| DARK COMEDY: A scene from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, the annual production of Jadavpur University's English department. (Photo: Subhendu Chaki)
There is a peal of laughter whenever you ask the Jadavpur University English department cast about their latest production, Measure for Measure. For, the play, performed at Gyan Manch on the 9th and 13th of this month, had hardly been lacking in backstage comic relief.
'First of all, none of the guys had any prior experience of dressing in feminine attire. And the women hardly knew how uncomfortable a full beard could be,' says Debojoy Chanda, whose portrayal of a pregnant Juliet, complete with loud, hysterical sobs, drew guffaws from all corners of the hall.
The final performance was a gender-bender of a different sort with the director Dr Ananda Lal asking the boys to take up all the women's roles and the girls to wear the pants. The outcome was striking, to say the least, with Sreejita Deb's cold and menacing Angelo pitted against Simon Jenning's vulnerable Isabella. Karma Mingyur as the jaded prostitute Mistress Overdone from the sub-plot had the audience in splits.
This was the first time the JU team has teamed up with a professional theatre group like Theatrician, and this has improved the overall production quality. The play was a resounding success, and as they say, all's well that ends well.
The third World Shakespeare Conference was held at Loreto College from December 5-8. A special feature this year was the play A Midsummer Night's Dream, produced by Loreto College in collaboration with the students of Rabindra Bharati University. Directed by Dr Brian C. Russo, Fulbright visiting lecturer in Performing Arts at the Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania, the play was Indianised to an extent, although the script was left virtually unchanged.
The play was staged in the college lawns where three different stages projected the three different worlds in the play ' the palace, the world of the commoners and that of the forest. Russo also discussed certain aspects of the play and pointed out how Shakespeare provides subtle stage-directions within the play itself.
Suchi Arya, second year BA English (honours) Loreto College
On November 18, Gokhale Memorial Girls' College observed the death anniversary of their founder principal Dr Rani Ghosh.
The quiet memorial ceremony opened with the song Aguner parashmoni choao praane, followed by a reading from the scriptures and remembering Rani Ghosh's life and work.
We felt overwhelmed by the years of dedicated, selfless service of the lady who shaped our present. The ceremony drew to a close with her favourite song Shara jibon dilo alo surjyo groho chand.
Rudrani Chatterjee, Gokhale Memorial Girls' College
The Founder's Day of Orient Day School was observed on November 18 at the Sarat Sadan auditorium in Behala. The programme started with speeches by our principal Dr P.R. Sengupta and the founder Dr J.L. Banerjee.
After that, students from the morning section put up recitations and a stage adaptation of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. Then, the day section students also put up a play. There was also a performance by some of our teachers. It was a memorable day for our school.
Neon Acharya, Class XI, Orient Day School
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