Nadja, could be defined as a feminine German name carrying the meaning Hope. For us, Najda was the hope that gave a new breath of life, a hope which made us walk down an unknown isolated road, a hope which took us on a journey filled with undying companionship, endless determination & immeasurable passion.
A general glimpse of the drama would reflect an image, painted ever so cleverly on the background of the Second World War. An image on how people of different mind sets & conditions believed survived or died in the name of hope. During the period of the Second World War where thousands were killed & tortured under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, hopes of each and every individual from the ruler to the prisoner was set on different purposes, be it victory, defeat or death. The drama carrying three short plays unwinds three diverse scopes of hope carried within those people and how it made them carry on or die.
Nadja is an unconventional stage drama where the three short plays are linked by pre-recorded sound clips, which include two letters and an entry of Ann Franks’s Diary. Each sound clip carries a significant meaning of its own, highlighted by deep sensitivity that the director has talentfully injected into them with emotive background music. The opening score of the drama which is a powerful heart ripping orchestral piece, perfectly describes the hope, pain, heat, power and the destruction that the play is built- in, while the carefully planned non elaborate stage settings harmonize along with it. It definitely was a combination which did justice to the brilliant and profound script.
Making of Nadja was which was written and directed by DRG was no cake walk. It was given life to with many painstaking efforts made by him along with the production crew and the cast for a period of almost two months. Deciding of the cast and allotment of characters appeared to be tougher than expected since we needed the characters to be portrayed with mere perfection. Cutting lectures and huddling up in the culture room every Monday, Wednesday and Friday became a weekly routine, where very many of us who haven’t done home work struggled, trying to remember the extremely lengthy dialogs to the point of driving our darling director D insane!
While the casts’ efforts were on making their roles perfect, the production management crew together with DRG, focused on deciding & making of props and stage settings, printing of the promotional materials, reserving of the venue, booking of the sound & light equipments & finding a good makeup artist and any many more into detailed errands; and all in all it was a tough set of tasks since the people in the production management crew were also playing roles in the drama and their plates were overloaded already! Along our wonderful journey of Nadja many obstacles came our way and tested our faith & determination. Couple of roles in the play needed replacements at the last moment due to fair and unavoidable reasons. Many painful and frustrating hours were spent walking up and down the corridors of the art faculty trying to locate administrative staff to reserve the venue; and we had to keep doing that for weeks!!! The promotional material and the drama itself needed more technological backing than of an ordinary play and thus we had to obtain finances in order to meet with all our quality standards. Which gave us even more reasons to keep on walking and Nadja was definitely a very effective weight loosing package!!
July 31 was indeed a victorious day for all of us. All efforts and passion put into the drama flourished with much life at its premier in front of all well wishers, supporters & critics; a heartfelt thank you to you all for being there with us and being a part of it. The support and encouragement we received by the lecturers specially Dr. Prabath Jayasinghe and Chandana Wijekoon, seniors & the dear batch mates of our faculty is very much appreciated, for without that backing our play would not have been an equally striking one. Cheers to the wonderful cast and the crew for giving life to our dream.
Nadja’s finale carries a few lines which still echoes in our ears.. “some lived with hope, some gave it up and killed themselves, some fought for hope while some degraded and cheapened hope.. “ The echo ends on a high note by questioning the minds of the audience “do you have that hope?”
We believed in hope. It became our life. It gave us yet more hope to persist and to make the difference.
With Nadja going up on stage, we have lived the hope.
And it shall continue to live within us forever.