Hara Bhattacharya’s MEDEARA Director: Goutam Mukherjee


Playwright: Hara Bhattacharya

Director: Goutam Mukherjee

Group: Chhandam, West Bengal

Language: Bengali

Duration: 1 hr 40 mins

The Play

After 15 years of absence, veteran theatre actress Kamini returns to stage as the protagonist of  Euripides’ play Medea, directed by her ex-fiancé and famous theatre director Purushottam Dasgupta who had used Kamini’s acting ability and charm to make his plays successful, but had later married Ipshita, the daughter of an influential Minister. Kamini’s friend Kanchan is serving life-imprisonment for killing her new born male child out of vengeance towards her husband, who had got her previous pregnancies aborted since she was carrying a female foetus in her womb. For Kamini, Kanchan is the Medea of our time. Gradually Ipshita also starts identifying herself with Medea, Kanchan and Kamini. Kamini’s interview by a famous theatre critic Tonumoy, in Kolkata’s leading newspaper, reveals the present day story of several Medeas.

Director’s Note

I have tried my best to give the complex fabric of gender politics a modern stage-language by designing the play with the austerity that it deserves. It was a challenging and thrilling project for me as a director, to bring out the essence of the concept of an intricate and intense subject brilliantly depicted by the playwright. Ultimately, I can humbly say, with chiaroscuro light design, absorbing sounds and a relatable set-design, Medeara has become a brilliant play to watch.

The Director

Goutam Mukherjee started his theatre journey as an actor in 1985. He directed the play Moinuddiner Bhoot for the group Samay in 1993 which was awarded District’s Best Production by Paschimbanga Natya Academy. In 1994, Goutam joined Chhandam and started acting in many remarkable plays by the troupe under the direction of Late Sudhangsu Dey, the pioneer director of the troupe. In 2015, at Chhandam, Goutam directed the play Lajja written and compiled by him. The play Medeara is his second directorial work for the troupe Chhandam.

The Playwright

Hara Bhattacharya is an eminent playwright of West Bengal who has been active in Bengali theatre since 1987. Most of his plays have been produced by eminent directors like Bibhas Chakraborty, Biplab Bandopadhyay, Chandan Sen, Anirban Bhattacharya and others. Some of his remarkable plays are Nashta Asim, Noti o Ghorachor, Adbhut Andhar, Aguner Barnamala, Ashtitwer Akaar, Oedipus, Medeara. He was awarded with Sundaram Puraskar in 1990, and West Bengal Journalists Association’s Dishari Award for Best Playwright in 1996. His play Aguner Barnamala was staged in Bharat Rang Mahotsav in 2007.

The Group

Chhandam was founded by a few young theatre enthusiasts of Raiganj in 1962. Since then it has been traversing the path of theatre uncompromisingly. It celebrated its golden jubilee in 2012 and has almost 60 outstanding plays to its credit, one of which has been crowned with presidential award and some of which have been honoured with several other awards. It has established its own theatre auditorium where most of the theatre groups across the state regularly stage their productions. Besides producing plays, the group frequently arranges seminars and conducts intimate discussions and workshops to develop the physical skills as well as the mental capabilities of the theatre aspirants of the group.  

Cast & Credits

Kamini / Medea: Srabani Dey

Kanchan: Barnali Nandi

Jason: Koushik Das

Tonumoy: Santanu Chatterjee

Purushottam Dasgupta / Creon: Goutam Mukherjee

Reporter: Sumitra Bhowmick

Ipshita: Ratna Basu

Tapan: Subrata Talapatra

Satyada:  Satyabrata Deb

Suman / Photo Journalist: Suvra Ghosh,

Medearas / Group of girls:   Sangita Ghosh, Shilpa Deb, Ritwika Biswas, Debolina Paul

Stage & Costume Design:  Neel Koushik

Stage Designing Assistance:  Koushik Saha, Goutam Basak

Light Design & Application:  Soumen Chakraborty

Choreography & Music:  Deb Kumar Pal

Music Application:  Anirban Mandal

Make-up:  Bhanu Mitra

Production Design:  Shubhabrata Sinha Roy

Playwright:  Hara Bhattacharya

Director:  Goutam Mukherjee

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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