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Shadows tell a tale

A room packed mostly with students, sitting in chairs or squatting on the floor, waited eagerly for a novel experience. Come Together III, held at the Weavers Studio Centre for the Arts on April 4, was a national youth exchange project with interactive and mixed media performances by youth group LOK of Calcutta and Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology of Bangalore.

The show started with LOK’s presentation of Five Grains of Sugar, directed by Soumyajit Majumdar, a student of St. Xavier’s College. Six actors, male and female, sat on stools in the middle of the room and depicted the same character — a small-town guy named Rajkumar. The play showed different voices of the same self and the absence of a stage blurred the line between actor and audience.

In the next session the same play was re-enacted by a different set of actors, showing the many ways of interpreting a text or a person.

“I wanted to strip the play of everything artificial. I didn’t want to confine Rajkumar to any set appearance or gender,” said Soumyajit.

The last presentation of the evening was Shadow Liberation, an interactive shadow theatre ensemble based out of Srishti College. Directed by drama therapist Evan Hastings, Shadow Liberation involved splitting the stage into two with a white partition. What followed was an assimilation of the performance in front of the partition and the play of shadows (depicting the memories of the characters) behind it.

Evan went through the play a second time and invited the audience to change any part they wanted to, adding a dialectical quality to the performance.

SB