Everyone was excited about the play. They had had so many rehearsals and were confident they would perform well. But on the day of the show things began to go wrong…
The class was very excited. They had practised a lot and they were sure that they would win. Every evening after school the Std VIII drama team had stayed back with Mrs. Bose, their drama teacher and practised. It was an Easter play — about the death and resurrection of Christ. The other classes were practising hard too.
“I am so excited,” said Kavya. She was playing the role of Mary Magdalene and she had to sing too.
Like her, the rest of the drama team — Ramesh, Shoba, Jay, Angelina, Anand and others were confident they would win. Mrs. Bose was happy with their rehearsal.
Finally, the day of the play dawned. All of them were dressed and ready, well before the first bell for the play went. The Green Room was charged with excitement.
When the play began, it didn't get off to a great start. It was supposed to begin with Peter's betrayal of Jesus. But Mohan who was playing Peter forgot his lines. Something he had never done during the rehearsals. Then, when Anand, who was acting as Pontius Pilate was to wash his hands, the basin fell and he got drenched. He got so upset that he ran off the stage. Another disaster was soon to take place. When Kavya opened her mouth to sing — she started on a false note and then couldn't continue.
The play dragged on to an unexciting finish. It was a relief when the curtains finally came down. The actors were almost in tears. In the Green Room once again the initial excitement had given way to anger and frustration and a feeling of failure.
“We worked so hard at this! And what a mess up,” exclaimed Shoba, looking accusingly at Kavya. She had wanted the role of Mary Magdalene, but Kavya had been selected. “I am sure I would have done a very good job if I had been asked to play Mary Magdalene.”
“Absolutely frightful,” said Ramesh.
“Shameful,” said someone else.
Everyone looked accusingly at Mohan, Anand and Kavya. The three of them burned with shame. They knew they had bungled and had let the team down.
Just then Mrs. Bose walked in and saw the angry faces and the three sheepish ones.
“So what happened?” she asked. No one answered. “It's obvious,” they were thinking.
“There were some accidents,” she continued. “But that's okay. It's not the end of the world…after all its only a play.” But the group refused to be cheered. They had just lost the prize.
“What was the play about?” she ventured.
“About the death and resurrection of Christ,” mumbled Anand.
“Is that all?”
“I guess,” muttered someone. “Wasn't that what the play was about?”
“Obviously, the very essence of the play has been lost,” said Mrs. Bose. “It is not a mere enactment of what happened all those years ago. It is about what it means today. Yes, Christ was crucified and buried and he rose again. But then what does that mean for us?”
“About His love for us…?” attempted Kavya, hesitantly. Someone sniggered.
“Yes, of course,” said Mrs. Bose. “It's about love, about suffering, about caring, about forgiveness…it is about thinking about another person! You have not understood what the play was about. This is the message of Easter and that's what the play was about!”
They seemed surprised to hear her interpretation of the play. Till then they had been just rehearsing. Only now did they realise what the message was!