04 Apr 2024  |   05:05am IST

From words to award winning tiatrs

This year, the 12th Children’s Tiatr Competition and 9th Tiatr Competition ‘B’ Group were both won by tiatrs directed by Raia-based Marcos Gonsalves. An excellent Konkani writer, Marcos won the competitions for his tiatrs ‘Khol Khol Baim’ and ‘Hunvar’, respectively. A journalist with O Heraldo, Marcos effectively uses his literary talent to bring forth thought-provoking tiatrs
From words to award winning tiatrs

Dolcy D’Cruz

When Marcos Gonsalves was informed that his tiatr, ‘Hunvar’ won the 9th Tiatr Competition ‘B’ Group with a sweeping victory of 27 awards, he was over the moon. Within two months, he has now won the first place for his tiatr, ‘Khol Khol Baim’ at the 12th Children’s Tiatr Competition which adds another feather to his cap. 

Marcos Gonsalves is a writer, dramatist and journalist, who is fluent in Konkani in Devnagari and Roman scripts as well as in Marathi and English. He has to his credit several books and articles related to poetry, short stories, one-act plays, biographies, research papers, and of course, award winning tiatrs. 

For almost two decades, Marcos has been writing one-act plays and participating in various competitions across the State. Some of the noted one act plays include ‘Amchem Zhuz’, ‘Ami Fottovleat’, ‘Hoch to Porinnam’, ‘Mar Fator’, ‘Sonvsar Somptoloch’, ‘Ful Pisuddtta Ten’nam’, ‘Ken’nam Palovtolo Ho Uzo’, Kallokhachi Vatt Suru Zalea’, ‘Kallim Kupam’, ‘Ek Khinn Ek Xinn’, ‘Mukti’, ‘Oxeim Ek Natem’, ‘Zagronn’ and ‘Ghe Maye’.

From one-act plays, he moved on to children’s tiatrs. For the past six years, Marcos has been participating in the Tiatr Academy Goa’s Children’s Tiatr competition and has won the past four competitions consecutively. This gave him the confidence to participate for the first time in the Tiatr Competition ‘B’ Group organized by Kala Academy. 

His first tiatr in 2016 was ‘Ek Aslo Surya’ which won the second place for Best Performance at the Children’s Tiatr Competition. It was based on the lives of children from the slums. His second tiatr ‘Mhojea Mamachea Ganvant’ in 2017 also won the second place for Best Performance which brought to stage the beauty of a village life. ‘Piki Piki Kazule’ in 2018 won the first place for Best Performance and was based on children with disability issues. ‘Kanvllean Kelem Kanv Kanv’ in 2019 was the second consecutive tiatr to win the first place for Best Performance with a focus on water conservation. ‘Zhadda-Tengxer’ in 2023 again won the first place for Best Performance. 

“Zhadda Tengxer’ was based on transgender people and the main actor, Aldrich Joshua Carvalho did a wonderful job and also won the best actor award for it. With ‘Piki Piki Kazule,’ ‘Kanvllean Kelem Kanv Kanv,’ ‘Zhadda Tengxer’ and now ‘Khol Khol Baim’ makes this our fourth consecutive win. There was a break of two years due to the pandemic for the competition,” informs Marcos.

Tiatr Academy of Goa in collaboration with Kala Academy Goa organized its 12th Children’s Tiatr Competition from March 10 to 16 at Dinanath Mangeshkar Kala Mandir, Kala Academy Goa. In all 10 children’s tiatr troupes participated in the competition. ‘Khol Khol Baim’ written, directed and presented by Marcos bagged the first place in the competition. ‘Fuddem Panvl Mar’ written, directed and presented by Fr Milagres Dias and ‘Tumchea Sangata Hanv Jiyetam’ written and directed by William Fernandes won the second and third places respectively.

‘Khol Khol Baim’ focuses not just on the life of a well but the surrounding wall too. The well was an important source of water for the villagers and had to be dug till a spring gushed forth from the earth. The same way the spring signifies children and the surrounding way are the parents, who have to create the right environment for their children. 

“Earlier, Kala Academy organised a single tiatr competition. But over the years, since the number of tiatrs increased, they decided to have ‘A’ and ‘B’ competitions. The ‘B’ group is for amateurs. The tiatrs winning the top three places, qualifies to participate in the ‘A’ group competition for next year. Since we won this year’s competition, we now qualify for the ‘A’ competition,” says Marcos.

The 9th Tiatr Competition ‘B’ Group organized by Kala Academy from January 22 to 31 at Dinanath Mangeshkar Kala Mandir, Kala Academy, declared Marcos’ ‘Hunvar’ staged by Barebhat Social And Cultural Association, Raia  as the winner. ‘Mhaka Salvar Kor’ staged by Pacheco’s Dramatic and Cultural Association, Curtorim, Salcete and ‘Rog’ staged by Sant Matevachim Noketram, Azossim won the second and third prize respectively. 

Every year, Marcos writes great tiatrs that highlights social issues and the need to save the environment. ‘Hunvar’ which won 27 awards at the competition was based on the river and its importance. “The idea about a tiatr on River Sal was on my mind for almost 3-4 years but I had to get it into the right format. I started working on the tiatr almost a year back. I did months of research on one of South Goa’s main lifeline, River Sal. Some of the incidents enacted on stage are real incidents that took place nearly 40-50 years back. Many livelihoods depended on the river and many villages sustained on its water. Fishermen had bounty of catch of fish and clams and the river was also the main mode of transportation for goods like sand, stones and wood. However, now the river is a sad plight with river landfilling and pollution. Its identity is completely lost. I portrayed the same sentiments through the life of a woman in the tiatr ‘Hunvar’. How a girl grows up into a woman, gets married, and bears a child, even though she is risking her life for the birth of a child, she doesn’t compromise on the health of the baby. The same way, the river gives its all to every section of society,” explains Marcos. 

Speaking about what Marcos enjoys about working with children, he says, “This is the best age to make children sensitive about issues related to the environment. They not only participate in the competition but also understand the concept more closely. These children work with us for only 7-8 years as once they cross 16 years, they cannot participate in the competition.” Marcos’ own son, Sparsh acted in two tiatrs, ‘Mhojea Mamachea Ganvant’ and ‘Zhadda Tengxer’ but had to skip this year due to his Board exams. 

Marcos was previously the judge for the ‘B’ group competition which gave him a lot of insights on what makes a winning tiatr. “Many of my friends and well-wishers kept pushing me to attempt for the competition. I gained confidence over the years and since I watched every tiatr in the past few years, I understood the technicalities and requirements of a good tiatr. It is about experimenting but with the ease to execute the tiatr on stage,” adds Marcos. 

Besides tiatrs, Marcos has bagged several awards for his literary works and cultural performances, including the Yuva Srujan Award by the Government of Goa, the Yuva Sahityik Award by Goa Konkani Academy as well as Dalgado Konkani Academy, with the most recent ‘Best Journalist’ award by Dalgado Konkani Academy in 2024.


Iddhar Udhar