Mahesh Elkunchwar’s KOLA Director: Achyutha Kumar

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Playwright: Mahesh Elkunchwar
Director: Achyutha Kumar
Group: Theatre Tatkal, Bangalore
Language: Kannada
Duration: 1 hr 45 mins

The Play
Kola is the second part (Magna Talyakathi in Marathi) in the Wada trilogy written by Mahesh Elkunchwar. It is a poignantly written family drama having its roots in the first part Wada Chirebandi. However watching Kola as an independent entity will give you an equally mesmerizing theatrical experience. Set in rural Vidharbha, the play talks about relationships, aspirations, joys, sorrows, anger, insecurity and many other human emotions which an individual from any place can easily relate to. It traces the story of three generations. It looks at how people from the older generation adapt to the ways of the new generation. The play also throws light on the lives of young people who live away from home but prefer to stay connected to their roots.

Director’s Note
Kola unveils the tales of many generations of a family along with the emotional struggle of relationships. But the conversation is not just dramatic; it also takes you to the depths of the character. I feel, when instead of acting, actors try to live their roles on stage, the intensity of the play multiplies manifold. In this production, the actors have tried to explore the emotional side of each character. We have experimented to see if the actors can be prevented from falling prey to the obsession of acting and made to perform by forgetting the fact that they are acting before an audience for two hours.  If, in each performance, the actors are able to be the characters themselves (only when on stage), the motive of this play is achieved. This is the belief and commitment of the play too. Through Kola the audience will witness the metaphorical and poetic form of the play.

The Director
Achyutha Kumar is a well-known actor in the Kannada and Tamil film industries. Achyutha received theatre training at Ninasam Theatre institute. He went on to form Protheu theatre with like-minded friends, and acted and directed a number of plays under the banner. He started his acting career in television with filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli’s serial Gruhabhanga. After a series of television serials, he started acting in Kannada films. He has acted in more than 150 films so far and has been honoured with two state awards, three Filmfare awards and a SIIMA award. He formed the team Theatre Tatkaal four years ago and has directed two plays under the banner – Nanna Thangigondu Gandu Kodi and Kola.

The Playwright
Mahesh Elkunchwar, born in Nagpur on 9 October 1939 is an Indian playwright who has written more than 20 plays, in addition to theoretical writings, critical works, and active work in parallel cinema as an actor and screenwriter. He is credited as one of the most influential and progressive playwrights, not just in Marathi theatre but also Indian theatre. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship. His first play Rudravarsha was written in 1966.

The Group
Theatre Tatkal is a group of artists active in both theatre and audio-visual media. Theatre Tatkal has set out with a mission of producing plays of excellent artistic merit. The group comprises of professionally trained theatre artists, television actors, film artists, musicians, painters, writers, directors and intellectuals. Theatre Tatkal has produced Shakespeare Manege Banda, written by Prof. Natraj Huliyar, and Nanna Tangigondu Gandu Kodi written by P. Lankesh. Kola written by Mahesh Elkunchwar, translated by Nandhini K.R. and Prashanth Hiremut, and directed by well-known actor Achyutha Kumar is the group’s latest play.

Cast & Credits
On Stage: Apeksha Ghaligi, Bindu Raxidi, Kali Prasad, Kiran Naik, Nandini Patawardhan, Shailashree, Sharada GS, Shivaprasad, Shrunga BV, Veeresh MPM, Yashodha

Set Design: G Channakeshava
Lighting Design/Execution: Raghu Shivamogga, Naveen Sanehalli
Sound Design: Veeresh MPM
Technical Design (set): Raghu Sirsi
Translation to Kannada: Nandini KR and Prashanth Hiremath
Associate Director: Gopalakrishna Deshpande

Playwright: Mahesh Elkunchwar
Direction: Achyutha Kumar

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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