Saras Kumar Namdeo’s Play: Infinite Walk

Please Watch Prof. Manohar Khushalani’s video review of the play and interview with the director –

Director: Saras Kumar
Text: Deeksha, Salim, Sneha, Suman, Saras, Yashaswini
Group: NSD Students’ Diploma Production, New Delhi
Language: Hindi
Duration: 45 mins

The Play
The play begins with the evolution of human beings, their emotions and their relationship with the five elements, and later the mechanization overpowering the human beings. It focuses on the life of mine-workers, their miserable living conditions, and their fight for basic rights. It is the story of Dana, his wife Aamti, and their friends. The mine-workers are working in the mine without any safety equipment, masks, or any support of an ambulance; in short at the cost of their lives. The play also highlights the power game of the elite over the working class, the continuous pressure from those with power over the stagnant social and economic life of the working-class, and finally a small volcanic step generated from this pressure.

Director’s Note
As a student of Direction, my intent to do this play was to find out the relationship between the logic and the emotions in humans. I inferred that the two are parallel banks of the same river. Working with the actors was the interesting part of this production for me as a student of Direction, and as a human being. It was very hard to take the directorial decisions.
The production is in three parts. Coal mining began with the purpose and need of energy generation, but the same coal verily became a cause of death. Illegal mining took the life of many people and created medical conditions in the workers. An ambulance can save a life, and a casualty can turn one into a rebel.
The dead body of an exploited worker shows the brutal nature of this society. Data on the internet can arouse either sympathy or anger. But a meaningful data transfer done on time can save a life. Technology works on logic and human emotion today is dependent on the logic being applied at the right place and at the right time.

The Director
Saras Kumar graduated from the National school of Drama with specialisation in Direction (2016-2019). He has directed a few plays viz. Accidental Death of Anarchist, Trishanku, Mann Laga Kar, and Infinite Walk, and written some short stories like Ghaas, Kal and Guinea Pig. He has also directed two short films Five Rupees and Gumshuda, and assisted in two feature films Chausar Firangi and Meri Nimmo. Saras has worked under renowned directors like Anuradha Kapur, Neelam Mansingh, M.K. Raina, Ranjit Kapoor, Deepan Sivaraman Etc.

The Playwrights
The text of the play has been prepared by Deeksha, Salim, Sneha, Suman, Saras, Yashaswini. All are students National School of Drama’s batch of 2019.

The Group
This play is a part of National School of Drama’s graduate showcase of class 2019. It aims to provide a platform to encourage emerging theatre practitioners to share their work with a wider audience.

Cast & Credits
Aamti                      Ashwini Joshi
Aabid                      Jitu Rabha
Woman 1                Sejuti Bagchi
Ghisu                     Salim Mulla
Manager                 Sayan Sarkar
Daughter                Snehlata Tagde
Activist                   Suman Purty/ Yashaswini R

Costume                Sejuti Bagchi
Lyrics                     Salim Mulla
Song Composition  Sayan Sarkar
Sound                     M Sunil Singh
Video Operation      Balasubramanian G
Set Execution /
Lights Design & Operation  Sarthak Narula
Special Thanks to              Asgar Chacha, Rizwaan, Murjim, Aas Mohammad, Taqmir

Guidance                            Anuradha Kapur, Abhilash Pillai, Neelam Mansingh, Shantanu Bose, Vishala R Mahale

Text                                 Deeksha, Salim, Sneha, Suman, Saras, Yashaswini
Concept & Direction      Saras Kumar Namdeo

Saras Kumar Namdeo
M: +91 7898279889

Prof. Manohar Khushalani’s video review of the play and interview with the director –

Nikhildas and Sagar Sathyan’s Play: Mali

Playwrights: Nikhildas Puranattukara & Sagar Sathyan
Director: Nikhildas Puranattukara
Group: Punchami Theatres, Thrissur
Language: Malayalam
Duration: 1 hr 15 mins

The Play
Mali is based on the folk culture of Kerala, as told through the songs and tale of the hero and the imaginary god Ayyappan. It begins with the description of a girl named Mali, and Chappan, a fighter who grew up in the jungle to defeat the hiding forces called Maravippada. Chappan learns the tactics and expertise from Vithari Mooppan and fights against Maravippada. He goes to meet his beloved Mali, but Mali asks him to come later since she is menstruating and therefore prohibited to meet anyone. Chappan is upset about this discrimination and tells her that now he will return for her only when the society gives up all such beliefs. Mali awaits his arrival, and when he doesn’t return, breaks away from all social taboos and restrictions and leaves home to enter the forest to find her love.

