A play with a modern take on the birth of Jesus Christ was performed at Don Bosco School, Park Circus on December 17. The evening highlighted the true essence of Christmas — the joy of giving — as all the proceeds from the event will be contributed to the education of poor and underprivileged children.
The event was hosted by Don Bosco School, Park Circus, in association with the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) team of the Church of Christ the King (CKC). With whole-hearted support from the Don Bosco Salesian fathers, the parish priests and Principal Bikash Mondal, this evening was memorable for everyone involved. The play was an initiative taken by the animator of ICYM, Donna D’Souza, and was performed by the ICYM members and students of Don Bosco School. The children for whom the funds were raised are financially aided by the parish through the programme of one-to-one sponsorship. They made a wholesome cameo in the play to the delight of everyone present.
Straying from a conventional point of view about the nativity of Jesus Christ, the play gives the spotlight to Joseph
Father Bikash Mondal, Principal, Don Bosco School, Park Circus, addressing the audience
Kolkatans saw Christmas in a new light as the play depicted an age-old story in modern times. “As the world is progressing through technology, people are forgetting the true essence of these festivals and the impact they have on humankind. It seems to me that people are more interested in external decorations rather than what it truly means to us. In a world where faith is receding in our lives and we are prone to doubt, this play creates an awareness about how we are cherished by God at our best and worst,” said Father Bikash Mondal, Principal of Don Bosco School, Park Circus.
Titled And Joseph said Yes!, the play strays from a conventional point of view about the nativity of Jesus Christ and gives the spotlight to Joseph. Instead of baby Jesus and Mary being at the heart of the story, it focuses on how Joseph embraced fatherhood through moments of doubt, hopelessness and compromise. It begins and ends with common people, with the President and the Joint Secretary of the ICYM-CKC, Tenzing Mingma and Teresa D’Costa respectively, playing the roles of a couple impacted by the story two millennia later. “We didn’t want to repeat the same story of the nativity of Jesus Christ in our play. After brainstorming ideas, we came up with a modern twist on what happened 2,000 years ago as we believe it’s crucial for our society,” said Tenzing Mingma, President of the ICYM Youth of the parish.
On a winter day with love and magic in the air, the play starts with a couple, Jessica (Teresa D'Costa) and James (Tenzing Mingma), decorating their house for Christmas. They soon hear about another couple in town where the man has abandoned his partner because they had a child out of wedlock. The story of the birth of Jesus is then told in a series of flashbacks, narrated by the couple through a beautiful interplay of light and dark. It oscillates between the past and the present, portraying the old in a new light. The scene where Joseph and Mary trudge from one inn to another only to find "no entry" is particularly heart-wrenching. It shows Joseph's dedication and will power as a father, which is also an example for today’s society.
What does Christ mean to us in this modern age?
The play was designed to fill the audience with ‘joy, love and hope’
The play delivers the message of hope. “The birth of Jesus infused hope among people, and in the same way, our initiative is to stand as a beacon of hope in the lives of these children. We wish to fill them with joy, love and hope,” said D’Costa. Musicality in the form of choruses and carols pumped up the spirit of the audience as they sang along to the children on stage. Comedic spurts were also present through the character of Angel Gabriel, who gave the audience a hearty laugh with his obsessive push-ups and colloquial dialect.
What does Jesus Christ mean to us in this modern age? That is the central question that the Don Bosco boys and children addressed through their roles. Ivan Augustine, who played the central role of Joseph, said: “The play aims at the youth of today and how they are not alone”.
Among the audience in sync with the anticipation of Christmas on stage was Shreya Barman, who shared her thoughts about the play: “What stood out for me was how Joseph was portrayed in a way that hasn’t been explored before. I loved how it connected the past with the present, as if the lights were merging with the dark on the stage. It made me rethink the story in terms of today’s world and our individual lives.”
After their performance, all the actors gathered on stage and encouraged the audience to sing along to their Christmas medley. They proved that it is never too early for Christmas and never too late to help people in need.