Peter Brook & Jean-Claude Carrière’s CHARAHARUKO SAMMELAN (Conference of the birds) Director: Deeya Maskey

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Playwright: Peter Brook & Jean-Claude Carrière
Director: Deeya Maskey
Group: Actors’ Studio, Nepal
Language: Nepali
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play
Birds from all over the world gather together for a great conference. The nation of birds is in crisis, and urged by one of their flock, the Hoopoe, they have to chart a path to find their king Simurgh. For this they need to travel a long way towards the mountain called Kaf. During this journey, some die, some drop out, while others continue their quest of discovery, love, understanding, disappointment, destruction, unity and death. At last the survivors come into the presence of the great one, and discover that they themselves are the embodiment of the divine.

Director’s Note
Seven years ago, I came across Conference of the Birds while attending a physical theatre workshop jointly organized by Actors’ Studio and Embassy of US in Nepal. Description of the seven valleys seemed mythical and ancient on one hand and new and ultra-modern on the other. It was the perspective and relevancy that enabled me to stage the ancient masterpiece in today’s context. Through physical gestures and dialogues, each actor has tried to convey different unexplored meanings of the text. I have left a few things as mystery.

The Director
Deeya Maskey is a renowned actor, dancer and TV personality in Nepal. She initially trained as a professional Indian classical dancer from Allahabad, India and later completed her training in acting at Actors’ Studio, Nepal. Since then she has been practicing contemporary dances to explore a unique style by using the body, spatial relationship, kinesthetic responses and voice. Some of the famous films that she has acted in are Kagbeni, Soongava, and Fitkiri. She has worked as a choreographer for several theatre and film productions. She is also a judge in the Nepali edition of MTV Roadies show, Himalayan Roadies.

The Playwrights
Peter Brook contributed significantly to the development of 20th century’s avant-garde stage. He established the International Centre of Theatre Research in 1970 in Paris. He has won multiple Tony and Emmy Awards, a Laurence Olivier Award, the Praemium Imperiale, and the Prix Italia. He has been called ‘The greatest living theatre director’.

Jean-Claude Carrière is a renowned French novelist, story-writer and actor. He is known for his works as writer and actor in Luis Buñuel’s films Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, and Birth. He has received Best Live Action Short Film Award (1963) as well as Academy Honorary Award (2014) for lifetime achievement. He has also been honoured with the Padma Shree, award in India.

The Group
The Actors’ Studio has been performing in Nepal and abroad for more than one and a half decade. It has carved a niche in Nepali theatre by staging artistic yet committed and socially relevant plays, and establishing the presence of Nepali theatre in the international arena by producing radical and experimental works.

Cast & Credits
The Hoopoe: Suraj Malla
Heron Aayushman: Pyakurel
Partridge/Slave 2: Arjun Neupane
Sparrow: Roshani Tamang
Falcon: Gaurav Bista
King 1/Dervish/Slave 1: Sudam CK
First Exotic Bird: Anup Neupane
Second Exotic Bird: Manoj Thapa Magar
King 2/Walking Bird/ Bat: Anoj Pandey
Old Man/Mahatma: Anup Baral
Duck/ Thief 1: Prakriti Rayamajhi
Nightingale/Cal bird/ Slave: Binita Thapa Magar
Princesses: Sadhana Bhandari
Parrot: Anu Dahal
Peacock: Deeya Maskey
Owl: Keshav Thagunna
Thief 2: Aashish Shrestha
Chamberlain/Executioner: Suryaman Limbu
Double Bird: Shiksha KC
Hermit: Bikas Neupane
Guilty Bird: Ranjana Bhattarai
Dove bird: Hena Nagarkoti

Production Manager: Dev Neupane
Set Construction: Hum BC / Sagar BC
Stage Props: Suryaman Limbu / Anil Subba
Marketing Manager: Aayushman Pyakurel
Costume Design: Sunu Rai / Binita Thapa Magar /Sadhana Bhandari
Finance Manager: Keshav Thagunna
Light Design: Anup Baral
Light Operator: Dev Raj Sunuwar
Sound Craft / Operator: Devendra Neupane
Stage Manager: Anoj Pandey / Roshani Syangbo
Documentation: Sushil Paudel
Translation: Pushpa Raj Acharya

Playwrights: Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Carrière
Direction: Deeya Maskey

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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