Theatre Day, March 2021
NPSI Chennai organised their very first Virtual Theatre Day Production, held across three days in the first week of March. The three live events comprised six separate presentations, and were the culmination of months of hard work by the students of Grade 8.
With the limitations of online contact, the Theatre Day celebration was conceived as a series of Radio Plays, allowing students to express their creativity even when they did not share the same physical space. Students had spent the semester in groups, creating their own unique stories. Each play was based on a selected theme or genre, and the characters, plots and scripts were all developed by the students themselves. Each team also created art related to their story, posters and trailers to advertise their story, and unique background art to accompany their audio presentation.
Each session began with an introduction and brief commentary by Ms Tharunya Balan, our theatre faculty. She introduced the concept of radio plays, elaborated on the process through which the plays were created and pointed out all aspects of the production. This was followed by student artwork and trailers, and two individual plays on each day. The final six plays each told a unique and original story, involving fascinating characters, complex storylines and a multitude of sound effects. Students played all the parts, many of them donning accents and voice changes to play multiple characters.
Each session concluded with some reflection on the plays which had just been heard. Since the students had worked in separate groups and kept their stories a surprise, the live event was the first time that the children heard their classmates’ stories. The responses from students to their friends’ plays were gratifying and complimentary.
This Theatre Production was truly memorable, showcasing the creativity and dedication of the youngsters in a completely new medium. Truly an event for the ages!