Jyoti Prasad Agarwala’s Play: Manimugdha

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Playwright: Jyoti Prasad Agarwala
Director: Himangshu Prasad Das
Group: Guernica Creatovista, Kamrup (Assam)
Language: Assamese
Duration: 1 hr 5 mins

The Play
Manimugdha is the central character of our version of Rupalim, a timeless play written by Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, one of the torch-bearers of the literary and cultural field of Assam. Originally, Rupalim is a play based on the love story of a pure hearted young girl, Rupalim, who becomes a victim of the complexity of relationships and its outcome, and is brutally put to death for being in the quagmire of love, obduracy and humiliation. Battered between the psychological dilemma of good and evil, the multi-dimensional character, Manimugdha, is one of the best creations of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala and has been widely discussed. We have made an effort to cast a glance around our surroundings through the dilemma of Manimugdha.

Director’s Note
We have made an effort to depict the core theme along with a few additional scenes rather than staging the original one as it is. New dialogues have been incorporated considering the need of the hour. All the plays of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala are famous for their abundance in song and dance. We are trying to maintain the footprints of his direction in our play Manimugdha. The music has been composed with the salient features of his songs as the backdrop. We have made a sincere effort to capture the verse-like feature in the scene depiction, complying with Jyoti Prasad’s literature.

The Director
Himangshu Prasad Das is an alumnus of the National School of Drama. He is known for his progressive outlook and varied approach. He has tried to strike a balance between works of critical acclaim and mass appeal. He is associated with the street-play movement and has done a thousand shows of a play in various locations in a single day. A popular play written and directed by him is Moi Shah Rukh Khan Hobo Khuju. Himangshu has conducted many workshops and training sessions through the length and breadth of Assam. He has established a theatre village in Mirza, 50 kms from Guwahati. In 2007 he formed his own drama group Guernica. Along with theatre excellence, he also has to his credit published volumes of poetry and regular contribution to newspapers on topics of social interest.

The Playwright
Jyoti Prasad Agarwala was a prominent modern Assamese literature writer in the pre-independence era who created history for Assam by writing, directing, filming, editing and producing the first Assamese film Joymoti in 1935. He wrote a number of plays including Sonit Kunwari, Lovitaa, Karengar Ligiri, Nimati Koina etc. He composed a unique style of songs in which every song starts with the same note. This is now known as ‘Jyoti Sangeet’. A humanitarian, and harbinger of new and modern thought, he is popularly known as ‘Rupkonwar’.

The Group
Himangshu Prasad Das started his own theatre group Guernica in 2007. This group has done quite a few plays, some of which are its original productions. A very successful production of the group is Moi Shah Rukh Khan Hobo Khuju. The group performed one thousand shows of a street-play in various locations in a single day. The group has a theatre village where the students have residential quarters, library and classrooms where various courses in theatre are pursued by students.

Cast & Credits
On Stage Narayan Baishya
Apurba Barman
Rupamjyoti Das
Pradip Kalita
Pranabjyoti Das
Ayub Ali Sarma
Paramananda Saikia
Anamika Sarania
Pranami Bora
Bandita Sarma
Mamata Das
Puja Kaibortya
Sikha Thakuriya

Off Stage Pranab Kalita, Jyoti Prasad Das, Prasanta Bora
Design & Choreography Pranami Bora
Music Design & Operator Arnab Bashistha
Light Design & Scenography Mintu Bora

Playwright Jyoti Prasad Agarwala
Director Himangshu Prasad Das

Contacts
Director
Guernica Creatovista
Amranga, Borihat, Distt. Kamrup
Pin – 781125, Assam
M: +91 9101255217, 8638260589
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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