Irwin Shaw’s Play: Bury the Dead


Playwright: Irwin Shaw
Adapter & Director: Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha
Group: NIPA Rangmandali, Lucknow
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play
This is a story of an unknown place and time where a war is being fought for the past two years. On the aforesaid day six soldiers who were killed two days ago are being buried in the battlefield. Suddenly, these soldiers rise and refuse to be buried. These dead soldiers have their own logic i.e. that wars are fought and the common man dies to feed the ambitions, business and greed of a handful of power-hungry people. The corpses say that they wish to live… the life of a farmer, of a son, with friends, with their beloved… enjoying nature, relationships and beauty that this life is endowed with. The women from their homes are called to convince them but that too doesn’t work. In the end the general tries to blow them with a machine gun but the corpses come out of their graves and stand amidst the people, thus underlining the importance of life, and drawing the attention towards the horrors of war generated by sheer greed.

Director’s Note
Written in 1936 after the First World War, Irwin Shaw’s play Bury the Dead is an anti-war story. The play boldly opposes the use of the common man as fodder for war and violence, to fulfil the personal gains of a few people. The play also conveys the unlived dreams of dead soldiers, and those whom they leave behind to pay the price of war. The near and dears of the soldiers go through extreme trauma emotionally, socially and financially. Today violence, terror and war are being justified in the name of religion and nationalism. In these times, I feel, this play of Irwin Shaw is as contemporary as it was when he wrote it. This play was a challenge for the creative vision since sometimes it is expressionist and at places idealistic. We have tried to convey these factors with the help of scenography, lights, movements, make-up, costumes and acting. I felt that instead of translating, an adaptation would convey the feeling to the Indian audience more effectively. The presentation is for the audience to enjoy, introspect and analyse.

Director and Adapter
Recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, and former director of Bharatendu Natya Academy, Lucknow, Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha took his training in theatre from BNA, Lucknow, in 1976-77. He has organized many theatre workshops and his directorial ventures have been staged nationally and internationally. His original plays include Tukde, Veer Lorik, and Natak Ganesh Markaaur Char Shikhaayen. He has translated The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Three Penny Opera by Bertolt Brecht, Sanskrit plays Bhagvadajjukeeyam and Mrichchhakatikam and many other western and Indian plays to Hindi. He has directed, co-directed, acted and scripted many films, TV serials and tele-films. He is known for his performance as Socrates in the play Bare Foot in Athens directed by Raj Bisaria. Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha has been awarded an honorary diploma in Norway; the best costume designer in America; Senior Fellowship by the Govt. of India; and Kala Bhushan by Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan. He is the president and artistic director of NIPA, and has earlier been associated with IPTA and Meghdoot.

The Playwright
Irwin Shaw was an American playwright, cine writer, story writer and novelist who began writing at the age of 21. In 1935, he wrote an anti-war play Bury the Dead and his first screen play The Big Game. In the latter half of that decade his stories were published in many popular magazines. In 1948, inspired by his experiences in the American army, he wrote The Young Lions which was later made it into a film in 1958. He dedicated the rest of his life to writing novels.

The Group
NIPA Rangamandali was established in 1991 by a group of talented and popular artists of Lucknow. It has given highly acclaimed performances in India as well as in Norway, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, America, Canada and Pakistan. Bhagvadajjukeeyam has done more than 100 shows. Experimenting with different forms, the group has presented Mitti ki Gaadi, Kundmala, Pret, Lohar, Ashadh ka Ek Din, The Lesson, Exit the King, Jai Sidhnayak, Sambashiva, Vasamsi Jeernani, Balkan Women, Crusades and many more plays.

Cast & Credits
Soldier 1                                                Shubam Singh Chauhan
Soldier 2                                                Akshat
Soldier 3                                                Sandeep Kumar
Soldier 4                                                Avinash
Sargent                                                 Sujeet Singh Yadav ‘Bunty’
Priest 1                                                 Ramesh Saini
Priest 2                                                 Abhishek
Captain                                                 Nitish Bhardwaj
High Command 1                                 Vinay Kumar Mishra
High Command 2                                 Anuj Nigam
High Command 3                                 Gaurav Dinghra
Doctor                                                  Akansha Aggarwal
Typist                                                   Bajyanti Nath, Pallavi Singh
Corpse 1                                              Shubam Tiwari
Corpse 2                                              Vikesh Bajpayee
Corpse 3                                              Suraj Pratap Singh
Corpse 4                                              Shivam Singh
Corpse 5                                              Sachin Jaiswal
Corpse 6                                              Saurabh Kumar Mishra
Sister of Corpse1                                 Baijanti Nath
Wife of Corpse 2                                  Shivangi Nigam
Wife of Corpse 3                                  Puja Singh
Wife of Corpse 4                                  Pallavi
Beloved of Corpse 5                            Komal Singh
Mother of Corpse 6                              Mridula Bhardwaj

Scenography Assistants                      Vinay, Shubam, Sachin
Stage Property                                     Ritesh, Sherya, Adarsh, Shivam, Sandeep, Gunjan Jain
Costume Assistants                             Akanksha Aggarwal, Amrita Paul, Komal Singh, Gaurav,
Shivangi Nigam
Live Music                                            Mahinder Pal
Sound & Vocal Music                           Bharatendu Kashyap
Sound & Music Assistants                   Anuj Nigam, Akshat
Vocal Music Operator                          Anant Sharma
Light Assistant                                     Sujeet Singh Yadav
Poster                                                  Shreya Ranjan, Gunjan Jain
Stage Management                             Aarav
Light Design & Operation                    Anoop Joshi ‘Bunty’
Make-up                                              Praveen Namdeo, Shaahir Ahmad
Costume Designer,
Assistant Director
& Presentation Controller                    Mridula Bhardwaj
Art Director                                          Bharatendu Kashyap

Playwright                                            Irwin Shaw
Adaptation & Direction                         Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha

Neepa Rangamandali
C-11 Sector-1, Aliganj
M: +91 9335905547

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: and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: 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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