Women’s Christian College's annual play Kamala that will be staged next week talks about the sensitive issue of gender discrimination.
“This is one of the main events where the entire student community, faculty members and non-teaching staff come together to celebrate. Auditions and practice sessions began in July and it was more of a workshop model,” says Dr Annie Kuriachan, co-ordinator of the play, adding, "Nine students are part of the cast performing various roles and there are about 70-odd students working backstage."
The play, Kamala, talks about the sensitive issue of gender discrimination. Though set in the 1980s, the play is still socially relevant and conveys a powerful message about the need for gender equality. “That’s the reason it was chosen for this year’s annual college play production in WCC. It is not possible to change the face of society with one play. However, if 5 or 10 people in the audience start thinking about the message conveyed, then the mission is accomplished. It’s necessary to oppose the notion that 'they aren’t where they should be simply because they are women', and it makes sense if a bunch of educated women talks about it first,” says director Sarvesh.
Kamala is based on the true story of Jaisingh Jadhav, a journalist, who aspires to be successful in his profession, at any cost. “Though the protagonist exposes the ugly face of flesh trade, he fails to keep his own chauvinism in check! Kamala is bought from a flesh trade market by Jaisingh and he later holds a sensational press conference to expose sex crimes against women from lower communities. The play also spotlights the chauvinistic attitude of the journalist which his wife has to deal with every day. The script is classic," he explains.
Playwright Vijay Tendulkar has used the play as a means to express the unending suffering of the Indian middle-class woman. The play questions the social hierarchical structure and gender bias. It’s a play with six characters — three male and three female.
With an entire cast of debutant actors and a first-time director, it was a learning experience for the entire team. "To make female actors enact male characters was one of the challenges involved because they have to break all the habits they are accustomed to, and sit, talk, behave and react differently. It is important that the actors buy into the process and do it the way it’s supposed to be done so that the end product looks good. Since they are first-time actors, they didn't come with any preconceived notions. All students were disciplined and dedicated during the rehearsals," remarks Sarvesh.