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XAVERIAN THEATRICAL SOCIETY
Shibayan Ganguly (Secretary)
the late 1930s , the Xaverian Theatrical Society ( XTS) has been home to eminent
theatre/film personalities such as Utpal Dutta, Anil Chatterjee and Tarun Roy;
later – Ramaprasad Banik, Sudipto Chatterjee and Kharaj Mukherjee. The tradition
continues, as XTS bagged the first prize at The Sahara India Inter College Drama
Competition this year (2010). The play ‘Aajir’ was written and directed by Prof.
Ashis Siddhanta, the President of the Society. For Prof. Siddhanta, it was his
40th straight win in as many competitions over a span of about 20 years.
In XTS, theatre is a serious business; it takes months of painstaking
rehearsals to achieve the desired level of perfection. In 1991, XTS developed a
new concept in contemporary theatre. Named by the legendry Sri Khaled Chowdhury
as ‘Collage Theatre’ the play ‘Jiboner jonney, Bhalobashar jonney’ combined
various forms of art like song, dance, music and mime with acting and dialogue.
The play was later taken up as the subject of a documentary film that received
wide acclaim. Another theatre collage, ‘From dirt to dust’, won the first prize
in the Malhar Youth Festival, 2000, in Mumbai; 60 Colleges from all over India
participated in this Competition. In 2001, XTS staged another experimental play
‘The Rebirth’; over 40 students participated in this ‘large scale, energetic
spectacle, with exemplary and diverse creative inputs of choreography, live
songs and music’ (The Telegraph, 19 Oct, 2001); this is perhaps the only play in
which the Late Pandit Kanan rendered the music for the song ‘tum sab jantey ho’.
More recently (2009), in collaboration with the St. Xavier’s College Alumni
Association, the XTS staged an opera entitled ‘A Medical Crisis – Revisited‘ to
celebrate 150 years of theatre in St. Xavier’s. Based on Rajshekhar Bose’s
classic ‘Chikitsha Sankat’, the play indeed created a stir in the Kolkata
theatre circuit (Sananda, 15 Nov, 2009).
to the ‘experimental’ we had it all; even language had never a barrier to good
theatre. It is simply ‘love, life and rhythm’ that bind our members together,
both past and present.
Our future plans: this year (2010), we intend to begin regular theatre
classes for our members, a theatre workshop in association with the Film Studies
Department of the College, and a scintillating performance at Xavotsav,11.