It was indeed normal for the Drama Troupe of KCT to come up with new concepts for their plays, for that is what a drama society is supposed to do. But to blaze a trail by attempting a full length BLACK THEATRE PLAY, that to for the first time in the college, is not everyone’s cup of tea. Though the concept itself is one of its kind, the fact that all the people who worked were newbies made it even more exciting.
It wasn’t a day’s plan. Though we have already done the play in the usual way once, doing it as a black theatre felt like starting the play all over again. Right from lighting to costume, music, acting, makeup everything demanded a revamp. There were different teams working on various things simultaneously. We started the work 25 days before the play, which may sound long but hey, remember everybody were students and we had our personal stuffs to deal with. So every day after our tiring academic routine we spent one and half an hour for this play, before we call it a day.
Let it be the important attributes needed for a theatre or jotting down the various teams in our play, acting always tops the list. Expressing yourself in front of a huge audience may seem like a child’s play when you think of acting as a tribe and as people related to that era. Kudos to the talent of all budding artists who did a fabulous job of portraying their roles. Let it be the protagonist or a character that appears for just two scenes, everyone mastered the art of stealing the stage. Let it be dancing like a beast, or shouting like an animal, or acting like a pro, they are undoubtedly the jack of all trades
When we first discussed the idea of BLACK THEATRE the foremost task that was staring right into our eyes was the lighting part. And that was the chance for our technical heroes to show off their skill.
Who said engineering and art is like chalk and cheese? We blended technicality and the plot so well that nobody could distinguish. Starting from the first dance with the lamp to the shadow art every scene had a topping of technicality in it. And for people who are still wondering, here are the other details:
- The bright red deepam which twinkled in various scenes was made of series connection (for the battery to last long) of four LEDS powered by a 9V battery.
- The statues of the Aadhivasis’ forefathers were made out of acrylic sheet bordered by blue colored LED strips which were controlled by Bluetooth throughout the play. For efficient functioning we used Arduino microcontroller(ATmega328) and Bluetooth module (hc-05)
- Javelin lightning – 2meter red color led strip is connected at the surface of the javelin and it is connected with 12v battery 1Amps (4v 1A – 3 in series)
- Last but not the least four UV tube lights along the length of the stage brightened the whole drama.
We are born with music and we die with music. And the time in between is filled with same. It is one of the best additives to kindle emotions in the audience as well as in an artist himself. Just like any other factor composing for a play which was setup in a different era was equally difficult.
Our musicians experimented different instruments and settled down for the percussion pads to give us that foot tapping beats for which the tribe shook their legs.
Flute, strings, brass, orch hits were mainly used for the BGMs which kept us at the edge of our seats.
COSTUME and MAKEUP:
If you rate acting a 5 on the scale of 10, makeup and costumes gives it an added 2 points, and that too for a black theatre play, one can say that both weigh the same. What could be more challenging than dressing up people for a place which is completely dark?
But hey, we have got some techies who can do that too. We, a team of 5-6 girls mainly from fashion and textile technology joined hands (sorry needles;-)) to drape them in eye grabbing fluorescent outfits. The ensemble for the complete team of actors were handmade and edges were finished by singeing technique. Handmade ornaments sprayed by neon paints added spice to the silhouette.
The backdrop was drawn with chalk and then painted with neon spray paints.
And that’s not it. The most challenging feat is yet to come. Opting for tribal face painting on top of white base was quite a risky choice but fortunately turned out to be the most spoken thing in the entire play.
It took us full two and half an hour for creating different faces that conveyed different emotions. Salute to the patience of the artists who kindly cooperated throughout. And yes, their patience did pay off.
ADVERTISEMENT AND MARKETING:
In world where feelings are sold, marketing has climbed up a long way. The advertisement and marketing team worked day and night to come up with five incredible promos and various posters. They used various soft wares like Adobe after effects, Logic pro, Finalcut. Thanks to their marketing skills, all the social medias were bombed with the news of Aadhivasi coming around.
How could we forget the captain of this huge ship? M. Raja, fondly called as our RAJA ANNA. We owe him everything.
Dolled up by the best in all fields, we hope that we presented a delicious platter.
Could there be a memory better than this to cherish forever?
– Lakshmi palaniappan
2nd year B. TECH fashion technology