As a set of 11 actors try to replicate the ordinariness of authentic early 20th-century life in Russia under the guidance of Noushad Mohamed Kunju, a faculty member of Theatre Arts responsible for the design and direction of the play; it is the conviction that holds the audience awestruck.

Language yet again traverses through the normative borders, as the actors on the stage use a blend of Hindi and English, grasped from the translations by Raduga Prakashan, Moscow. The refined Hindi is well articulated by the actors on stage as they jump from philosophical back and forth to aggressive duels, from announcements of love to morose conversations. Neither the jump is abrupt nor the language alien; it is the masterful mix of acting, lighting, and sound mixing that binds the eyes of the spectators throughout.

“The set designing and lighting was praiseworthy,” lauded Professor Anjali Lal Gupta, a faculty member at the Department of Communication

The Staccato Studio, SN School’s new building hosting the reenactment of a set of two shows on the dates of 3rd, 4th, and 5th May, serves as the perfect space for the creatives to delve into their passion. And each reenactment brings down a fusion of a new set of actors for the primary characters. Therefore, characters undergo bodily transformations as the articulation differs, and each student adapts to the character differently. The art of drama brilliantly flourishes in visually stellar form. The rhythm of the mouth organ is used to cut off scenes, hiding the in-between struggle of rearranging the stage. Costumes and accessories add the well-required pop of color to the woody set of the stage, with the pots of plants cutting out the tension of the scenes, acting as a special toolkit for Astrov’s character.

Even though the Department pulls out a wide array of elements to put this drama together, the acting translates the distant Russian tale onto the stage of Hyderabad Central University.

Anurag, a first-year MA Communication student, expressed his admiration, “From the first cast, I was impressed with Kaustubh playing the role of Astrov, with his subtle yet impactful gestures while his character went through emotional ups and downs. Also, the fight sequence between Uncle Vanya, played by Aman, and Astrov struck me especially, as they both built up the anticipatory atmosphere, leaving no trace of artificiality.

Astrov, played by Kaustubh, and Uncle Vanya, played by Aman engaged in a tensed fight sequence.Another student, Gouri, from SN School, greatly commended the actor who played the Professor from the first cast, “The nuanced portrayal of an old man grieving physically and emotionally was conveyed brilliantly by Rohit, be it the body language or powerful acting.”

Yelena, played by Anjali, exceptionally portraying the emotional dilemma of the character

The unique quality of Uncle Vanya played by the students was that the magic didn’t just lie within lengthy dialogues but also in the brief pauses and lingering expressions between the jolting conversations of the characters; the students leave a lasting impact.

Written by Ishika Mukherjee, 1st year MA Communication student (Media Studies) 

Pictures contributed by M. Vidya Charan, 1st year MA communication student (Media Practice)