Ujjwal Chattopadhyay’s EKUSH GRAM Director: Bratya Basu


Playwright: Ujjwal Chattopadhyay

Director: Bratya Basu

Group: Naihati Bratyajon, 24 Paragana

Language: Bengali

Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play

The central point of the play 21 Grams or Ekush Gram is an accident around which revolve three families and lives of a few individuals. The sequence of events spins simultaneously from the past to the present and back to the past. These circular motions embody individuals merged in emotions of love-affection, lust-violence, despair-dejection, and wide-ranging gives and takes. Under the same kiosk, into the varied complexities of life penetrate many heart pulsations lub-dub..lub-dub..lub-dub…….. A compelling and unbearable rhythm of lub-dub…. this is an endless tremor. Its harmonious impact signifies the mysterious beauty of life. Barely 21 grams lub-dub..lub-dub..lub-dub..lub-dub…

Director’s Note

Naihati Bratyajon was established with an aim to present films rich in creative and theatrical content on stage. For theatrical presentation, they had resolved to choose from films produced in Bengal. The first play staged in this design was Meghe Dhaka Tara. The play premiered at University Institute Hall on 2nd January, 2016. The premier show of the second production Ekush Gram is planned on 26th March 2017 at Mohit Moitra Mancha, Paikpara. This play is based on the second film of Oscar winning Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, titled 21 Grams. The essence of this theatrical production is to make the two islands of theatre and film to become mutually relevant in the great ocean of art.

The Director

Bratya Basu, is an accomplished theatre artist, a playwright and director. Basu launched his career as a dramatist and director with the play Ashaleen (1996), described by theatre critics as the first post-modernist Bengali play. His noted plays (as playwright, actor and director) thereafter include Aranyadeb, Shahar Yaar, Virus-M, Winkle-Twinkle, 17th July, Chatushkon and many more. Basu has bagged many awards and recognitions both in Theatre and Film. Some of them include Hyderabad Bengali Film Festival Award, Ritwik Ghatak Honorary Award, Kalakar Award, Shyamal Sen Memorial Award, Dishari Award, Satyen Mitra Award, Shilpayan Samman, Srestho Natya Nirman etc. Bratya Basu, is currently Hon’ble Cabinet Minister and in charge of the Ministry of Information Technology & Electronics for the state of West Bengal. He has created his own space in contemporary theatre by moving beyond its existing boundaries. He formed his own theatre group Bratyajon in 2008. The first theatrical production of Bratyajon was Ruddhasangeet (2009) which has so far staged more than a record 150 shows to packed houses.

The Playwright

Ujjwal Chattopadhyay is a professor of Economics and an eminent playwright of West Bengal who has been serving Bengali theatre for decades. Most of his plays have been produced by directors like Bibhas Chakraborty, Meghnad Bhattacharya, Bratya Basu, Soumitra Mitra, Kaushik Sen, Prokash Bhattacharya and others. Some of his remarkable plays are Akarik, Antaral, Bhrom, Antoni-Soudamini, Arabyorajani, Biley, Drohokal, Dhrubatar, Nati Kiranshasi etc. He has also adapted the works of Chekov, Tagore, Shakespeare and Kalidas.

The Group

We have formed Naihati Bratyajon by merging all the theatre groups of Naihati. On the suggestion offered by our respected playwright and director, Bratya Basu, we have decided to stage plays based on popular movies carrying social messages. Our first production, Meghe Dhaka Tara, is a well-known film of Ritwik Ghatak. We will produce several such film productions on stage in the future and present them to theatre lovers.

Cast & Credits

On Stage: Poulumi Basu, Arna Mukhopadhyay, Sumit Ray, Loknath Dey, Dyuti Halder, Partha Bhowmick, Prantik Chowdhury, Aritra Banerjee, Raktim Dutta, Partha Pratim Das, Subrata Biswas, Nantu Kundu, Mahuya Bhadra, Subham Sil, Soumadip Kundu, Ronit Paul, Rick Deb, Mou Mondal, Rupa Mazumdar, Sayni Ghosh, Shankar Dutta, Srijoni Adhikary

Light: Sudip Sanyal

Set design: Debasish Dutta

Set Making: D’Moy

Sound: Dishari Chakraborty

Sound Operator: Santonu Paul

Costume: Madhumita Dham

Make-up: Md Ali

Movement: Debkumar Pal

Logo Design: Inner Circle Advertising

Stills, Brochure & Publicity Design: Abhijit Nath

Production Assistance: Prithwish Rana

Production Control: Jitobrato Palit

Playwright: Ujjwal Chattopadhyay

Director: Bratya Basu

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: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in 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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