Ota Shogo’s VACANT LOT Director: Apoorva Anagalli


Playwright: Ota Shogo
Director: Apoorva Anagalli
Group: NSD Diploma Production, New Delhi
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hr

The Play
Sarachi relates to Ota’s many preoccupations; dispossession; wandering; a search for connectedness; questioning, comforting and reaffirmation of reality. Likewise, Sarachi contains virtually no socio-political themes as reference points, as Ota searches for a philosophical understanding of life and human relationships on what he evidently perceives a universal level. The ideological vacuum in which the play seems to operate might strike some western readers as swimming against the tide of times. No matter how one judges Ota’s recent work in this regard, it is overtly apolitical. As such, it is in step with much contemporary Japanese drama. Sarachi involves much hauling, pulling and crawling. It is a work that offers both a preliminary look at Ota the playwright and a more rounded picture of Ota the theatre artist. The play reveals a middle aged couple forced to come to grips with a sense of ennui that has fallen over their lives, a fact represented literally by the sudden disappearance of their house. Wife and husband push, pull, drag and crawl their way through the theatre-space and their lives embark upon a search for the meaning of reality.

Director’s Note
To go from place to place is a species-specific instinct among humans. What is at the back of it? This is the object of exploration in this play. People’s search for a dwelling place and its directly opposite impulse to abandon it is ordained in the pages of the Vacant Lot. In this course of a to and fro ticking in a pendulum – like fashion there is a movement of universal phenomenon. Reciting a human desire for- sex & marriage, children & home, job & income. Residing within the bowels of ‘location’ is a lingering boundless and endless wandering lust that shies away and beyond! Inspired by a simile of a constantly ticking pendulum from left to right in search of? Like a hapless kinetic energy propelling towards actions that behove in the horizon perhaps. Or mostly like spiralling into depth from heights! An abstract – turn and twirl – like art.

The Director
Apoorva Anagali started her theatre carrier as a child actor from Koshika cultural organization and Benakamakkalanataka Kendra (headed by B. V. Karanth and Prema Karanth). She trained in Carnatic classical music and Bharatnatyam in both Kalashetram and Valavur styles. Has trained in make-up and mime workshop, NSD. She debuted as a director with B V Karanth’s Heddayana. She has acted in almost 25 plays and directed eight. She pursued a – year long diploma course in Neenasam theatre institute. Has experience of participating in international theatre festival of India like Jashne Bachpan, Bharat Rang Mahotsav, Multilinguistic Theatre Festival – Kerala, Tamilnadu, Pondicherry, Mumbai and Goa.

The Playwright
Ota Shogo (b.1939) is one of the notable artists to emerge from the new Japanese theatre of the 1960s. His work received recognition in Japan in the 1970s and he gained an international reputation in the 1980s. To a great extent attention outside Japan has been received for his wordless theatre pieces, such as Water Station which consists of extremely slow, mostly silent movement. From the beginning of his carrier, Ota has relied heavily on works structured on dialogue. First published in the theatre magazine Teatoro in February 1992, Sarachi (Vacant Lot) is his latest example of work. Ota has ever since been associated with Tenkei Gekijo (Transformation Theatre), he found in 1968 also marks a new phase of his involvement in theatre.
Currently he functions as an independent artist and an artistic director of the new Civic Theatre, a municipal theatre in the Tokyo suburb of Fujisawa.

The Group
This play is a part of National School of Drama’s graduate showcase of class 2018. It aims to provide a platform to encourage emerging theatre practitioners to share their work with wider audience.

Cast & Credits

On Stage: Debarati Sikder, Indira Tiwari, Punsilemba, Ravi Chahar

Music Direction: Bhushan Bhatt
Music Assistance: Ravishankar Sharma
Poster & Brochure Design: Indira Tiwari, Saras
Costume Assistant: Debarati Sikder
Light Design & Operation: Sarthak Narula
Stage Manager: Paramanad
Literary Guide: Asif Ali

Translation Vishal Mahale
Playwright Ota Shogo
Director Apoorva Anagalli

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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