The more the merrier
Vaishali Bisht’s recent innovative blend of screen-stage gets appreciative audience
At the time when technology is growing at a rapid pace in the world of entertainment innovations on stage and celluloid keep the interest going among the audience. At the recent Hyderabad Children’s Theatre Festival, theatre activist Vaishali Bisht came up with a concept that had a combination of stage, film and sound in a .10-minute play named Zinda Talisman presented at Lamakaan. The story is based on a young girl named Chutki who goes to the busy markets of Charminar with her mother. As her mother disappears in the market, Chutki comes across a magical object, which takes her to different places. To get back to reality, she must answer one question, ‘Batao! Kya Seekha?’ Throughout the play, Chutki comes across anecdotes and stories like Nawab Afzal-Ud-Daula and his fascination for ‘Ghee Ke Laddoos’. What makes the play more interesting and gripping is the use of special effects like animated videos and appropriate audio. The real time stage performance was appreciated as it went well along with the introduction of conventional production techniques. Vaishali Bisht says, “The idea was to use different mediums and communicate, so that children would easily understand.” Manvi Teki who played the role of Chutki says that she developed interest in theatre ever since she started reading Shakespeare’s plays. Manvi also explains about how her perception on Shakespeare plays from being complicated was broken after joining the theatre workshop conducted by Vaishali.
Vaishali who is also an actor and has spent over 15 years in the field of children’s theatre says, “Innovation is the key to keep children engrossed and excited. This play is a result on an experimentation and thought process of over months and we intend to extend it to a longer duration in future.” Narrating her experience, Manvi says, “this is the first time I performed at a platform with a huge gathering and was not nervous. Thanks to Vaishali Ma’am she made me understand and explore the script which helped me understand the character better.”On her part Vaishali says they explored Charminar together with Manvi so that the kid can emote well on stage and have a good connect.” Manvi recalls how she visited Charminar at 4am in the morning and liked the streets. She claims that this was the first time she went to Charminar and had keenly observed the culture of Hyderabad. When asked what she loved best about the play “it’s the ghee ke laddoos,” pat comes the reply.
On future projects Vaishali says the team is looking out for collaborations to turn it into a 40-minute play.