The Hive is buzzing with activity these days.
I teach over the sounds (from the other side of the door) of shrieks and yells and lines uttered at deafening decibel levels by dozens of children, aided and abetted by half-a-dozen well-meaning adults. Every nook, corner and flat surface is filled with props and costumes and what-not . I have to dodge between snakes and skulls and masks and other deadly-looking stuff to make way to the teaching table…
My teenagers – who wait (in simple present, meaning a universal truth) to giggle at the drop of a hat – are now in a perpetual state of hysteria, and getting them back to thinking and writing about mundane topics like Cyber-bullying and Social Media has become a chore.
But everything said and done, I would gladly put up with all that and more. For now, at least. Because the excitement is infectious, and there is a method to the madness: The Hive is preparing for their D-day, June 3, 2016, when they take ‘The Adventures of Indiana’ to The Junction, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz – Dubai. An ambitious venture directed by Jimish Thakkar and Malavika Varadan Sharma, the play is the first of its kind in the city.
A massive cast and crew is getting ready (the details are below), and there’s so much ‘happening’ all around. And I, with my zero experience in theatre, thought it’s only fair that I do my two bits – share what the directors have to say. So here it is, verbatim:
Indiana Jones is one of cinemas most revered heroes. He’s cool. He’s smart. He’s adventurous. And he has his heart in the right place. Plus, he looks like Harrison Ford and he once came to India.
We’ve loved watching him on screen for decades now (Wow! Aren’t we old) but it wasn’t until one fine Monday evening when we were unwinding after class that Jimish Thakkar uttered those fateful words. “I think we should do Indiana Jones on stage.” He paused. Dramatically…. and added “I mean, why not?”
Everything we have done since that day has followed that same mantra. Why not? Why not cast 56 students over 3 different batches in 33 scenes? Why not throw in 150 light and sound cues and why not get this prop and that prop and 148 more props and this costume and that costume and 97 more costumes. These numbers are not exaggerations.
This is where the journey had to begin. We found the film scripts of the Indiana Jones films, we watched and rewatched the films until every other person around us said “Really? Can we please watch something else now???”
We then combined the best bits – stitched them together with logic, words and mostly will power and created a never before seen script. “The Adventures of Indiana Jones”
Then of course there was casting and auditioning, rehearsing and re-rehearsing , integrating and executing and finally getting HERE.. To this very point. As a wise man once said, “I mean, Why not?”
We do this for one reason, and one reason only. As actors we understand that there is no feeling in the world more powerful than standing onstage, looking out onto the great infinity, the bright light, saying a line and hearing a room full of people react. That feeling is nothing short of divine.
And we know that once you have tasted this addictive feeling, you will be hooked for life.
Doing a play is also about belief. In a difficult world with so many questions and doubts, the one thing we can all do with is a little more belief. We believe that the rock in front of you is real. We believe in the magic of a potion. We believe in that word and this movement and we hope that YOU believe too.
‘Why not?’ seems to be the spirit from which the play has evolved. And – come to think of it – why not, indeed!
P.S. Harrison Ford, where art thou?
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