Back in college, everyone has their hilarious moments that last in their memories to give them a good laugh for the rest of their lives. Some of the moments that still have me losing it are from the times we staged dramas, one for English class in our first year and one for a Fine Arts competition. It’s natural for bloopers to come up when you’re rehearsing the play but when you’re enacting the real thing, bloopers shouldn’t come up. That principle didn’t apply to us though.
During the Fine Arts competition in our third year, I was in charge of western solo singing and since I was the only member of that unit for our department, I ended up being the contestant. Though I didn’t win, I loved strumming my guitar to Taylor Swift’s Treacherous that day, feeling happy about me being the only person to play the guitar. I kept a distance between myself and the other major stuff like dramas and dance, since I knew the trouble of administrating and taking charge would inevitably fall on me if I was a part of those. I had enough experience of taking charge of a large group of girls as the class representative in my second year to sound the red alert in group activities. Even if I do try to avoid taking responsibility, my need for sheer perfection betrays me and pushes me forward.
My close knit of friends took up English Drama and asked I help them out with the story and script, which I voluntarily did. No matter what, the Monica Geller in me switched on while we discussed about it and knowing I deliberately stayed away from Drama, my bestie gently asked if I could actually be in it. I shook my head stubbornly several times but I don’t remember how I was convinced, because then I found myself to be one of the daughters of the mother character another close friend played the role of. The fantasy story was set in a drought village with a river goddess, the goddess whom was played by my bestie (The theme for Fine Arts that year was Water Conservation). Since it was only the five of us along with another friend of ours who’s a nice girl, I thought, ‘Oh well, then.’ And went on with it.
Practice went on with business and laughter together, the latter contributed by the bloopers that came up in various scenes. My first scene was to take a bucket and fill it with water from the river, where I’ll be the first person to encounter the goddess. While I take the first step back home, she’ll call me from behind, causing me to drop the bucket in surprise. The bucket behaved itself during every single rehearsal. I thought it was such a good bucket. But then it stuck its tongue out at me and bounced off the stage towards the audience when the scene played in front of the judges. My bestie and I stared at each other for a second, she holding in laughter while I stood there, not sure whether to be horrified or amused. The bucket was needed for two more scenes. It was a good thing one of our other friends was standing by the stage and watching us, since she was the one to retrieve it and give it back to us, but that didn’t score points with the board. The next blooper was during a moment the mother put her children to sleep. Myself and three other friends rehearsed properly on where each person was to sleep but since one friend accidentally laid down at the place allotted for another friend, which was beside me, the latter kept asking her to move over while still standing. I took the liberty to press my hand to my mouth to hide my uncontrollable mirth, since no one could see me doing it, while shifting over myself to give her room.
Once we were done and back in the safety of our laboratory, we put our faces in our hands, blushing and laughing at the same time. Every time the five of us talk about it now, we still end up laughing.
The Drama for English class, however, had a twist. You’ll know why in the end.
This was back in our first year.
English Drama was a Non-Major Elective. I couldn’t join my friends in it because I had to choose Tamil, since I studied French as my second language. But I did own the happy job of the story and script for my friends’ final NME Exam, gifted to me by my bestie herself. I remember how the seven of us sat out in the college gardens, under the shade, in a circle and holding discussions about it. I suggested they take up the basic story of the movie, A Cinderella Story, with a small twist of characters. They agreed to it and we created scenes together, with me scripting the fair draft of it for a fifteen minute show alongside. I had it ready within two days and became the director of the play as well. We had great fun rehearsing, making the masks for the ball, and deciding on make-up and costumes.
On the actual day, one of the girls was absent. As we grew nervous and wondered what to do, my friends decided to tell the professor and go on with the play without her. The professor said it was okay and that was when my friends had a thought that took me aback. Why don’t I fill in for the absent character? I stared at them and told the professor I didn’t belong to this NME and that I only helped them out but she smiled at me and said I could go for it if I wanted to. That was all my friends needed, as they didn’t wait for my response, and pushed me on stage with them. Thankfully, I remembered all of the lines. Things went well the first few scenes but it was during the ball that we started sweating.
The three girls playing the female characters had to change their clothes, which was already notified to the professor beforehand. The dresses hated the smooth progress of the play, as they gave trouble during changing. The rest of us, horrified at the last minute screw up, did all we could to help. It took ten minutes before everything was fine and we hurried on stage, starting to dance immediately. I think we actually forgot to act the small scene before it in anxiety. We were three couples altogether and one of the girls playing a male character started mumbling, ‘I am so scared! I am so scared!’ to the girl she was dancing with, testing her resistance to laughter at her tone.
And since the stage was a little small, we kept getting in each others’ way. I doubted people were able to discern what was going on. Then after a few more scenes we stumbled over and Austin and Sam finally declared their love for each other, we bowed to the audience and hopped off the stage, biting our nails.
Ten minutes later, the professor called us to her and told us she enjoyed the drama and the romantic sequence in it thoroughly, granting my friends the top score. Smiling at our bewildered expressions, she went off, leaving us to laugh and hug each other.
I’d love to hear about your funny memories from staged dramas. If you’d like, please share them in the comment section below.
Have a great day and stay blessed.