DU and ME by Shrirang Godbole & Vibhawari Deshpande

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The Play

As we all know, we live in a jet age. This is an era of connection, exchanging and growing beyond geographical boundaries and that has brought about a great deal of cultural crossovers, amalgamation and conflicts.

Uday, Uma, their daughter Radha and grandmother Aaji live in a typical Maharashtrian urban upper middle class family. Uma is presumably a free modern mother who believes that her daughter needs western exposure. Hence, she enrols Radha in a student exchange program between Berlin and Pune. Deshpande family welcomes Boris Seidler- a young boy from Berlin, Germany through this exchange program.

Du and मी, deals with this in a very light hearted manner. The play talks about all the bittersweet, amusing, disturbing and alarming moments, such a cultural contrast might bring out. It also says that two people from across the globe can cross over all the socio-cultural boundaries and connect with each other when they talk a language of love.

 Director’s Note

Grips Theatre, Berlin and Maharashtra Cultural Centre, Pune has a long collaborative association. It started in 1986 when Max Mueller Bhavan and Theatre Academy, Pune collaborated to produce the first Grips play Chhan Chhote Vaitta Mothe. Since then this theatre movement has strengthened over the years. With more than 1500 shows of 13 productions in the last 26 years, it is one of the strongest Children and Youth theatre movements in India.

During the 25th Year celebrations in 2012, when Grips Theatre founder Volker Ludwig and his team visited India, an idea of “Author Project” was struck upon.

Author Project is a novel concept where both Indian and German Grips writers are working upon a “common script”. Michael Flucht, the then director of Max Mueller Bhavan initiated the Author project in which Shrirang Godbole & Vibhawari Deshpande from India and Lutz Huebner from Germany collaborated. A common text of the play Du & Me (You and Me) evolved through interactions and improvisations with artists in Germany and India. This play is first being performed in Marathi in Pune. It will be performed in Berlin by Grips actors February 2014. It is for the first time that a common text is being performed by both the theatres.

The Playwrights & Directors

Shrirang Godbole: Actor, writer, director and lyricist in theatre, films and television has been associated with ‘Theatre Academy’ and ‘Maharashtra Cultural Centre’ for more than 35 years. He has written both mainstream and experimental plays. He is a writer-director for GRIPS plays since 1986.

Vibhawari Deshpande: Actor, writer, director in theatre, television and films, has been associated with GRIPS theatre movement through ‘Maharashtra Cultural Centre’ for more than 25 years. She has written & directed 8 plays till date.

Lutz Huebner (Co-writer): Is an Award winning contemporary playwright from Germany. His work has been translated into over 10 languages and has been staged around the world. He is an immensely respected theatre personality all over Europe.

 The Group

‘Maharashtra Cultural Centre’ is a public charitable trust based in Pune since 1965, devoted to the promotion of performing arts mainly Drama, Music and Dance for the last 49 years. The centre has two intimate experimental auditoria at Pune named- ‘Sudarshan Rangmanch’ & ‘Jyotsna Bhole Sabhagruha’ which now have become a hub for theatre activities.

The multifarious cultural activities of the Centre are – Production of experimental & GRIPS plays, seminars and workshops in performing arts, Indian classical music and dance lessons and film and art appreciation workshops.

 

Co-writer:                                                      Lutz Huebner

Written & directed by:                                 Shrirang Godbole, Vibhawari Deshpande

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is Currently a Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he teaches are: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in & www.stagebuzz.info He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He is an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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