Coronavirus bugs Lenten tiatrs too

‘Bhokti Songitantlean Niyall’ – Meditation
through Sacred Music, a programme of choral music centring around Our Lady and her ‘fiat’, was performed by a choir and ensemble conducted by Fr Romeo Monteiro on March 10, 2020 at Varca Parish Church. The only Lenten concert for this year, the concert was aimed at meditating on the solemn moment of the “Yes” that Mother Mary said to Angel Gabriel, when she received the news that she had been chosen by God to be the mother of the Saviour. Fr Romeo Monteiro says, “This will have an effect on the devotees but precaution is also important. You cannot let your spiritual life have an effect on your social life. If a person who is infected is attending a retreat, he/she will infect many other people.” There are 50 members, singers and musicians participating, under the direction of Rev. Maestro Romeo Monteiro, the conductor of the Kala Academy Choir.

Calado De Verna directed his 16th Lenten tiatr ‘Devacho Monis’ for this season and will be showcasing his next tiatr at Candolim Church on March 19, 2020. “We had to stop the shows in the bigger towns. We had performed nine shows so far for the season. We also have a show in Sawantwadi on March 28, 2020 but it may most probably get cancelled. We may perform village shows. The hall charges will be refunded but the audience will miss out on watching the shows in the theatre. People like to watch tiatrs in theatres and everyone is comfortable and in a relaxed mood. The tiatr received a good response but now everyone knows what the situation is now and why the tiatr is not being performed,” says Calado de Verna.

Myran Travasso has been directing Lenten tiatrs for four years now and before that he used to help Fr Socorro with his Lenten plays. This is the first time he is facing the cancellation of shows. “My show of the tiatr ‘Tum Poilo Za’ was supposed to be held on March 29, 2020 at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao, which stands cancelled. Nearly 6-7 shows that were to be performed in theatres, and even village shows, have been cancelled. I have been getting calls from people enquiring about the tiatr but it cannot be staged. The bookings for many shows were done in advance but the expense of producing the tiatr will not be recovered this season,” says Myran Travasso, whose tiatr is based on the theme that every person is unique with god given gifts. Myran from Sao Jose de Areal also acts in tiatrs.

Lawry Travasso’s eighth production, ‘Koxttantlean Fulam’, was currently being showcased in Goa before the directive about shows being cancelled was out; the show ran for a month. Lawry cancelled 21 shows in different village shows and theatres in the cities. “Out of 35 shows, we are doing only 14 shows. Every year, I always work towards giving a good Lenten message. This time my story is based on orphan girls. I’m showing the story of 40 orphan girls. My message for this Lenten season is not to leave orphan children on the roads or in the gutters or dustbins. They are also humans; let them live like us,” says Lawry Travasso.

Sadly the virus has forced such meaningful productions from being staged or staged according to schedule to reach a larger audience who eagerly look forward to Lenten tiatrs. [H]