after the valedictory message was given by Dr. Nagaraju.
Categories for the best awards are as follows
Report on Theatre festival 2006-‘07
Date : 13th and 14th September
Venue : Aurora’s auditorium
Convenor: Maithry Shinde
Aurora has been the first among the colleges of the twin cities to rejuvenate ‘Theatre Culture’. ‘Theatre’ is contemplated as a catalyst to nurture students’ communication skills and personality. Theatre was officially ignited in the year 2005 with a week days feasting by staging of six consecutive plays. With such an exhilarating experience the Department of English is all poised this year to budge this culture a step further. The motive to tag theatre as a process rather than an event is to witness personality transformation besides manifestation of students’ skills and talents. Needless to say, our students are agile and exuberant on stage, it is during their practice sessions that their intra and interpersonal skills, group dynamism are challenged.
Event Management Ms.Maithry Shinde
Budget Committee: Ms.Hemalatha Sharma
Guest Committee: Ms. Aparna Reddy, Ms, Jaya mala
Prizes Committee: Ms.Rachel Suresh and Ms. Angela Christina
Refreshments: Ms.Rachel Suresh
Stage Management : Ms.Sandhya Tiwari
In other words Theatre is pruning and honing of personality traits. Initially, a filtering session was held under the supervision of the faculty and the plays which could be showcased were given inputs for improvisation. Students worked hard for a month to give their best on stage. The curtains rose with the staging of the play “The Lost Child” put up by the Commerce and Life Sciences students.
The team of the “Twelfth Night” by Shakespeare gave a flawless performance which was greatly applauded by the audience. The play was directed by Avantika of Life Sciences group. “Big Nose” performed exclusively by the Life Sciences stream treated the audience with a sterling performance. “Hound of the Baskervilles” directed by Harish Kumar of Mi. G. C. showed wit and suspense in the best possible way, never to forget it being a Cannon Doyles play. “The Matrimonial Ad” however, rocked the stage by giving the feel of Indian drama and it being a production by a student Ashish of M.E.Cs, it gave all the Auroran’s the zeal to come up with more such productions. “Mother’s Day Out” was one play that displayed the taming of male chauvinism by the witty mother. The last drama “Christmas Carol” gives an opportunity to the cast to repent for not having led a life worthwhile when he has a dialogue with a ghost.
The plays which were showcased were
The lost child Mulkraj Anand
Big nose Bocaz Larson
Twelfth Night Shakespeare
Matrimonial Ad Students of the College
Hound of the Baskerville Canon Doyles
The Kumars at House No: 7 Students of the college
Mothers Day Out J. B. Priestleys
Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
Lost Child Best Moral
Mother’s Day Out Best Play
Hound of the Baskervilles Best Thriller
Twelfth Night Best Costume
Big Nose Best Stage Setting
Matrimonial Ad Best Comedy
The Kumar’s Best Dialogue
Learnings and Findings:
It was a Herculean task to organize such an event as the Department had to sharpen its axe before giving it a kick off. It was both a challenge and an opportunity to enlighten ourselves from a different dimension. We could learn certain technicalities and found that our students need to be given more technical support and Theatre expertise. The Department hopes that the culture is sustained and remains immortal in the teaching methodologies of every language teacher.
Aurora’s Theatre Festival 2007
Aurora’s Degree college views Theatre as a medium to ameliorate communication skills and personality traits of students. The journey began in the year 2005 with a week days feasting of six consecutive plays and this provided a platform for our students to get their aesthetic values and interpersonal skills aroused. The culture regaled in the year 2006 where students gave a precise definition to their hidden talents while staging two own production other than those written by reputed playwrights. COMMITTEES FOR THE EVENT :
Organizing Committee Ms. Maithry Shinde
Guest relation Committee Ms. Aparna Reddy
Material procurement Committee Ms. Usha Swaminathan
Campaigning Committee Ms. Rachel & Ms. Nameera Farooqui
Sponsorship Ms. Maithry Shinde
Budget Committee Ms. Hemalatha Sharma & Ms. Manmee Bhattacharya
In House Committee Ms. Sandhya Tiwari
Aurora’s Theatre Festival reached a crescendo by catapulting the event to the National level in 2007. The intention was to appraise the world that theatre was not meant to appraise only the veterans but to make oneself poised to face real life situations. It provides a stance to have a rendezvous with oneself.Our mission began with delving into various Theatre groups within the country and viability of getting associated with them. Several efforts were made to contact Aparna Mehta, Smita Irani and Naseeruddin Shah.
- Theatre groups like Prithvi Theatre group, Yatri Theatre group, Bhumika Theatre group are among the few Theatre groups that we tried to seeking help on our approach towards Theatre.
- Dr. Kavita Prasad- Director for cultural Dept. Rabindranath Tagore , was contacted to get the venue sponsored for the event.
