Gyaan staged at Gaiety
Pooja Rani made a debut as a female director in Shimla Theater where mostly males dominate the productions. Though the theme was strong however it failed to connect as experimenting with young children did not meet the expectations of spectators and mostly were confused as per appreciate the efforts of kids or complain about the below average standard of production.
Shimla- Gyaan a short play organized by the Sankalp Group in association with Language Art and Culture Department was staged at the historic Gaiety Theatre, Shimla on April 3. The play was written and directed by Pooja Rani one of the member of the Group.
While informing about the play Pooja said, “It was debut as a director. Prior to it I have been associated with the group from past 5 years and have worked as assistant director as well as managed costumes for other productions.”
The story of the play revolved around a young child and his school where majority of school teachers exhibit the traits of ignorance and are only concerned with their income. The English teacher instead of teaching in class proposes him to join his tuition class after school to clarify his doubts which due to financial problem he could not. His other sir playing an ideal teacher comes for his rescue and helps him pass the exam.
As the time passes he goes for a job interview, where again he has to face challenges as other contenders by cheating and foul means had numerous degrees.
The production had its moments which made audiences smile like when English teaches while teaching makes his students mug up the wrong idiom “Where there is a well, there is a way” and when one of the student asked for the meaning he says “Matlab ke tune achaar daalana hai?”.
Another moment was when his fellow students having sack full of degrees came for job interview and it actually depicted the present youth whose profile has endless list of degrees attached with it.
For all the students it was a debut as they for the first time stepped on the stage and for them it was a satisfactory experience.
However the production left the regular theater audiences dumbstruck as considering the young actors they could not express their feelings on one hand for it might discourage them on the other seeing such a production coming from a Group which is a well know name when it comes to quality production.
The standards previously set by the group gave a sharp contrast to this production. Considering the direction, the claimed experience of five years, being associated with such a name was no where was to be seen. The music and synchronization between the actions on stage was meant to be taken care of by director and so was shifting of stage properties; the little kid could have carried the heavy sewing machine on stage by on her own. She came and sat on her position but the stage property was missing and the background music lost its sync.
The blackboard blocked the vision of the teacher while sitting on chair which of course should have been taken care of. The dialogues at places sounded incomplete sentence; giving confused meaning; for instance while declaration of results boys tells the main boy that he scored 65 percent , u even do not take tuitions,; was it good, bad or an exclamation heaven knows and hearing it no doubt audiences did smile.
Kids always do a wonderful job and it is pointless to comment on it however the group has previously too played with young kids during TREAT and gave better productions. Everyone felt that Midas touch missing this time though the concept was good.
The Mecca of Theater does deserve and demand something more promising rather than an annual day presentations if we want to preserve it dignity.