Vasant Kanetkar’s Play: Jaag Utha hai Raigad

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Playwright: Vasant Kanetkar
Translator: Vasant Deo
Director: Abhijeet Choudhary
Group: Swatantra Kala Group, Pune
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hrs 10 mins

The Play
Jaag Utha Hai Raigad is a Hindi translation of Vasant Kanetkar’s Marathi play Raigadala Jevha Jaag Yete. Woven within the play is an inbuilt, terse and fine sense of controlled dramatic tension. It depicts the great Maratha King, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his youngest son, Sambhaji struggling with the gap between the two generations. Shivaji’s efforts are to keep his family united, and the young descendant’s efforts are to control and consolidate the huge legacy and empire. The play unveils the rich Maharashtrian culture, and the heritage of a bygone era.

Director’s Note
The Maratha Empire of the 17th century is the backdrop of this play and its key players are Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his youngest son Sambhaji. This epic is a witness to the acute and tense relationship between father and son. While the former cannot allow their dynasty to be divided, the latter is burdened by the task of a huge empire and legacy he has descended from. The situation holds true even today, with the rift in families due to greed and the choice of nuclear families. The play’s text opines that had Shivaji succeeded in keeping the royalty together, the Maratha dynasty would have ruled much longer. I have tried to recreate the glorious era of Marathas on the stage. I feel more such Marathi plays could be translated for a Hindi speaking audience. Besides Vijay Tendulkar and Mahesh Elkunchwar, regional Marathi playwrights like Vasant Kanetkar and Sanjay Pawar too have a treasury of plays that can be produced in other languages.

The Director
Abhijeet Choudhary completed his graduation from Delhi University. He did a course in direction and editing. He started his theatre journey with Arvind Gaur’s Asmita group and later shifted to Pune, where despite many hurdles and challenges he formed the Swatantra Kala Group in 2006. He has directed Hindi films Pune TC, Godse to Gandhi etc., and several full-length Hindi and English, one-act and street plays, one of which (on pirated CDs and DVDs) attracted appreciation from production houses. His play Suno Suno sketches the resilience of migrants, and another play is constructed on gathered personal and real voices and experiences of slum dwellers. Abhijeet has conducted workshops for the differently abled. He was the broadcasting editor with Zoom channel and a press reporter for DD News.

The Playwright
Vasant Kanetkar (1922 – 2000) born in Satara, Maharashtra was a Marathi playwright. His father, Shankar Keshav Kanetkar, was a well-known poet. After completing his education, Vasant was appointed as a lecturer in Nasik. His first play, Raigadala Jewha Jag Yete, was widely acclaimed and achieved recognition from audiences and the Government of Maharashtra as the best play of the year. He won the National Award for the film Ansoo Ban Gaye Phool. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1992 for his literary astuteness and writing-craft.

The Group
Abhijeet founded Swatantra Kala Group in Pune in 2006. The group focuses on contemporary and socio-political issues through its numerous performances and practices. It has performed at various public and private institutes of education including FTII, IITs and NDA. It is known for its repertoire of community-based theatre and was invited by the UK Parliament for engaging in community-service through theatre. Some of its noteworthy productions are Jis Lahore Nahin Vekhya Wo Janmeya Hi Nahin and Andha Yug,

Cast & Credits
On Stage Ashwin Sharma, Chezan Lawyer, Dhanashree Heblikar, Prem Gowda,
Hennu Khanna, Ronak Kabra, Suyash Kukreja, Krushan Doshi, Mehul Dubey, Shreyansh Sanghvi, Shivraj Zumble

Back Stage Suraaj Nikaumb, Rishabh Jain, Rishabh Sarwate, Arun Jagtap, Manshi Bajpayee, Garima Mishra, Aniket Toro, Vijay Ratna Gongle, Bunty More, Varsha Israni, Renuka Gatelwar, Rishi Bhonde, Shahrukh Shaikh
Producer Yuwaraj Shah

Playwright Vasant Kanetkar
Director Abhijeet Choudhary

Contacts
Swatantra Kala Group
Girichaya Society, HIG 4, Janwadi Gokhale Nagar
Pune, Maharashtra – 411016
M: +91 8329696186
E: [email protected]

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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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