The Town Hall here spilled over with drama aficionados on Tuesday as the drama contest in the high school category as part of the 53rd State School art Festival began at 11.30 a.m. and continued into the early hours of Wednesday.

‘Porotta’ directed by Jino Joseph and ‘Made in China’ directed by Sunil G. Vaikom displayed sparkles of talent and hard work. Christy George, an artiste-photographer who religiously and critically watched the event, said many of the dramas staged had gone down in standard while attempting to adapt modernism. “There has obviously been a dearth of good themes,” Mr. Christy said.

At least half-a-dozen plays attempted the method of actors entering the stage from among the audience, a method described by many as trite.

Culture shocks

Some of the plays, including ‘Porotta’ and ‘Made in China,’ dealt with culture shocks and dangers of blind imitation. The students of a Kannur school, while staffing ‘Porotta,’ displayed their hard work. Some of their risky sequences, like falling into a biriyani vessel, had the audience’s appreciation. The children also displayed expertise in porotta-making.

Mr. Joseph’s ‘Sullu’ staged by St. Mary’s High School, Edur, had won the first prize last year.

‘Made in China’ scripted by A.P. Rajendran was a comical attempt to drive home the dangers of the blind import of culture. The swiftness with which the children of Government High School, Memunda, Kozhikode, changed their costumes surprised the viewers. Some of them had up to four roles in the play.

Soon after their show, the Memunda team left for Kolkata, where they are to take part in the National Science Drama Competition. Mr. Sunil is directing their play ‘Ival Ente Makal Thanne,’ representing Kerala.