Our love for theatre may stem from a number of reasons- some personal, some incidental. But if you are an alumnus of Delhi University, your first introduction to the art form will most certainly be a mixture of both.
Most colleges of Delhi University have a dramatics society, and the University itself is blessed with one of the most proficient and competitive theatre circuits in the country. Here’s looking at the top 8 DramSocs of DU:
Ibtida, Hindu College
Notable Alumni- Imtiaz Ali
Imtiaz Ali formed this society during his college days, in 1991. Having directed and acted in a number of plays during his time at Ibtida, Ali still holds a keen interest in the society. So much so that the lawns in Hindu College where they practice is popularly called The Ibtida Lawns. That is reason enough to try for Ibtida!
They usually explore themes such as gender discrimination and corruption. Their annual theatre fest, Medina brings in a wide participation across the circuit- making it one of the largest theatre festivals of Delhi University.
In 2015, Ibtida performed in 9 districts of Rajasthan in collaboration with the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
The Players, Kirori Mal College
Notable Alumni- Amitabh Bachchan, Vijay Raaz, Kabir Khan, Satish Kaushik, Habib Faizal amongst others
The Players is one of the most well-known collegiate dramatics societies, with a number of freshers wanting to take admission in KMC only to be a part of The Players. One wouldn’t disagree, looking at their large list of notable alumni.
Usually adapting particular scripts in order to ensure it’s relevance to local audiences, their reading sessions are often followed by analytical discussions. The Players believe in being experimental, and never settling for the conventional.
Dramatics Society, Hansraj College
Notable Alumni- Shah Rukh Khan
Hosting one of the most rigorous selection procedures, over 400 students apply to the Dramatics Society of Hans Raj College- and members are selected over three long days of
auditions. We should be grateful that a certain SRK made it through!
The Hans Raj DramSoc hosts ÉCLAT, the annual theatre festival of Hans Raj College that holds competitions for both stage and street theatre. Their reason for not giving the society a name is quite patriotic- they make sure the name of their college is included everywhere they go!
Shunya, Ramjas College
Notable Alumni- Abhishek Majumdar and Rahul Tewari
Shunya boasts of some of the most talented actors our country has produced. The society is divided in two, specializing in stage and street theatre. Shunya comprises of around 40 members annually, including the production team.
Performing plays around social and political themes, Shunya has been a regular participant in prestigious competitions such as the Ateliers ACT Fest. Their 2015 production Deluxe Hair Cutting Saloon was touted as one of the best productions of the year, and won various awards across the DU Theatre Circuit.
Their Alumnus carried forth their rich legacy, by producing a play called Dastaan-E-Bhook with the Third Space Collective.
Dramatics Society, Lady Shri Ram College for Women
Notable Alumni- Lillette Dubey, Sandhya Mridul, Sakshi Tanwar
The DramSoc of LSR believes in discussions and debates, and their plays are based on research and critical thinking. Consisting of only female members (being an all-girls college), their production Sun! Tu Rehne De(2015) dealt with the question of normalization of patriarchy in Indian society.
They kick-off the theatre season in the DU circuit, by hosting both stage and street play competitions during their annual cultural festival, Tarang.
Anamika Haksar and Arvind Gaur have mentored the society in the past.
Shakespeare Society, St. Stephens College
Notable Alumni- Konkona Sen Sharma, Kabir Bedi, Neel Chaudhuri, Rajeev Sidhartha amongst others
Birthed in 1924, ShakeSoc (as Stephanians call it) is one of the oldest theatre societies of Delhi University. Amongst adaptations and original productions, the society has managed to sustain their age old tradition of performing at least one Shakespeare adaptation annually.
Showcasing one of the most unique theatre competitions in the circuit- multiple productions from within the college are urged to compete with each other in the Intra Rajpal Event– with the winning production representing the college in the prestigious Inter Rajpal Competition, against other college productions.
Verbum, Sri Venkateswara College
Notable Alumni- Manik Papneja and Shantanu Anam
Verbum believes in bonding, friendship and trust developed over a period of time, by hosting meetings and practices every day (sometimes on holidays as well!). They recruit around 20-30 new members every year, including technicians and production personnel.
Their 2018 production, Hideaway, a daring sci-fi drama, trod on the territory of pedophilia and virtual reality, posing questions such as- Should our imagination collide with morals? What are ethics? And what all constitutes one’s identity?
Verbum is a regular participant at Thespo and the Atelier’s ACT Festival.
Dramatics Society, Shri Ram College of Commerce
Even though SRCC boasts of the biggest cut-offs and best placements, having one of the oldest and most respected theatre societies adds to their swagger.
Usually known for comedies aiming to foster social and intellectual activity amongst the students, the SRCC DramSoc explores daring themes ranging from sexual abuse, acceptance of people with mental health disabilities and the education system.
They also host Histrionica, the annual Performing Arts Festival of SRCC, bringing in wide
participation from the circuit.