Street plays, a separate wing in the theatre world has been prevalent from a long time now. If you have watched Dhanush starrer Raanjhanaa, you’d know what street plays and theatre groups are.

For those of you who aren’t aware, like the name itself suggests: a street play is a type of theatrical performance on streets (public places) without the use of a mic and/or costumes. Usually, they are made on social issues for spreading awareness.

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Over the time street plays have evolved from an entertaining way to educate to an art form. Institutions like NSD even offer specialized courses for the same.

If you happen to be from DU, you’ll know how much hard work people put into street plays and how spectacular the end results are.

Now, the problem lies in the fact that people don’t recognise street plays as an art and often discourage others from participating in them.

Over time, even other extra curricular activities have gained popularity and support from families, but for some reason street plays are still not respected enough.

Being a part of the circuit I have myself seen the harsh realities of pursuing the passion. Honestly, I never knew I could act or perform with so much zeal. I just happen to audition because of the buzz street play societies have in DU.

Now is it my fault that I was not aware of such a beautiful art form? Not really. Schools have music societies, dance societies but ever heard of a street play wing in a school?

If your answer to that is a yes, consider yourself lucky for being highly privileged! Lets just face it, most schools do not have street play societies.

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It is only at collegiate level that such a society is recognised. That too if you’re lucky enough to get admission into DU or some other University which gives that much exposure. Even now, some of the most popular private universities do not have street play societies.

Also, the problems don’t end here. Even if you are lucky enough to get into a college which has a street play wing, you face trouble in pursuing it. Your parents won’t be supportive and your social circle wouldn’t understand why you are investing so much time in a ‘nukkad natak’.

Street plays take loads of research and time. So you know, taunts like ‘haan, tu bas dhup me nautanki kar’, ‘ghar aate hi kyu ho’ etc. become an everyday affair.

And hey, need funds for buying those instruments and making those props? Don’t even think your college is going to help. At the end of the day, you end up spending way too much on your ‘passion’.

I really do not understand how people cannot respect street play enough? It takes a lot of effort and brains to make and perform a street play. The entire making of the play from writing to music making and then the execution takes months of hard work.

And when your child is a part of such a society or group, he/she learns about so many socio-political issues. Gets to see the ground reality while accumulating information and gets to hone his/her creative skills by writing and producing music for the play.

Also, when you’re a part of such a group you build bonds with so many people, get to interact with like minded folks and learn how to be a team player. Isn’t all this in fact helping in building a child’s personality?

So, to all those tanned faces dressed in different coloured khaadi kurtas, you guys rock!

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