Jigmi Wangdi

The stage set, audience seated, the act ready. The ambience casting an atmosphere fit for the spectacular play prepared by the drama club of Royal Thimphu College (RTC).

The play, which was a first of its kind, explored a selection of storylines and protagonists all being interconnected by the most precious element for all sentient beings; water, therefore the title being its namesake.

The students of the drama club were able to flawlessly bring the voices of the protagonists to life, causing a range of emotions to flow through the audience with each scene being enacted.

Through the play, the characters showed the significance of water in the past, the present and the future of Earth, depicting scenes that made the audience think about how abundant, yet scarce; and gentle yet unforgiving the nature of water was.

The stories ranged from a young Bangladeshi girl surviving floods in her small village, to a South American girl facing the hardships of life caused by droughts on her farm, and a story of a widow in Canada who lost her husband to a polar bear attack because of its destroyed ecosystem owing to global warming, leading to animals to approach human civilisation scavenging for food.

These were all genuine stories that narrated the reality of the world we lived in. The students of the drama club presented the characters so brilliantly that instead of a play, the audience may have felt they were attending an actual symposium where victims of climate change were sharing their stories.

The emotions of the play were so well delivered that each character, with their own stories, were resonating the charisma of climate change advocates.

The play ‘Water’ entertained the audience with witty yet unintentional humour from the actors and poignant instances filled with tragic realism.

The coordinator of the play, Swati Chakraborty (PhD) said that the play was chosen for its strong social message.

“The importance of water cannot be underestimated, and it is equally important not to misuse at the same time and because of global warming, people misused water without realising it,” she said.

Swati shared that the author and playwright, Beverly Andrews was a personal friend and the stories captured in the play were based on true events. “I read the play and we discussed saying that it could convey a strong message to society.

A student who gave a powerful portrayal of a young South American girl said that it was disheartening that the instances captured in the play were happening in reality today. “We thought that acting it out and bringing it here would help create some sort of awareness.”

This year markd the 13th anniversary of the drama club at RTC. They promised to bring more of such plays in times to come.