In Vijay Tendulkar's play Silence! The Court Is in Session , Benare and her colleagues present a Living Courtroom to an audience. It is a game of sorts that allows people to witness a mock trial, but it feels all too real to Benare thanks to things that are going...
In Vijay Tendulkar's play Silence! The Court Is in Session, Benare and her colleagues present a Living Courtroom to an audience. It is a game of sorts that allows people to witness a mock trial, but it feels all too real to Benare thanks to things that are going on her in private life. As the play progresses, Benare reveals her discomfort and mental struggles in several ways, many of them nonverbal.
Benare, we discover, is pregnant and has been fired from her job. Her fellow actors do not know this, but they can tell from her body language that something is wrong. For instance, as the play opens, Benare is sucking on her finger, perhaps lost in thought. Samant thinks she has caught her finger in the door, but she assures him she has not. The two have reached the meeting hall first, for Benare likes leaving everyone behind. Benare also moves close to Samant at one point, making him uncomfortable. As Benare talks, she lays her hand on her stomach, another suggestive gesture that makes Samant feel awkward and embarrassed. When Benare learns that she will play the accused in the Living Courtroom, she stiffens, clearly uncomfortable with this news.
As the group rehearses, they seem to forget that this is just a game or a show. Benare tries to laugh, but as the game gets more and more serious, she stiffens again and becomes agitated. She also pretends to sleep, perhaps trying to ease up the tension for a little while, for this “game” is hitting far too close to home for her. As the mock trial progresses, Benare becomes angry and frantic and starts to cry, running off stage. She also refuses to enter the witness box or take a pretend oath. She tries to stop others from speaking about her, shaking her head, but they talk anyway. Benare then gets up as though to leave but is pulled back into her seat. She gives a heartfelt speech at the end of the play and then cries and falls to the floor, where she remains as the curtain closes.