Chandan Sen’s Play: Damini Hay


Playwright: Chandan Sen
Director: Meghnad Bhattacharya
Group: Sayak, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play
Damini Hay is an elaborate and symbolic portrayal of how a woman stricken by poverty remains unburdened by it. The play is a tribute to a woman’s inner strength and ability to rise above problems such as grinding poverty. The situation of the play is a poverty-stricken, out-of-the-way village of Bengal where hunger, exploitation, greed, and deception reign unbridled, and the poorest subalterns living there grow-up believing everything is an unchangeable lot.

Director’s Note
The space between the parameters of poverty and utopia is difficult to describe and justify. The play moves between the real and the surreal, between poverty and hunger, and dreams of utopia and motherhood. The play is also concentrated on well established truths about poverty and exploitation, most of which is man-made. Simultaneously it pays tribute to a woman’s inner strength and ability to rise above grinding poverty.
The set design demonstrates an experiment of a dwelling place that is visually in ruins and is a representation of the stark reality of poverty that has gripped even those who claim the right to live. The light and music have been designed to describe the dreams of motherhood that the protagonist has.

The Director
Meghnad Bhattacharya has directed the translations as well as adaptations of plays by great masters like Tolstoy, Brecht, Schedrin, Somerset Maugham and Moliere. His noted play productions are Dui Hujurer Gappo, Gnan Briksher Fol, Daibaddha, Bashbhumi, Badhutantra, Karnaboti, Aa Awa Ka Kha, Sanjhbela, Dildar, Pinki Buli, Dhrubatara, Damini Hay, Passing Show, Premkatha etc. Meghnad has also directed three plays in Canada produced by Prabasi Toronto in 2006, 2008, 2013 and three plays in USA, one produced by Epic Actors’ Workshop in 2013, and two by Spotlight Columbus in 2015 and 2016. He has also directed a play Charduar by Gandhar Kolkata in 2002. Apart from theatre Meghnad has directed several TV plays in different channels and has also acted in at least 50 TV serials and films.

The Playwright
One of the frontline playwrights of Bengal, Chandan Sen has written more than hundred plays including his adaptations and inspired works of Schedrin, Chekov, Tolstoy, Lorca, Eugene O’ Neil, Sartre, Brecht and others for the Bengali Theatre. His plays have been translated in Hindi, Assamese, Oriya, and Telugu.

The Group
Sayak has the pride distinction of staging more than 3000 performances of 26 full length and 7 short plays, not only in all corners of West Bengal but also in different parts of the country and in countries like U.S.A. Canada, Bangladesh and Kuwait. Sayak, with its large involvement in multifarious theatrical activities has built a theatre hall Bijon Theatre, in North Kolkata. The group also conducts lectures on dramaturgy, and organises festivals of selected Bengali plays and children theatre workshops, and publishes a yearly theatre journal Sayak Natyapatra.

Cast & Credits
Lakshmikanta Biswanath Roy
Ganesh Pradip Das
Kartick Uttam Kumar Dey
Damini Kathakali
Jabali Aruna Mukherjee
Judhistir (Chief) Subrata Bhawol
Kalyan (Head Clerk) Dhurjati De
Bonomali (Tout) Meghnad Bhattacharya
Chakka Ajoy Sankar Banerjee
Panja Goutam Sen
Gunga Jayanta Das
Farash Samar Das
Villagers & Ghosts Kartick Maitra, Santanu Bhattacharya, Susanta Dasgupta,
Samir Deb, Prasenjit Kundu, Samiran Bhattacharya,
Parimal Chakraborty

Music Subhendu Maity
Light Joy Sen
Stage Soumik, Piyali
Choreography Subhendu Mukherjee, Kabir Sen Barat
Make-up Panchanan Manna
Light Operator Somenath Chattapadhyay
Background Music Swapan Bandhopadhyay
Music Operator Asit Maitra

Story Amar Mitra
Playwright Chandan Sen
Director Meghnad Bhattacharya

Director, Sayak
C/o 192 G, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road.
Shyambazar, Kolkata- 700 004
Ph: 033-25551973
M: +91 9230517473, 9830716207

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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