Theatre Festival

Students act out Shakespearean characters at Masquerade 2021 hosted by Apeejay Schools

Subhadrika Sen
Subhadrika Sen
Posted on 27 Nov 2021
11:08 AM

Masquerade 2021: All the World’s a Stage, a virtual inter-school theatre competition by Apeejay Schools. Apeejay School

Students of Classes IX and XI battle it out in the virtual competition
The participants wrote their original scripts in English or Hindi

Juliet, Cressida, Olivia, Cleopatra and others came alive at Masquerade 2021: All the World’s a Stage, a virtual inter-school theatre competition for students of Classes IX and XI organised by Apeejay Schools.

Students from 15 schools of West Bengal and Odisha, including Delhi Public School Ruby Park, Birla High School, Mahadevi Birla World Academy, Delhi Public School Howrah, Jupiter Public School, Ruby Park Public School, Hariyana Vidya Mandir, Sushila Birla Girls’ School, Techno India Group Public School, Garia, Satish Chandra Memorial School, Birla Bharati School, Newtown School, and Apeejay Schools, Park Street, Salt Lake and Bhubaneswar sent in videos.

Six finalists performed virtually on November 24. Director Niladri Lahiri and theatre practitioner Suddhayan Chatterjee judged the participants.


“At Apeejay Schools, we strongly believe that every child is born unique and our curriculum is made keeping that in mind. It takes time for each child to identify their uniqueness. We feel we need to provide all the opportunities to our students. Once you let the kids explore, they find two important things --- happiness and purpose of life,” said Kiranjit Singh Pannu, chief executive officer, Apeejay Schools.

Bhavya Kapoor, a Class XI student of Mahadevi Birla World Academy, grabbed the first position by portraying the character of Cleopatra from Anthony and Cleopatra. Snehadrita Mitra, a Class IX student of Satish Chandra Memorial School, clinched the second position with her portrayal of Sylvia from Two Gentlemen in Verona. Rashi Banerjee, a Class XI student of Apeejay School, Salt Lake, who acted out Olivia from Twelfth Night, came third; and Chitrangi Roy, a Class XI student of Hariyana Vidya Mandir, finished fourth by acting as Rosalind from As You Like It. The fifth position was shared by Scarlet Sen, a Class XI student of Delhi Public School Ruby Park who played Juliet from Romeo and Juliet, and Manyaa Jaiswal, a Class XI student of Delhi Public School Howrah who portrayed Cressida from Troilus and Cressida.

“I found the bold personality of Cleopatra, a woman belonging to a patriarchal society very fascinating. Playing a character from a Shakespearean play does require deep knowledge of the plot. When it comes to a monologue, you need to understand the character, try and delve into its skin so that you can sketch out your character and understand the emotions that need to be portrayed. Rehearsing helps the most. The biggest challenge is to understand the text. I chose to go with the original language, which was pretty tough initially as it was full of ‘thou’ and ‘thee’. Since the competition was online, we had to make sure the videography and sound quality were good. Getting props, costumes, backdrop and make-up were challenging,” Bhavya said.

Masquerade 2021 was conceptualised to give wings to the imagination of young performers. Based on the theme William Shakespeare: Life and Works, the participants wrote their original scripts in English or Hindi. They were allotted five to seven minutes for their performances, which had to be a monologue delivered in front of the screen.

“I played the character of Olivia from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night with a twist. I imagined how Olivia would be in today’s times. I recorded myself while practising to spot my flaws. This event boosted my confidence level and helped me brush up my dramatic skills. From the character of Olivia, I learned that self-love is most important,” Rashi said.

Last updated on 27 Nov 2021
11:14 AM
Read Next