“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
The famous words adorned the entrance to the auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on October 9, 2017, where William Shakespeare's play “The Merchant of Venice” was staged by the students of Sunnydale School. The myriad of colours and an auditorium filled to the brim with audience underlined what was a brave and commendable effort at a classic play.
The play was staged by the Middle Section 2, consisting of classes VI and VII students while the teachers and staff administered the behind-the-curtain arrangements. The entirety of the play was brought together in about 2 months where the students pulled off after-class hours to prepare for the play under the direction of Kazi Toufiqul Islam Emon. When asked about what brought the play to fruition, he mentioned, “At Sunnydale we try to arrange cultural programmes such as this almost every year. Last time, we performed 'Alice in Wonderland' and from the experience gathered we're attempting this Shakespearean classic.”
The most commendable part of the play was perhaps how dedicated and earnest each and every one of the young cast was on the stage. From the well choreographed dance routines, to the heightened court drama, to the test for the hand of Portia - the play was a treat even for the neutral observer. A special shoutout goes to Anonno Sayed Haq and Ishraq Kabir Desh who played the Prince of Morocco and Prince of Aragon respectively and delivered an astounding comedic performance.
Aproteem Majumder, one of the standout actors on the stage as Antonio, believed the credit was due to his school. In his words, “I want to thank my school for the opportunity, and my teachers for guiding us through it. This was my second performance and I look forward to what comes next”. It was the first time on stage for young Neeyar Hasan too, the actor behind the role of Salerino. When asked about his experience, he said, “It is quite scary when you think about it. But once you get on that stage, the acting just comes naturally”.
The occasion ended with a special speech from the Principal of Sunnydale School, Tazeen Ahmed, who thanked the parents for their support, teachers for their assistance, the support staff and administration staff for the arrangement and most importantly the students who took time out of their schedule to practice for the play. Also present in the audience was Chairman of Sunnydale School, Dr. Tanvir Ahmed Khan, and special guest Professor Emeritus Dr. Serajul Islam Choudhury.
The night highlighted an occasion of merriment for the observers and one of pride for the students of Sunnydale. The expectation will be set high for them in the coming events.