An Act of Play

An Act of Play

The Thane unit of Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Natya Parishad (The All Indian Federation for Marathi Theatre) organised a competition of one-act plays on October 27, 2002. Held at the Marathi Grantha Sangralaya this year, the event is a wonderful grooming ground for local talent. The One Act Play Festival is an opportunity for up-and-coming acting talent to present their work in public and to have it adjudicated in public. The contestants compete not only for prizes but also for a chance to go to the bigger league: Professional theatre, television and films.

One-act plays are the theatre equivalent of a short story or a short film: the scope of their plots and their themes is limited. A typical one-act script follows a small cast of characters dealing with a specific set of circumstances through a brief period of time. It has all the conventional elements of theme, plot, character, and dialogue. It tells a story, albeit a short one, has a definite beginning, middle, and end, and shows significant change or growth in the main character. An audience invests less of their time viewing a one-act, so scripts can be more adventurous in subject and far more flexible in form.

The response to the festival this year was extremely encouraging. In fact, the organisers had to freeze acceptance of entries as the number of participants had grown beyond what they could manage properly. MP Prakash Paranjpe who was the chief guest, said "Usually, there are about 40 odd contestants each year. But this year, we had 68 contestants. The tremendous response is exciting and encouraging." Pleased with the response, he announced that this contest will now be held consecutively for next five years.

Paranjpe was not the only one who was impressed. The esteemed judges of the event, senior director Vijay Monkar and playwright Anuradha Soman expressed their delight too. So happy was Monkar with the performance that he declared off the cuff that he would conduct a free one-day workshop on acting for the upcoming talent.

Based on their age, the contestants were divided into two groups: Group one for contestants between 15 and 25 years and group two for those over 25 years. There were 41 contestants in the first group and 27 in the second.

Throughout the event, the audience was heard applauding performances and nothing motivated an artiste more than a round of applause. Add to this the fact that there were eminent personalities present among the audience and they too expressed their satisfaction with the performances. For instance, director Prakash Mahajan, who is scouting for some new faces for his next movie Maaza Aangaan Maaza Kshitij, said, "After watching the performances today, I am quite certain that I will find the right performers."

Prajakta Bhagwat from the first group one was awarded the first prize in her category. The judges appreciated her original theme of village life as well her performance. The first prize in the second group went to Datta Chavan who enacted a scene from famous Marathi play Ranangan.

Abhijit Bhagwat, Shweta Ghodke, Sunil Jagtap and Santosh Palav were the other prize winners. There were consolation prizes too, which were won by Katpesh Deokar Sarita Darekar and Harish Pagare. The prizes were given away by the senior theater director Keshavrao More and TV actor Eknath Shinde.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *