Placement Hall. July 17th, 2019. “The Bhawanipur Education Society College takes theatre so seriously that it has progressed way beyond the theatricals” said Prof Dilip Shah, the Dean of Student Affairs of the BESC as he unveiled the first workshop conducted by Enact – the theatre collective of the BESC. The workshop was aimed at sensitising the freshers and welcoming the willing from among them into the Enact fold.
About a hundred students participated, each one of them keen to become a part of a movement whose reputation precedes itself, for Enact productions are not only stuff that campus fests lore is made of, but are also widely celebrated by the professional theatre community. Prof Shah recounted the background of Enact and explained how the theatre movement is used by the BESC to impart invaluable life lessons to the students, apart from using it as a tool of empowerment.
Bibhash Mukhopadhyay and Debasish Haldar, theatre personalities who require no introduction to the connoisseurs were the guests of honour who conducted the workshop. The interactive nature of the workshop – where the guest faculties enacted whatever they wanted to communicate to the audience, was naturally a huge hit with the students, may of whom were experiencing such a spectacle for the first time in their lives. Games were played, jokes were cracked, expressions and emotions enacted in the most engrossing a manner, through all of which the veteran theatre actors showed the participants how they can rise above the bar and establish rapport with the audience, sway the audience with their messages and generally entertain even as they enlighten.
Is theatre a dying art in these days of post-modernism where digital domination seems to be the essence of life, asked the faculties towards the end of the workshop? In fact, they wondered aloud, even if rhetorically, is theatre dead and gone?
The attending students were not really expected to have an answer for the question, most of them being the first timers that they were. But the answers that the crowd roared – the answer that theatre cannot die, that theatre cannot be allowed to die, that theatre will not be allowed to die – was strangely reassuring. Reassuring enough to make smiles of contentment break out in the weather-beaten faces of the veterans. BESC students had just helped vindicate their faith in themselves, their art, in the future.
It was another ordinary day at the BESC.
This report has been filed by Nikita Mittal along with photographer Rohit Ghosh Chowdhury of the Expressions Collective of the BESC.