The Dramatics Section is revered for the rigour and discipline that goes into each play along with soaking the audience with a deluge of emotions that accompany their works. Read on as Ishwar Dutt Sharma, the current secretary of the section, talks about the work that goes into every play, how he absolutely admires the joker and that one mind blowing improvisation he did onstage.
How has the Dramatics Section changed your life?
More than anything else that this section has taught me, it is the rigour that goes into each play that I treasure the most. Delivering a play requires little more than a month’s practice and it is during that time that you learn to detest mediocrity. You practice and fine tune every dialogue and gesture to perfection and see yourself thinking at every step. It is upto you to add quirks to your character and make it truly yours. In terms of purely creative thought, I do not think I’d enjoy any activity more than that.
As for the people, I can comfortably say that this section my primary support system at IITR.
What is the best part of being in the Dramatics Section of IITR?
This has to be a tie
The people: The culture in the section is such that you enjoy the whole process of making of a play much more than the play itself. The football sessions we have, the bakar at the chapos.
The feel: After days of relentless practice, remembering the dialogues, the feel of each and every word that comes out of your character’s mouth. Living that character for all those days! It’s not the applause at the end of the play that i am talking about. It’s the week after, when walking towards your class, somebody you don’t recognize, comes up to you and says, “THAT was a great play” #Feels
All that and also you can always get away with anything by saying “I was rehearsing a dialogue, of course it was a line!” .
Mid play inebriation during “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940”
Could you explain the structure of the Dramatics Section family?
I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you or recruit you.
As for our work around the year, we stage 4 plays, two each semester. Three stage plays along with a street play in the autumn semester.
What are some hacks to crack the recruitment process?
We, at the dramatics section, aren’t looking for made actors. Of course some background in dramatics can earn you a few brownie points but that would still be just 5% of the overall personality that we are looking for. We put in enough practice and efforts to ensure that even if somebody is going on stage for the first time in their first year, it wouldn’t show.
You don’t need to prepare anything before coming for the audition, it is a simple three step process which can be easily prepared on the spot. Bring your friends along with you! Basically, don’t fake anything, just enjoy the process.
“Aavirbhav” - The street play during Autumn’15
Which is your most memorable performance?
This was in the last semester in the english long length play we did, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 by John Bishop. This was a comic murder mystery, and we were near the climax of the play, trust me when I say that it was an intense scene! You could hear a pin drop in the overflowing OP Jain auditorium! The murderer was trying to get away with killing everybody by setting the scene up as an accident and he wanted us to act natural. As soon as he asked us to act natural, I, true to my character started whistling and roaming around. It was an onstage improvisation and the burst of laughter from the audience that followed has to be the most memorable moment for me.
Your favorite role?
My favourite role has to be Roger Hopewell, the character I played in the aforementioned Musical Comedy Murders of 1940!
“Ant Nahin” by Badal Sircar
What’s the one role somebody else played that you wished you did instead?
The Joker in The Dark Knight! I am pretty sure he did it better than I can ever dream of doing but I would just like to be in his shoes.
Three words to describe yourself.
Things you can tell us about the Friends of Section initiative.
Friends of section was one of the initiatives started last year by the music section and then also by the dance and choreography section which basically involves performances of students from the campus who might not be a part of the section. We are trying to start a friends of section for dramatics section as well this year and the format of that is being worked upon. Till that time, if there is any group of people on campus who can prepare a play and need a stage to perform can contact us any time! We would be more than happy to offer suggestions and ensure that cultural council provides you a stage to perform the play.
The Dramatics Section recruitments take place in the Chemical Auditorium from 6-9pm today and 9am to 8pm on the weekends. Be there.