Four schools and 10,000 participants, the Mahatma Intra-School Drama Competition was a wonderful celebration of theatre
“We should have applied for the Limca Book of Records,” regrets Premalatha Panneerselvam, founder of Mahatma Group of schools.
Students from the different campuses of Mahatma group of schools at K.K. Nagar, Baba Building and Alagarkoil took part in the month-long programme which generated a lot of interest among the students and teachers. They prepared plays in English, Tamil and Hindi. Right from Kindergarten to Class XII, students and teachers made a significant contribution to the success of this intra-school competition.
In the preliminary rounds, each section in every class had to stage a play in either of the three languages. One English play and one Tamil or Hindi was selected from each class to represent the school in the finals.
“Theatre is part of our literary activity.” says Sweety Janet, Coordinator, English Department, Mahatma CBSE School, Baba building. “Students designed the props and costumes. Teachers played second fiddle.”
Themes for the plays ranged from Ruskin Bond’s short stories to Charles Dickens’, folk tales to Aesop’s fables, lives of great national leaders, freedom fighters, social reformers to patriotism (historical). Duration of the plays differed from five to seven minutes up to Standard II. From Standard III to V it was 10 minutes and for high school students it was 15 to 20 minutes and for higher secondary students it was 30 minutes.
“Once we were given the themes, we started working on the script. We selected O’ Henry’s The Ransom of Red Chief,” says J. K. Manasi, Standard IX student, Mahatma CBSE. They did not miss to present the essence of O’ Henry’s writings. There was wit, comedy and interesting twists.
If students’ performance in The Ransom of Red Chief was brilliant, `Alexander and Porus staged by Class XI students of residential school at Alagarkoil was a class act. Satyendran who donned the role of Porus showed enormous composure and played the character to near perfection. The way he reacted to the arrogance of Alexander was exemplary. As per the play the boy who played Alexander role had more scope to perform compared to that of Porus but Satyendran, who had also composed the music for the play, won the hearts of the audience with his presentation.
“We organise drama workshops regularly in our school and now we are reaping the results. We are preparing our students for the national level drama competition,” says Premalatha.
Students were judged based on the theme and characterisation, dialogue delivery, expression, presentation, stage and time management.