On 6th May 2016 inaugurated The Inter School Shakespeare Festival at Starmark, South City Mall Kolkata. This Festival hosted Mr John Bagul, Principal, South City International School in association with Enigma and Ahava Communications. The inaugural event entailed educationists, and eminent personalities from all walks of life, media and students.
This inaugural event special guest was Ushoshi Sengupta, Ms Universe India 2010, Founder CEO at TES and Vice President at Dream World Edu Services LLP. The Inter School Shakespeare Festival kick started by lightning the lamp. The whole event moderated by Mona Sen Gupta.
After inaugurated the Festival, there was a panel discussion titled ” IS SHAKESPEARE CONTEMPORARY? “.
Anjum Katyal introduced the topic to the audience and recounted excerpts showing that most phrases still used in contemporary times have their origin in Shakespearean drama, Barun Chanda too said that he believes that Shakespeare is contemporary. The well-known actor went on to speak of his college days trying to play Hamlet where he “quietly slipped into the character,” by the end of the drama and added that Shakespeare’s language is “rich and influencing.”
Drawing a parallel between world dramatists from the Greek, French and Spanish ethos to that of the Bard, Professor Anand Lal went on to add that while, “It is very difficult to describe Shakespeare in just a few words”, he believes that while our Colonial past has made Shakespeare perhaps a bit more important to us than the rest, he strongly agrees, In Shakespeare we find an amalgamation of all types of genres in drama which is perhaps not present in any other language or age.
Nivedita Bhattacharjee recounted, “What makes Shakespeare above and beyond the rest and the first modern dramatist is the fact that while Greek dramatists spoke of the ravages outside, it was Shakespeare who first spoke about the man grappling with the ravages that tore him from the inside. She went on to applaud the character of Portia in The Merchant of Venice who showed her fortitude when she spoke about carving a pound of flesh, “but not even a drop of blood.”
Classical dancer Vikram Iyengar drew a parallel between classical dance and Shakespearean play saying, “I strongly believe that Shakespearean drama is somewhat similar to Classical dance. What it needs in its inception is a good teacher.” He went on to add that the fact that Shakespeare is still interpreted in so many methods and modes just goes on to prove how versatile his drama is.
Ramanjit Kaur started off by recounting Portia’s dramatic monologue from Merchant of Venice and spoke how contemporary dramatists have found ways of modernising Shakespearean drama by using modern props and often various POV methods.
Ushoshi Sengupta recounted her experience of reading Shakespeare as a child and said she believes that Shakespeare is one dramatist who will always be loved by all.
The panellists of the evening were Ananda Lal, Professor of English, Jadavpur University; Theater critic Barun Chanda, actor and author; Nivedita Bhattacharjee, theatre personality and former journalist; Ramanjit Kaur, whose film credits include Deepa Mehta’s Videsh-Heaven on Earth and Fire, actor and Artistic Director of Creative Arts and Vikram Lyengar, Artistic Director at Ranan and others. The panel was moderated by the Co-Director of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF), Ms Anjum Katyal. After an hour long fabulous panel discussion comes to end followed by Q&A session.
The three-day festival will be held on May 9, 10 and 11 (10 am – 4 pm) at the South City International School auditorium at 375, Prince Anwar Shah Road, Kolkata. In this occasion, 10 participating schools are South City International School, Sri Sri Academy, Sushila Birla Girls School, DPS Newtown, Loreto House, St James High School, Akshar, Calcutta International School, La Martiniere for Girls and Ballygunge Sikha Sadan. This 3 days festival will include lots of interesting competitions like drama, quiz, art and a debate on “Did Shakespeare really write his plays?”. Inter-School Play Competition where 6 schools will enact two to three scenes from Shakespeare’s dramas. The duration of each play will be for 70 minutes. The plays will be enacted from The Merchant of Venice: Hamlet: Othello: Julius Caesar: Romeo and Juliet: Macbeth: Twelfth Night: As You Like It: The MidSummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest Prize distribution ceremony will be held on May 11th at 4 pm.
Schools to perform: Sushila Birla Girls’ School and Delhi Public School (New Town)
Judges: Anjana Basu, Shuktara Lal
Schools to perform: St. James School, Loreto House
Judges : Biplab Dasgupta, Antara Banerjee
2 pm: Inter-School Quiz Competition on Shakespeare’s Plays mentioned above.
Quiz Master: Tathagata Chowdhury Founder member, Theatrician.
Schools participating: Loreto House, DPS New Town, St. James, Sushila Birla for Girls, Ballygunge Siksha Sadan, Calcutta International School, La Martiniere for Girls, Akshar, South City International School
Schools to perform: Sri Sri Academy and South City International School
Judges: Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Chef Sunshine Bhattacharjee
2pm: Inter-School Debate Competition: Title: Did Shakespeare Write his plays?
Nine Schools to participate: Loreto House, DPS New Town, St. James, Sushila Birla for Girls, Ballygunge Siksha Sadan, Calcutta International School, La Martiniere for Girls, Akshar, South City International School
Moderator: Deb Kumar Mitra
Judges: Neel Adhikari and Kalpita Sarkar
INTER SCHOOL ART COMPETITION
Schools participating: Loreto House, DPS New Town, St. James, Sushila Birla for Girls, Ballygunge Siksha Sadan, Calcutta International School, La Martiniere for Girls, Akshar, South City International School- The schools will sketch/paint/draw wither Shakespeare, or his characters or the Elizabethan stage etc
Judges: Antara Bannerjee and Sufia Khatoon
PRIZE DISTRIBUTION CEREMONY:
May 11: 4 pm: The Principal, South City International School, Mr John Bagul, will give away the prizes.
This festival Open to all for everybody.