Magical. That’s how both my experiences with Bangalore School of Speech and Drama have been. Last year we witnessed the Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy come alive on stage and this year it was Marvellous Matilda.
Started in 2001 by Dr. Zulfia Shaikh with a handful of local students in a corner of Bangalore, the BSSD now has over 200 students and their annual production is a not-to-be-missed event in the Bangalore theatre calendar. Affiliated with Trinity College, London and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Dr. Shaikh introduces children to the world of acting, theatre, music with year round training culminating in a grand annual production.
With both Wizard of Oz and Matilda what strikes you is the grandeur of the sets. They are imaginative and truly enhance the overall experience. As a viewer it feels good that one is not short-changed with a mediocre set unable to capture the largeness and beauty of the tale being told. Effective use of technology, images, lighting and sound take the audience experience to a whole new level. We forget that we are watching kids (from age 5 to 19) who are just learning the art and we get drawn in by the highly professional approach to the entire show.
“Every child reads Roald Dahl while growing up. The most amazing part is that his works bring out meaningful messages in an absolutely humorous way, without sounding preachy, making them easier to accept,” says Zulfia. Matilda, Zulfia says is the story of an intelligent little girl and how she stands up to her bullying parents and school principal. (credit – The Hindu)
Good to see BSSD use this large platform to take a stand on bullying. Hopefully parents will also reinforce the message with their kids and make way for better communication on the topic at home.
Coming back to the shows… it’s all about the kids. Four shows over two days and as a viewer of the 4th show, the energy levels of these kids was amazing. It can’t be easy after days of training to raise your game four times to a live audience. These kids do that wonderfully.
In the Wizard of Oz, the costumes were impeccable – simple yet so effective. For the kids, it leaves a lot for the imagination yet takes you right to the magical world of Oz. Huge sets, tons of kids and costumes but quick and quiet scene changes.
Public speaking, stage presence and confidence are such essential skills for the kids of today. They are walking into a world of possibilities career and profession wise and the ability to get out there in front of people is a skill that will be critical.
So next summer be on the look out for BSSD’s next production.
More power to these kids and more power to yours! May they come away amazed and inspired!