Another very, very important day for us.
50 years. 133 countries. 22 states of India. Nation – wide. World wide. Huge.
3 years, 1 country. 1 state of India. Bangalore -wide. Yeah. Bangalore – wide.
But it’s the best and the most wonderful theatre group. It’s got to be.
SOS Village prides itself on being a family. And so do we.
We held practice from 10:30am to 1pm in the clubhouse. We went over details of the play, practiced sounds, revised dialogues, dances, tunes. We made the play better and better and better until we were all exhausted and tired and hungry. But confident and prepared and feeling ready to take on the world.
While the rest of the crew broke for lunch and rest, Isha and I finished the collection of costumes and props for the evening show. Immediately after lunch we met again to do prop checking and email sending tasks.
The entire crew gathered at my humble abode at 4pm. We all got into the cars (Sharvi’s parents’ car, Rinku Aunty’s car, our car) and reached at around 5:30pm. We got into the place – it’s a really nice place- and got one of the rooms unlocked for our make-up. We changed the stage set-up from what we had discussed when we had visited a few days ago because there was a risk of it raining (side note: it didn’t) and set up the trees/bushes up on chairs. The backstage was made of two trees and needless to say it was the cutest stage ever. The show started at around 6:30pm.
It was a great play. It beat the quality of the previous one by about a mile. The kids knew what to expect, The audience laughed at all the appropriate times. It was a perfect stage. The lighting could have been better but the energy of the kids definitely lit up the lacking.
There were about 100 children seated on the mats in front of us. They were very attentive and listened to the rapturous acting of our children. They laughed at all the right parts, too. That’s the most satisfying thing I have experienced. The little jokes you make onstage during dramas aren’t usually on-the-spot. They are rehearsed and practiced until (as directors and actors), you no longer laugh at them. They become draggy and you begin to question if the joke is actually that funny. But all such suspicions are wiped away completely when, onstage, you hear laughter on saying those lines.
It happens all of a sudden. Backstage, even onstage, as you recite a humorous dialogue or perform a funny action or scene, you don’t expect anything to come out of it. It’s like a wave; a small part of the audience begins to giggle, and before you know it, the entire crowd erupts in laughter which echoes off the walls. It comes onto you unexpectedly and you drown in it – it shakes you. You are surprised and then you struggle to remember your next dialogue or action. But you feel like a superhero when you finish the scene and come backstage grinning like you’ve conquered the world.
When the play ended and we thanked them for being so wonderful, they cheered loudly and clapped and whistled and we were on top of the world. Several children came up to us and told us that they appreciated the play very much.
The director of the activities, Mr Vishwanath, expressed his gratitude as we wrapped up. The children’s smiling faces surrounded us as we got ready to leave. We had wanted to see Ms. Naglaxmi, the Head of Visitors Department at SOS Village, whom we had met first when we had come. She was very kind and supportive of our idea of doing it in SOS Village. However, she couldn’t make it to the show.
The car ride back was fun. We sang and joked the entire way back home. Then, since we had reached home first, before the other adults, we roamed around the apartment having more fun in our bizarre costumes and make-up.
And we all fell asleep feeling satisfied with this very meaningful and productive day.
Ah, the experiences. These are the experiences that will last us a lifetime.
I feel like like ending this post saying something full of gratitude. I know two words that may do the trick. And I am putting all my feelings and emotion into those two words. I mean them. And they’re addressed to no one in particular. They are to everyone in this world, for being so, so … I don’t know. For being there.