Photo Courtesy: Ada/Tatsuya/Vedu/Xuhan
Think of February as the month of theatre. The members of our community line up outside the theatre venue in the evenings – four days every week for an entire month – anticipating the colors and rhythm each play will bring. Whether it’s a stage lit with candles to show the setting of a fancy hotel or a collage of chairs and clothes to represent a chaotic background, each play deeply exhibits the creativity of our students as theatre artists.
Preparations begin in early November – submitting proposals, finalising plays, auditioning, casting. Then begin rehearsals, and they are intense, really intense. Sometimes, they go on for 6 hours: remembering lines, formations, positioning, repeating, expressing louder and screaming higher! “Sorry, I’ve rehearsal” is a community-wide response of those participating in any play. This is a time on the hill when a wide array of plays are directed, acted, and produced by students and faculty at UWC Mahindra College ranging from drama and comedy to tragedy and farce. A truly blissful season.
Students of IB Theatre use this opportunity to happily apply all their learning in class for real – from stage direction and managing the cast to auditioning and costume design. For others, theatre may not be part of their academic life but is definitely a strong interest that they desire to pursue. For all aspiring actors or fans of theatre, this magical month provides the opportunity to act, interact and make friends within their core teams. There is so much to learn during theatre season and a lot more to share; the richness of our community on the hill truly comes alive at this time.
Theatre is a dynamic and powerful medium of expression, a collaborative art form that includes all other art forms. On the hill, theatre season lets us experience an amazing reality that brings the entire community together to feel the purity of this art form. Embracing the depth of human emotions and the intellect bestowed upon humanity, theatre season at UWC Mahindra College is a deeply fulfilling platform for our community to express, absorb, and float in a wide range of human emotions, and share the richness of the human experience.
During Theatre Season 2015, we got to feel the beauty of the following plays :
Die Welle (Sonja and Leila – 2nd year students)
The butterfly lovers (Xuhan and Chunxi – 2nd year students)
The lover (Malavika – 2nd year student)
August: Osage County (Jak – 1st year student)
No Exit (Kaz – 1st year student)
Path (Garima and Niklas – 2nd year students)
4:48 Psychosis (Armi – 2nd year student)
Kathamukha (Oscar – Teacher of Science)
Topografía de un desnudo (Jose and Miranda – 2nd year students)
Blasted (Henning – Teacher of English and Theatre)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (Felipe – Volunteer)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Shreeansh and Numaya – 2nd year students)
What Directors Have to Say
Sonja Shah (2nd Year Theatre Student)
C0-director of “Die Welle”
Photo Courtesy: Ada Wozniak
Theatre season for me is a pivotal part of the UWCMC experience. It gives you space to explore something completely different outside the classroom. The intensity of theatre season often requires a big commitment but is even more rewarding. Die Welle made a point about complicity and conformity, involving the audience in implicit and explicit ways. It showed how unity leads to exclusion and asked a question about the human need to conform to a group. It didn’t provide answers and therefore left the audience with questions that are easily relatable to their own community experiences, maybe even here.
Co-directing Die Welle with Leila has been a great, crazy, overwhelming, but overall a beautiful experience. When I was told about Die Welle as a play, I was immediately excited by the idea. I’ve known Die Welle as a movie and found it powerful and interesting when I first saw it a few years ago. I chose that I wanted to direct a play and help shaping it according to my imagination. The process was very valuable for me. Even though it felt too big at times, it was an amazing feeling to see it all come together. Theatre for me became more real than reality during this time. When we adapted, rewrote, and devised some of the scenes, we did not think of specific theatrical elements or impacts. We intended the play to be entertaining, a sensual experience for the audience. I also liked the idea of showing how easily simple conformity can lead to something as dangerous as Nazi Germany.
Directing the play, we faced many challenges such as scheduling, actor training, or using the space effectively. However, through those challenges, we grew as theatre artists and learned the importance of giving clear directions while actively involving the actors in the process. We also learned that intention and reaction, especially in a play that’s based on Stanislavski’s Realism, is crucial. Throughout the rehearsals we came up with new things to add, alienating the audience and making them reflect on what’s happening. The play was a fluent – a constantly changing entity, and the good atmosphere within the cast made it even more fun to work on it every day.