Shakespeareana 2023

Shakespear is a beloved classic author and there is always someone studying his sonnets, plays or an aspect of them. Club Literati, being a literary society, proudly presents its love for Bard every year through different means. The event was thus planned, scheduled and made happen by Dr. Seema Raizada, president of the club, and her team. 

Dating from 20th April, 2023, when Dr. Seema Raizada delivered a seminar at Oriental Group of Institutes on Shakespeare and his poetry, the festival lasted for 4 days. 

The second day was dedicated to the wonderful young minds of DPS, Neelbad where Dr. Seema Raizada delivered an expert talk on Language and Sense in Shakespearean sonnets. After this, the children of DPS, Neelbad poured in to submit their entries for the sonnet competition: From Me to Thee. 

The competitions were another fun way to show Bard love. The list included four competitions, which were From Me to Thee: Sonnet competition where participants were to write about their feelings addressing someone, anyone they want; Words, Words, words: weave the story using 15 to 20 Shakespearean quotes of 2000 words; One Minute Shakespeare: where participants would talk how what Shakespeare meant to them for one minute; and Design a Book Viver, where participant would bring out their creativity and create a cover for one of the Shakespearean books. 

Apart from the competitions, Club Literati conducted its signature quiz, Will Power Quiz on Shakespeare, his life and his works. The entries poured in for all the competitions and quiz and by the time of the deadline on 21st April, 9 PM, 13 different institutions had participated in the competitions which ranged from famous schools of Bhopal as well as St. Xavier of Mumbai, making the competition go on national level. 

The Quiz was conducted on 23rd April, 7 PM, where the link to the quiz was shared with the participants with the pre-prepared WhatsApp group, Will Power participants only. The participants were given the window of 12 minutes to submit their answers and the winner was selected from the one who did it all correctly in the least amount of time. 

Club Literati started something new this year by going live on Instagram with Orange Owl Perception and Deepti Yadav. The talk show, Bard on Insta, was a hit where Adeena Syed from Club Literati and Prakriti Rais from Orange Owl Perception talked about Shakespeare about his work, his maturity in writing and his understanding of society with Deepti Yadav. The session turned into a fun show when Deepti Yadav was asked to be part of rapid fire round and was asked the funniest question which left the moderator laughing and answering wittily. 

The city event, Shakespeare Jamboree, was a hit among the winners and audience alike. The winners of all the competitions were contacted and invited via email to recite and showcase their work and get the well deserved prizes. 

The event was opened by Dr. Seema Raizada who welcomed the audience and introduced the anchor of the evening Rashmi Bhargav. The first to perform for the evening was Diksha, an active member of Club Literati, environmentalist, artist and songwriter sang a Shakespearean sonnet and bewitched everyone with her voice. The event flew after that, from Mrs. Bhargav’s introduction of Shakespeare to the winners reciting their work, it was a roller coaster of feelings. The winners recited their works, impressing  the audience with their creativity at such a young age. The list of winners is long but the performances were held by Athrva Upadhyay of DPS for his submission in From Me to Thee, Anvi Dixit from Billabong High International School recited her story entry for Words, words, words and made people wonder at her writings at the young age of 14. Kanishka Paltani and Prakhar Bhandari from Billabong International School performed for a minute and revealed their entry for One minute Shakespeare. Saanvi of DPS and Stuti of Army School, winners of Design a Book Cover held their art as the audience had a look at the beautiful curve of the brushes and sprinkle of colours on the sheet to the designs Bard would surely want for his own books. 

Vinita Bhatnagar, dressed in black velvet suit and purple headdress, as Claudio, brought the audience in near tears with the love story of Hero and Claudio, his confessions and loss of love. The act was then followed by the rowdy group of Sanskar Valley School students who debated on the topic, “Desdemona was the only victim” in Shakespeare’s play, Othello. The debate was hot and both the parties put forth the points which made the audience constantly change their sides with one team to another. The team in favour of the topic with Pranav Hari Prakash, Anvi Sharma and Samaira Ismail held their ground and bombarded the opposition team with facts and questions. The rowdy and loud and full of motivation to win and indeed the winning team of the Debate competition came with Anushka Sharma, Shubh Jain and Aadya Singh who made audience applause and agreed with their argument. The debate, moderated by Anadya Verma and judged by Deepti Yadav and Bhasha Shukla, was a super hit among young and adults alike. 

As said before, the study on Shakespeare is always happening and Club Literati was honoured to have Dr. Suchi Shukla, who studied Shakespearean heroine for her doctorate, was felicitated at the event. It was then followed by the much awaited by the winners, the prize distribution ceremony where all the winners including the opposition team of debate were given their prizes for winning their respective categories. The event was concluded by Anushka Sharma, a Sanskar Valley School student, who dressed as Juliet, came to perform a monologue in the alternated balcony scene. What would have happened if Romeo had not appeared that night under Juliet’s balcony, how she would have continued, what she would have said: this wasn’t left to imagination as Ms. Sharma performed her lines and captivated the viewers with the longing in her voice.

By the end of the event, the guests were truly full of entertainment eyt asking for more for the next year and there will be more in Shakespeareana 2024. 

The festival was celebrated by not just Club Literati but by many Bard lovers of Bhopal. There will be many such fests to come and more fun to follow. 

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