Value Framework to accomplish our Mission
The stage has always been held in great honour at St. Xavier’s. For an educational institution an auditorium is not just a venue for school or college events, or merely a meeting place, it is a space where a corporation of students and scholars congregate – to celebrate, to debate, to discuss, and sometimes even to mourn collectively. As we stand at the threshold of another century in the history of St. Xavier’s College, it is meet that we go down memory lane and find out how students gathered here when it all began 130 odd years ago, how this place changed over the century, and how it is now poised to provide a space for even greater creative, cultural and social events, something that St. Xavier’s College has always been noted for.
The college stage and auditorium that you see today, has come through a historic process of evolution and gradual transformation. The earliest roots of this stage goes back to the ‘Sans Soucci Theatre’, which was burned down by fire in 1843. But the spirit of Sans Soucci survived the holocaust, and in 1859, when the premises became the property of Belgain Jesuits, who called it St. Xavier’s, theatre came to life again. The St. Xavier’s stage found a place of pride in the cultural life of Calcutta.
The growth of the St. Xavier’s Stage and auditorium took place separately in distinct and gradual phases, creating history of its own. The earliest history of the college hall goes back to 1885. The Old College Hall then served as a dormitory for the boarders as well as providing the most convenient place for dramatic performances. After 1885, great occasions, like the Prize Distribution Day, demanded more space than the hall could provide. For these functions a large shamiana was erected in the open.
From this fledgling beginning, the St. Xavier’s stage took a giant leap into a major transformation in 1931. This change and wholesome transformation was solely due to the remarkable ability of Rev. Father Weaver, S. J. Still within the premises of the Old Hall, before the new building was erected, Father Weaver with his vision and creative ability rebuilt the old college stage. He had the old stage enlarged and renovated: new teakwood pillars and arches came into being; spotlights made the lighting scheme more effective and elaborate. There were set up complete sets of light in four colours, which by means of a very elaborate switch board could produce fairy which set off the stage magnificently. In the centre of this new stage shone the college crest in all its glory.