Students of Vivek High School, Mohali stage iconic love folklore – ‘Sassi Punnu’: ‘Sassi Punnu – A Musical’ was presented by 81 students of Class IX of Vivek High School, Mohali at Tagore Theatre.
Adya Prashar played the role of Punnu and Hia Madan of Sassi. The duration of the play which was showcased in English was 70 minutes long. The play was staged twice, once in the morning for students of Vivek High School and again in the evening for parents.
Harbina Randhawa, Principal, Vivek High School, Mohali, said, “The staging of ‘Sassi Punnu,’ an iconic love story from undivided Punjab, was inspired by the idea of not only making students familiar with their rich folk culture but also making them live, experience and value the same in a way that they remember and cherish it forever in their hearts.”
Nisha Luthra, Founder of The Narrators – an artiste-led performing arts society that deals in creating, producing, acting, and directing substantial and meaningful theatre, directed the play.
Nisha said: “The play was a gift in the form of a book written in Punjabi language by Mr Balkar Sidhu, a renowned actor, and Vice-Chairman of the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi. After our first reading of the play with Mr Sidhu, our team was completely moved by the purity, earthiness, musicality and the overall designing of the play. It has been a pleasure directing young students for today’s musical.”
The Narrators’ team has adapted the play in English which was presented by the students.
The students mesmerized the audience with their awe inspiring acting skills presented in the backdrop of larger than life sets created especially for the musical. The highlight of the musical was the choreography which was an ensemble of different dance forms like Gidha, Bhangra, and Balochi-Sindh dance. Even ‘Khedda’ – Punjabi games and the martial dance form Gatka were an integral part of the play. The enchanting music composition was by Keshav Singh Sunwar and Vishal Sharma.
It is to be noted that today’s performance was special as it marked the 93rd birth anniversary of famous Punjabi folk singer Surinder Kaur, who first recorded the song ‘Sassi Punnu’ in 1960. Surinder Kaur immortalized the love of folklore for the generations to come. Later her daughter – well known Punjabi folk singer Dolly Guleria, and her daughter Sunaini Sharma -Surinder Kaur’s grand daughter again recorded it in 1985. Both Dolly Guleria and Sunaini Sharma sang the song from the stage today for the audience.
An entire team of professionals was behind the play and they were ably assisted by the students. The Co-Directors of the play were Jasvir Kumar and Rajan Batheja. Light Execution was done by Chetan Sharma and Surinder Sharma; Choreography by Lakhwinder Singh, Raja Subramanium, and Divjot Gulati; Set Execution by Kiran Marwah, Anil Dhiman , Sapna Virdi, Students’ Art Team, and Partap; Costume Design was by Nisha Luthra; Execution by Rajnish; Script Adaptation by Team Narrators; Poster and Invite – Jyotishna, Team Narrators and Students’ Team; Brochure – Ira Mahajan and Team Narrators; the Assisting Team consisted of Rudraksh Gupta, Shreyas Bhandari; and the Media Team comprised of Ira Mahajan, Gurshaan Singh, Ansh Vinod Bither, Lavish Khullar, and Phalgun Hansrao.