Sumbel Gaffarova’s ALIEN Director: Farid Bikchantaev


Playwright: Sumbel Gaffarova

Director: Farid Bikchantaev

Group: Galiaskar Kamal Tatar National Academic Theatre, Russia

Language: Tatar

Duration: 1 hr 20 mins

The Play & Director’s Note

After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the USSR, the peoples of the former autonomous republics started to look into the blank pages of their history. One of these sad topics for Tatars, the second largest nation of Russia, was the fate of the captured Second World War soldiers and officers who refused to cross over to the side of fascist Germany and passed all the hardships of Hitler’s concentration camps, and after the collapse of the Third Reich became prisoners of the Stalin’s GULAG. Those of them who were lucky enough to return home in the fifties only recently received the status of participants of the Second World War. However, there were some of them who, sensing a new arrest, did not return to their homeland and scattered all over the world…Naqip, the main character of the play, after the war, stayed in Canada by the will of fate and started his life with a clean slate. In a small town in the Canadian outback, he arranged a kind of a Tatar village, started growing potatoes and ….

The Director

Farid Bikchantaev was born in Kazaninin 1962. In 1991 he graduated from GITIS (Russian Institute of Theatre Arts) with a degree in Theatre Direction, a course run by Maria Knebeland Boris Golubosky. In 2002 he became the Artistic Director of Galiaskar Kamal Tatar National Academic Theatre. In 2011 Farid took on the role of head of the Republic of Tatarstan Theatre Union. In addition to his directing career, Farid has taught in the Kazan State Institute of Culture since 2002, first as the Head of the Acting Department, then as a Professor. Farid has also delivered two acting courses in the Kazan Theatre School.

He has received the Laureate of the Gabdulla Tukay State Prize of the Republic of Tatarstan. He was a nominee for the NationalTheatre Award ‘Golden Mask’ and is the winner of the XXII InternationalStanislavskyPrize ‘For the contribution to the Russian theatrical art development’. He is the Chairman of the Theatre Union of Tatarstan.

The Playwright

A prose writer, journalist and playwright Gaffarova Sumbel Gabdulahatovna graduated from the classical Tatar grammar school named after Sh. Mardzhani. Then she studied at Kazan State University (now KFU), Faculty of Tatar Philology, Literature and English. She has authored a collection of children’s fairy tales Long ago, recently …and a children’s novel A dream that will come true. She is a member of Kazan Opera Laboratory – Kazan Opera Lab. Sumbel collaborates with the youth creative organization Caleb. She writes in both Tatar and Russian languages.

The Group

Galiaskar Kamal Tatar National Academic Theatre was founded in 1906 and is the oldest national theatre in the Russian Federation. It is the winner of the national theatre award Golden Mask. The theatre is located in the heart of the city of Kazan, which is recognized as the ‘Third Capital of Russia. The repertoire of the Kamal Theatre harmoniously combines the classics of world literature and drama, and works of Tatar playwrights and contemporary authors. All performances are in the Tatar language, as is the tradition. A simultaneous interpretation of all the performances in English and Russian is also provided. Since 1998 the theatre, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of Russia and the Republic of Tatarstan, has held the International Theatre Festival of Turkic people ‘Nauruz’, the main theatre festival of the Turkic world. Since 2010 the same collaboration has held eponymous international theatrical and educational forums which consist of seminars, training sessions, and lectures by leading theatre professionals from around the world.

Cast & Credits

Naqip: Radik Bariev

Naqip in youth: Rail Shamsuarov

Joanna: Lyutsiya Bikchantaeva

Samuel, Sergeant: Minvali Gabdullin

Zeytuneh, Mariambikeh: Aigul Abasheva

Khairullah, Head of the Concentration Camp, Captive,Military in the Cafe: Ilnur Zakirov

Hismatulla: Almaz Sabirzyanov

Production Designe: Albert Nesterov

Light Designer: Taras Mikhalevsky

Managing Director of the Theatre: Ilfir Yakupov

Playwright: Sumbel Gaffarova

Musical Design & Direction: Farid Bikchantaev

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government 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: and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: 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 was 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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