For the first time, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) Naperville Aurora shakha, staged a Ramlila. Twenty eight Balagokulam children aged 3 to 13 made the excellent cast of characters. Over 190 guests were in attendance including chief guest and media. Many teachers, friends and family of Balagokulam children attended and enjoyed the show. The play was staged at a local venue, Center Stage Theatre of Naperville.
The entire play consisted of 10 scenes followed by a group dance singing praises of Lord Rama. Between scenes, the backstage crew worked efficiently to prepare the props and get the children ready for the next scene. Meanwhile, audience were kept engaged with morals and lessons from each scene in a free flow format before announcing the prelude of the next scene. The entire play was pre-recorded and sound editing added finesse to the show. All the casts trained really hard and displayed excellent timing and acting skills on stage.
The stars were the children in each and every sense. Once the curtain was open they were on their own, with no turning back, literally and figuratively. Each and every child performed their part precisely and with great emotion. The play taught the children not only the story of Lord Rama, but many life lessons. The children learned how to cooperate and work together like the Vanaras building a bridge. They learned how to follow directions and work towards the greater good like Lakshman and Hanuman following Lord Rama's orders. The children learned how easy it is to follow bad advice like Kaikeyi following Manthara's advice. The older children learned how to be leaders and take care of the younger children, like Lord Rama always taking care of his brothers, his kingdom and all his followers. Finally and most importantly the children learned how to be kind, loyal, and understanding towards each other, which is the essence of the greatness of Lord Rama.