Jaffna student plays reflect society's undercurrent of fear

[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 March 2008, 00:02 GMT]
Traditional folk dramas and modern plays were showcased in a drama festival organized by the Outdoor Stage Group of Jaffna University Thursday at Kailasapathy Hall. The silent play named ‘Moodi’ (The Lid) in which actors had their faces covered by cloths, expressing the current denial of freedom of expression and movement in Jaffna peninsula, students spokesperson said. The play also had scenes that portrayed the fear of arrests, killings, and abductions that haunt the residents of the peninsula, the spokesperson added.

Moodi scene with faces of actors covered
Section of the attendees to the drama festival
A scene from Moodi
Male students acting in a drama
The newly appointed Vice-chancellor Prof. N. Shanmuglingan, Faculty Deans, lecturers and students in their hundreds attended the drama festival presided by T.Kumaran, the president of the Stage Group.

This cultural event, the first to be held in the unsettled security climate prevalent in Jaffna since 2006, was well attended with the audience overcrowding the hall with capacity to accommodate 700 persons.

Traditional Folk dramas including Vasanthan Koothu and Kaaththavaraayan Koothu were staged along with modern plays.

‘Moodi,’ presented by lecturer Ravitharan and acted by university students, evoked rave reviews from the attendees and received standing ovation.

As acknowledged first responders who bring out to the public serious cultural undercurrents of a society, the artistically endowed director and actors of 'Moodi' clearly brought forth the anxiety and insecurity that grip the hearts of the people of the peninsula, drama critics attending the festival said.


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