Director’s Note
The play begins with the resistance of people towards outside forces. A number of contemporary questions have been dealt with in this play, especially the ones dealing with discrimination. Why can’t a warrior have a spiritual quest? Is the reason to create superstitions and customs a deliberate attempt to keep them subdued and at a distance? The play is based on folk tales and folk songs heard from the dalits of Sabarimala Sasthav, popular in Kerala. Live music related to Ayyappan is incorporated into the play.

The Director & Playwright
Nikhildas Puranattukara has received the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award for Best Director and Writer in 2019 for the play Mali. His children’s plays have won accolades at the Kerala state youth festival during the last three years. Nikhildas has staged plays at national and international platforms like National School of Drama Theatre Festival, International Theatre Festival of Kerala, Bharat Rang Mahotsav, Rangayan Festival, Cuttack National Theatre Festival etc. He has adapted renowned writer Uroob’s celebrated work Neelakuyil into a play. He was the director of Lavettam theatre camp in Perth, Australia; and Kalithattu theatre camp in Bombay. He is associated with Thrissur based theatre group Rangachetana and his own theatre group Punchami theatres. Some of his popular productions are Marathalayan, Manabave, Kunnukalkkumappuram, Palaharapanthayam, Markkadapuranam etc.

The Co-Playwright
Sagar Sathyan has been active in cinema and theatre for the past few years and has made remarkable contributions to both. He has been a part of Rangachetana, a well-known theatre group in Thrissur, and has written four plays directed by Nikhildas Puranattukara. Sagar has also written the script of a Malayalam feature film Ladoo which was released last year.

The Group
Punchami Theatres is a group of young people who have been studying drama and are engaged in theatre activities. Everyone in the group finds time for theatrical work while practicing his/her routine work. Mali is the first theatre project of Panchami Theatres. It won the Best Play award at the Kerala Sangeet Natak Academy’s amateur drama competition, and also the Best Actress, Best Director and Best Writing awards. A number of colleges of Kerala participate in theatre activities under the banner of Panchami Theatres. The centre of the group is in Adat, a village in Thrissur district of Kerala.

Cast & Credits
Mali                                       Athira
Karuthi                                  Anusha Bahuleyan
Mahishi                                 Mekha Manoj
Chappan                               Anand
Vithari Mooppan                   Sathyajith
Kandan                                 Ramkumar
Kormi                                     Akhilesh Paliyan
Rajavu                                  Ramadas
Vendoran                              Sajith Alukkal
Villan                                    Appu K.G
Kadutha                                Athul
Mallan                                   Kiran
Karuppan                               Abhishek
Moothoru                               Henson
Kappatharu                            Josprakash
Vaidhyar                                Vishnu
Padayali                               Ramesh Ramakrishnan

Light                                     Dhaneshkumar
Art                                        Shinoj Asokan
Co-ordinator                         Mejo
Music                                    Midhun Malayalam
Instruments                           Manikandan
Make-up                                 Francis Chirayath
Costumes                             Anjali Raman, Leela Sathyan
Light                                     Assistant Gokul
Art Assistant                        Mornima Dhanesh
Assistant Director                  Nijildas

Playwrights                       Nikhildas Puranattukara, Sagar Sathyan
Director                           Nikhildas Puranattukara

Punchami Theatres
Adat, P.O Thrissur, Kerala 680551
M: +91 9745260825, 9946302016


Prof. Khushalani’s review of the play and interview with director –

Mannu Bhandari’s Play: Mahabhoj

Playwright: Mannu Bhandari
Translator: Viplob Pratik
Director: Anup Baral
Group: Mandala Theatre, Nepal
Language: Nepali
Duration: 2 hrs 20 mins

The Play
Mannu Bhandari tells a story of how politics, press and police are connected with each other, and how the vulnerable voiceless people are caged in a ‘chakravyuha’. She has scripted this play from her popular novel Mahabhoj. The news of a death in the village and violent activities happening around, spread to the city, influencing the media and setting fire in the centre of politics and police force. Will that fire calm down or become a burning coal of questions?

Director’s Note
The picture of social and political conflicts experienced by the society should be reflected on the canvas of theatre in a lively way. This is my trust, and that trust has stimulated me to choose Mahabhoj. Politics is one of the finest practices in governance. But, if it is guided by corrupt thoughts, its nexus leads the society towards a weak state. Mahabhoj is the mirror of that corrupt nexus.
This is my ensemble with three generations of artists which I believe has created a new dynamics. I have tried to explore the painting techniques of renaissance period in this play. Chiaroscuro and Sfumato have been used in light design. I wanted to retell the story of Mahabhoj as if we are seeing contemporary events in a historical time frame. Almost monochromatic costumes, sets and props used in the play are a conscious choice.

