Kenneth Haigh once said, "You need three things in the theatre — the play, the actors and the audience, and each must give something." Haigh's infamous quote was put into practice this weekend at the 2nd annual Stage Struck inter-collegiate drama competition, which was held recently.

By Eman Ahmed (Contributor)

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Published: Mon 28 Feb 2005, 11:54 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:58 PM

In two days, audience members were enthralled by brilliant performances from a number of educational institutions, who took part in the event. Teams from the Al Dawha School, The Westminster School, The American University in Dubai, The American College of Dubai, BITS Pilani, Preston University and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, vied with each other for the coveted trophy.

The event, which began on Thursday with a welcome address by personnel from the Rangmanch Theatre Academy, was followed by a performance from the children of the Special Needs Family (SNF) group. The children received gifts for their outstanding performances courtesy Shoe Mart and Archi's Watches as well as roaring applause from the audience.

The main event began with the Al Dahwa School gracing the stage first. Their adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion got them the Judges Choice for Best Play award. Macbeth, performed by the Westminster School was next. The outstanding portrayal of the character of Lady Macbeth, won the actress the Best Actress award at the school level. Third to take to the stage was the team from the American University in Dubai. Their English translation of Khela — a Bengali one-act play that revolves around the painful experiences of modern industrial life — presented the "insensitive market forces that pretend to supple the emotional needs of man." Presented as The Game, it won the runners-up award for Best Play and the Best Actress award at the university level.

On Friday, and into the second day of Stage Struck, four plays followed a second performance by the SNF group. Parchaii (Shadow) by BITS Pilani, drew a huge round of applause for its much-acclaimed performance winning the Best Play award and declaring Rohit Prakash the Best Actor. The Manipal Academy followed with a comedy of errors entitled Gharbar at Ganpat Gulley (Trouble at Ganpat Gulley). Preston University came next with a unique performance of Que Sera Sera, a play based on the philosophy that we live our present remembering the past and fearing the future which makes life a continuous ride of anticipation and anxiety for what may or may not be.

The American College of Dubai's stunning in-house production titled Woh 7 Din (Those Seven Days) was the best as far as comedy was concerned. Revolving around an escaped convict, who changes his ways after taking refuge in an old age home, it started a laugh riot.

The panel of judges included eminent theatre personality, Sunil Sinha, who was flown in all the way from Bombay and Deepak Rego, Director of Events and Communication for the upcoming Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre.

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