I am not a big dramatics fan, the stage as it is, does not appeal to me as a medium of conveying one's thoughts. Perhaps, it has got something to do with my experiences in the lone play that I ever acted, being booed off stage that is. Perhaps its just that I have never seen what is classified as quality theater, my experience of plays limited to the ones I got to watch during the later part of my school life or the ones that my father got complimentary passes to and of late the ones that my college's dramtics society (they call themselves Aisles and Curtains) puts up, every now and then. Perhaps, (and this is the main reason I feel) I like to watch a play as part of an audience and not a crowd, people who are intellectuals in their own way, and smart enough in their assertion of appreciation of whatever is dished out.
So when my friend offered (it was more of a sentimental push, because he wouldn't have gone had I said a no) me to accompany him to the play that they were showing in the college auditorium today, I was skeptical to say the least. Did I really want to go? But then after weighing the pros and cons of the offer, including the fact that a good friend of mine was acting too, and I did not have many other options to pass my time, I decided I could go.
The play was called Goonga, a question mark against the society that we think we live in today. Think, because, well, as it is, it is not a society. The enthusiasm with which the whole team had gone about, preparing for their grand night, showed right away. The narrators energy seemed to rub off on all the actors too, and the technical glitches here and there not withstanding, the team put up a marvelous show. Whats more the message was potently put forth to who so ever was interested in accepting one and I did spot people that I could call audience, different from the maddening crowd. I thanked the forces that be for giving the whole team what they must have yearned for before setting foot onstage.
But, all is well that ends well, and how could a bunch of creative and forthright people get away with so little. So, when our university's honourable vice chancellor was called on stage for his precious words as the director would have us believe, he began with the customary, well done, nice acting, nice show speech. But that is where it just about ended. He stunned, the AUDIENCE, by saying that the whole team had committed a blunder by choosing a theme which, according to him, was negative in the true sense of the word. A 'what' theme was what I was left questioning myself with. So much for an audience, where the ones supposed to be the guides are indiscernible enough to question the very logic of an effort.
I don't know much about plays and themes except for the fact that someday I would like to direct one myself. But if there is indeed something like a negative theme, I think it is necessary to bring about a change in individual's and society's perceptions and attitudes. Sorry sir, but the theme had to be negative, if you call it so.