The Director
Anup Baral is a renowned theatre director, actor and concept artist from Nepal. He has a master’s degree in acting from the National School of Drama, New Delhi, India. During his two decade long journey, he has directed and conceptualized more than three dozen plays and performed as an actor too. His strong presence in Nepali theatre has been a source of inspiration for theatre lovers, theatre activists and practitioners.

The Playwright
Mannu Bhandari is an Indian author, known for her Hindi novels, Aapka Bunty and Mahabhoj. Bhandari’s works reflect the changing moods of the society, as they shape her writing and subject matter. Modernism, prevailing social issues and transformations, contemporary social situations, daily struggles of an individual have all played a part in impacting and influencing Bhandari’s works.

The Group
Mandala Theatre, Nepal is a group committed to develop and practice a creative style that is strongly based on Nepali theatre and culture, as well as deeply rooted in its desire to be a strong and aesthetic voice for social justice, political awareness and human rights. It owns a theatre centre in Anamnagar, Kathmandu where regular theatre shows are staged.

Cast & Credit
Atal Singh                                 Dayahang Rai / Buddhi Tamang
Ramesh Bikram                        Ramesh Budhathoki
Bisu                                           Rajan Khatiwada
Rita Chamling                            Sirjana Subba
Rishikesh                                   Viplob Pratik
Sijapati                                       Bijay Baral
Bhawani Giri                              Som Nath Khanal
Juddhabir                                  Pradip Kumar Chaudhary
ASI D K Singh                           Bikash Joshi
Sonam                                       Umesh Tamang
Dinesh Babu Panta                   Shekhar Chapagain
Katuwal                                     Ghanashyam Joshi
Sapana/Villager                        Sapana Chaudhary
Jamuna                                     Sushma Niraula
Gauri/DIG’s Wife                       Pramila Khanal
Rushma                                    Ranjana Oli
Head Constable/Villager          Sagar Dahal
Tirthe Kailo/Villager                   Arjesh Regmi
Jogeshwar/Villager                   Sabin Ghalan
Binod                                         Milan Karki
DIG                                           Raj Neupane
Shambhu/Villager                      C K Bista
Hira/Villager                               Devin Chaudhary
Mohan Singh/Villager                Kabiraj Rai
Mahesh                                      Sandeep Shrestha
Narayan/Villager                         Rijan Pariyar

Music Director                            Utsav Budhathoki
Sound Craft                                Dev Neupane
Sound Operator                          Chhejing Bhotia
Light Designer                            Umesh Tamang
Light Operator                            Vijaya Karki
Multimedia Operator                   Sachin Lama
Choreography                            Deeya Maskey
Set Designer                               Bimal Subedi
Set Constructers                         Hum B C/Johnen Kshetri
Set Painting                                Bikash Tamakhu/Sanisa Makaju
Costume Designer                     Arpana Nagarkoti/Sunu Rai
Poster Sketch                             Anamika Gautam
Graphic Designer                       Siddhanta Pudasaini
Photographer                             Nabin Babu Gurung
Videography                              Foto Crystal
Social Media                             Sagar Prasain
Box Office                                  Nabina Aryal
Finance                                      Govind Parajuli/Santosh Ghimire
Backstage Volunteers               Abhishek Sharma/Deenju Karki/Sanjay Gupta
Stage Manager                         Bijay Baral/Rijan Pariyar
Production Designer                 Dev Neupane
Assistant Director                     Som Nath Khanal
Script Translator/Lyrics                Viplob Pratik

Playwright                                    Mannu Bhandari
Director                                         Anup Baral

Director, Mandala Theatre
Anamnagar-32, Kathmandu
Nepal- 044600
M: +977 15705761, 9849296461

Bratya Basu’s Play: Rani Creusa

Playwright: Bratya Basu
Director: Sujan Mukhopadhyay
Group: Chetana, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 2 hrs 10 mins

