In January 1996, a few Bengali's wanted an alternate drama group in the Bay Area. There have been a few groups who have performed in the last 10 years or so in Prabasi functions. The total number of productions from all these groups has been a maximum of one per year.
In February, 1996, the same group of people (mostly unknown to each other at that time) decided to get together to create what would be an alternate drama group not belonging to an individual but with a vision.
The first meeting took place around the middle of February with around 10 people and according to a proposal/script brought forward by one of the members, Kenaram Becharam was selected by the group to be the first production. After our initial application Bay Area Prabasi agreed to stage the group's first drama on May 12th Annual Baishaki function.
Rehearsals started and initially there was a lot of problems trying to find people to fill in the 13 characters. Lot of people came and left. Some of us were not very confident about acting on stage because they had never done so. In fact, we had a 8 year child actress join us who has never acted on stage before. She did great!.
Everybody was very enthusiastic and encouraging; so we settled down and though almost none of us knew each other before February, we became a very well-knit group with a strong short-term objective to make Kenaram Becharam a success and a long-term objective of making this "well-knit" group a success.
That is when names for the group was proposed and the group decided overwhelmingly on the name BAY BAHURUPI. As a start, the alias was created which grew bigger and bigger with new people joining us. In fact, we had very enthusiastic people joining the group even after a month of rehearsals who decided to participate if not directly on stage but working on other important functions.
The drama was staged under the Bay Bahurupi group's banner on May 12th at the Amador Theatre which turned out to be a excellent group effort where we also learnt a lot of things about production. One of the most important things we learnt was that team morale can be very high once the effort is on everybody's part with everybody sharing at least a major responsibility each. Responsibilities were distributed and each person had their share depending on whatever their interests and skill-sets are.
After our initial success, Bay Bahurupi came back again on Feb. 15th, 1997 to stage its 2nd big production in the form of Phaansh at the Gunn High School auditorium. The distributed responsibility model again worked very well in a lot more complicated project (with additional set/light requirements). We worked on time constraints, rehearsed on week nites sometimes in smaller groups, in 1-on-1 sessions and the effort was worth it. Again, the project was a huge success even better than last time. Notably, we had more that 6 people join Bay Bahurupi for this project.
Today, we have grown in strength to over 30 people (from around 10 when we first started) and are already busy with our next project Chiching-Phaank. This is a technically more complicated project than ever before and we would need to work even harder to reach our goals and make this a success.
Our future goals would also include staging more diverse cultural events.