- Dr. Seetha Professor , Nizam College, suggested us to contemplate on a theme. She also referred Mr. Mohd. Ali Baig, Founder of Qadir Ali Abig Theatre Foundation as one of our guests for the event.
- Fortunately, we succeeded in getting the consent of Mr. Mahesh Dattani eminent Theatre personality, playwright and director to grace the occasion with his presence.
- Chairperson of the southern region UGC was also approached for sponsorship.
- Our modus operandi with the conjurors in Theatre took a major leap with the consent of Mr. Dattani.
- Although the ingenuity of any art form cannot be really measured on whatever may be the parameter, since the fest happens to be a competition on the National level we decided on the I and II prizes as Rs.25,000 and Rs. 20,000 respectively.
- A workshop by Mr. Uday Bhanu, founder of Bhoomika Theatre group was organized by our interested students with an intention to improvise on the required skills. This workshop proved to be a turning point for our students who build their confidence levels and presentation skills.
Material Procurement: Our Communication kicked-off with the designing of the posters and broachers in the month of June to tell the world about the event. Several meetings were hold to decide on the dates, venue, guest, and prize money. The dates 13th and 14th were decided and the names of the two guests, Mr. Dattani and Md. Ali Baig were in the blue print.
The EFLU auditorium was initially booked as it was quite proximal for our students and participants from various other colleges, but it didn’t oblige to give us the outer space of the auditorium. Later IETE (Mekaster auditorium) was booked as it had a better space and ambience.
The Campaigning committee took off in the month of July and the colleges were shortlisted with an intention that at least eight colleges would respond and the last date for registration was decided as 30th sep. St. Francis, Begumpet proved that it had a flair for Theatre as it was the first and the only team to respond from the twin cities within the deadline. We realized that theatre in Hyderabad is still in its juvenile stage and much had to be claim about reviving the Theatre culture. Outstation Campaigning began in the month of August and details of the event was communicated through mails, faxes, posters and phones. Christ College form Bangalore was the first college from outside the state to respond followed by St. Joseph , Bangalore. With the second round of Campaigning two teams i.e. Villa Marie and L.N. Gupta College showed interest to participate for the event. Contact reminders through phone were done.
The Department of English needs to blow its own trumpet for it’s for the first time in the history of the Dept. that it has generated major part of the proposed budget through sponsorship. The entire process of the sponsorship taught us several issues relating to
Theatre Culture in Aurora has certainly taken a step further and the proclamation that the event is organized at the National level has added immense vigor and fervor as each of the teams wanted to be at the National level competition. There were 13 teams that registered for the In-House Competitions and the students made heaven and earth move to represent at the national level.
Material: Our gratitude to all the people who supported us immensely in designing all the material. Every new idea and change was incorporated by our DTP operators very patiently and time and again material was procured. Several letters to the guest, sponsors, booking the venue were procured.
MD. Ali Baig was the Chief guest and Ms. Heeba Shah daughter of Naseerudin shah was our guest of Honour .It is very ostensible that the guests chosen for our event would provide an ambit to promote the theatre cluture in Hyderabad. We had many other late veterans in the agenda like Mr Prasad Varanase, Mr Shantha CEO MAA TV , MR.NRK Reddy Director business school, Ms Chandana Chakraborthy, Mr Sreedhar HR delloitte, Brigadier Deshpande principle Auroras engineering college, Shankar Melkote, Vijay Maroor Theatre person, Shekhar Kamul director.
The judges chosen for our event were Mr.Devadas kankala, Ms. Rashmi seth and Mr Udaya Banu to judge the much conveted plays of event.
Curtains rose with the chief guest lighting the lamp, releasing the brochure and declaring the theatre festival open. ST. Francis and the team took the lead in staging the first play ’the last wish baby. This was followed by Villa Marie’s play ‘the silver lining’ bringing across the message that there is a silver lining to every dark cloud. The last wish Baby was reflection of a proclaimed refined nation driven by mania, media and melodrama.
Performance by Christ college Bangalore was flawless that observed proper synchronization of acting , body language and usage of the technical aspects on stage.
14th of December the host i.e Aurora’s students gave a remarkable presentation by staging ‘Mother India’. It was followed by ‘Colours of Shadows’ by St. Joseph’s Bangalore reflecting the message that education is the light of one’s life.
St Francis College—The Lost Child I prize
Christ College Bangalore II prize
Learnings:The event exposed the Department of English to an unfathomable world i.e the world of Theatre. Beyond this there were enriching experiences like interacting with veterans like Mr. Md. Ali Baig, Ms. Heeba Shah, Ms. Rashmi Seth etc. our experience also made us reflect on the dearth of technicalities that could have made the students be equipped with more inputs. Our organizing skills also needed refinement as most of our energy was diverted on sponsorships. Thanks to all the students who have been with the Department throughout the journey and putting the Department and Aurora’s College on the national map.