Draame-Bawaas: New stars on the horizon

The curtain finally came down on our one-of-its-kind competition to unearth new talent among Parsi youth in the field of theatre and arts
The spacious Tata Theatre was packed, cheering the five finalists which included several actors experiencing the footlights for the first time. What made them participate? One of the boys said one day he was on a scooter when he bumped into a girl he knew. She said she was proceeding to a rehearsal for a play. That tempted him to join. A young girl who was never interested in acting got tempted on seeing the full-page ads challenging ‘Bawaas’ to battle out at a drama competition. Another young girl is using this competition towards her final goal to join Bollywood. Then there are the grown-ups — a product manager with a software company, a bakery owner, a Trinity speech-and-drama-class-trained aspirant, a lawyer passionate about making a career in theatre. Some had decided to participate for the love of stage, a few were aspiring bigger laurels. I remember having read an advice from a father to his son: ” You have to jump first to open a parachute”. So jump all you aspirants to make your dreams come true.

The competition was intense,the stakes were high and the five finalists battled out for the coveted trophy in honour of the legendary Parsi playwright and director Adi Marzban.
The subjects chosen for the plays were varied. Three plays out of five stood out. One was about a gentle person who, after being fed up with all the tension at home and office, decides to commit suicide by jumping into a lake near a bridge. There he encounters three Samaritans led by a man who called himself Old McDonald. Initially pretending to help him in his suicide mission, they egg him on. How they win him over and send him back home happy and smiling is the essence of this bitter sweet comedy called Don’t Worry Be Happy.
Then there was this young group, all in their 20s, one playing visually challenged, another aurally impaired and the other mute. They get together to solve a murder. With gestures and sign language they are able to solve the mystery and finally catch the culprit. Called Three Musketeers, the play was both funny and exciting.
Finally there was a Neil Simon comedy called A Defenseless Creature. A woman uses all the tricks at her command to extract some money from a hapless bank manager. All attempts by him to explain to her that this is a bank and not any philanthropic body fails and the harangued banker finally gives in. Brilliant performances by both the banker and the lady won them the best play as well as the best actor and actress awards. Three Musketeers came a close second with all the three ‘twenty-somethings’ winning laurels.
Draame Bawaas takes a back seat until the next round and in comes the sequel to our successful musical extravaganza Laughter In The House, starring the Golden Oldies along with the new kids on the block. Work on the play has begun and it’s going to be hectic for me in the days ahead. Life truly begins at Eighty.
I want to sign off with a message, an old Paulo Coelho quote, for all my readers in their 60s,70s and 80s. “One day you will wake up and there won’t be any time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do them now.”

Published on DNA

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