The Light Catcher by Theatron Entertainment, Pune, and Thespo highlights just how much can be captured with one single flash of a camera.
In this vivid one-woman production directed by Sanket Parkhe, Ritika Shrotri effortlessly transforms into a range of unique women whose feminine beauty the main character, Senora, aims to capture in her distinctive photography.
The Light Catcher catapulted me into snapshots of different women living under varying circumstances. Simple camera effects, costume changes and the use of different rooms within what appears to be a photographer’s studio serve to transport us across the world and into the context of each picture.
The show takes the form of an interview between Senora and a rather annoying, shrill-sounding interviewer who wants the scoop behind each photograph. As we learn throughout the interview, the photographer reduces the beauty she captures, along with the world, to shades of black and white. The concepts of beauty and life being reducible to grayscale highlight just how warped our concepts of beauty truly are. As Senora teaches us throughout her story, beauty is all around us. It is every woman that we know and meet.
The Light Catcher felt different from anything else I have seen previously. It was refreshing to learn about a culture that is very different from my own. The interweaving of Indian and English language in a script written by Niranjan Pedanekar assists in efficiently conveying both Senora’s story, and Indian culture.
However, Senora’s desire to take the perfect photograph leads to her demise. One invasive picture, one invasive question, all proves too much as one woman is left negatively affected by her photograph being taken. Suddenly Senora’s art does not serve to improve the lives of the women she captures, it destroys it.
As this timeless story draws to a close, I was left contemplating just how much our concepts of beauty will change in the future. I was also reminded of the love and appreciation I possess for all of the women around me. I will remain heavily invested in Senora’s story, and the stories of the photographed, long after the National Student Drama Festival draws to a close.