The Play
The childless couple of ancient Athens, Greece, King Xuthus and his gorgeous wife Queen Creusa, seeks the blessing of God Boreas and then visits God Apollo’s temple in Delphi. Priestess Daphnis informs Creusa, daughter of King Erectheus, about the oracle of God Apollo that the royal couple will soon bear a male child, Doris. But till the prophecy comes true, they will have to adopt the attractive and handsome young man, Ion, who has grown up in the temple and crown him the prince of Athens. While King Xuthus happily agrees to obey the divine command, the Queen does not. As the King goes ahead with the plan of the adoption ceremony Creusa loses her cool and conspires with her servant Danius to kill Ion by poisoning his drink. Danius fails to carry out her order and gets caught red handed. Aghast, Ion returns to the temple of Delphi. Creusa admits her role in this conspiracy publicly. King Xuthus has no option but to initiate the trial for justice in a democracy. The arguments and counter arguments in the trial come to an abrupt end after the sudden appearance of Delphi’s chambermaid, Pythia. The truth about Ion’s birth leaves the royal couple stunned and overwhelmed…

Director’s Note
There lies an innate resemblance in almost all the stories of tragedy of human conflicts and political conspiracies; and of the great wars waged by men. The most significant resemblance lies in their staying relevant throughout the years. Therefore, to rediscover the age-old mythical tale of ‘Ion and Creusa’, Bratya Basu penned Queen Creusa, a tragic-satire. In the play, where the people demand retribution for a sacrilegious crime committed by the Queen herself, the hypocrisies of the elite are elucidated and illuminated as the fallacies hidden in the constitutional structure.

The Director
Sujan Mukhopadhyay has acted in about 30 plays and written several scripts for theatre, television and cinema. He was awarded the Stagecraft Award for Ghasiram Kotwal and Popular Viewer’s Choice Award for Don..Take Bhalo Lage. He has performed in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Chennai and all the major cities of India, as well as USA. He has also directed a Bengali feature film Chocolate (available on Netflix).

The Playwright
Bratya Basu is an accomplished theatre artist, a playwright and director who started his career as a sound operator. He is a theatre thinker and activist, and has served Bengali theatre for nearly 20 years. His plays have been staged by eminent directors and a compilation of his plays has been published in three volumes.

The Group
Chetana was founded in 1972. It has produced 33 full-length Plays and 13 short Plays in its journey of 46 years. Chetana received numerous awards and citation from various cultural institutions. It has organised a number of Theatre Festivals, Seminars and Workshops etc., and performed in all the districts of West Bengal and in almost all the major cities of India. Chetana has staged different plays in the Theatre Festivals organised by the National School of Drama and Sangeet Natak Akademi. It has toured USA and Canada with its productions in 1980 and 1990. Chetana performed Mareech Sangbad in Bourdeaux (France) in 1999. Sponsored by the ICCR it took part in the Ibsen International Theatre Festival held in Oslo (Norway) in 2004 and performed in London (UK) the same year.

Cast & Credits
Rani Creusa                         Nivedita Mukhopadhyay
Glaucas                                Supriya Dutta
Raja Xuthus                         Shaheb Chattopadhyay
Ion                                       Subhra Sourav Das
Eziptus                                Tarun Bhattacharyya
Senior Priest                        Amitabha Ghosh
Danaus                                Sushovan Guha
Orion                                    Rahul Sen Roy
Petroclus                              Rajat Narayan Bhattacharya
Clotho                                  Somrashmi Ghosh
Lachesis                               Monalisa Das
Atropos                                Ashmita Ghosh
Pythia                                  Ruma Bakhuli
Daphnis                               Santwana Banerjee
Singer                                  Daayaad Mukherjee
Chorus                                Parikshit Ghosh, Debashis Naskar, Biswajit Nayak,  Prateek Banerjee, Parag Roy, Sayan Maji

Music                                    Prabuddha Banerjee
Light                                     Soumen Chakraborty
Sound                                  Anindyo Nandy
Costume                             Prabal Mondal
Make-up                              Ayon Ghosh
Set                                       Partha Majumdar
Vocalists                              Dipanwita Chowdhury, Dibyendu Mukherjee, Sujan Mukhopadhyay, Shaheb Chattopadhyay, Prabuddha Banerjee, Bodhisattwa Banerjee
Assistant Director                Snehansu Biswas

Playwright                              Bratya Basu
Director                                  Sujan Mukhopadhyay

131, N.S.C. Bose Road, Govt. Housing Est.
Block-7, Flat 2 Kolkata – 700040, West Bengal
M: +91 9433075751, 9830253530


Watch Prof. Khushalani’s review of the play and interview with the director –


Bhas’ Play: Madhyam Vyayog(Turan Kalangi)

Playwright: Mahakavi Bhasa
Director: Hafiz Khan
Group: Ankur Rangmandal Samiti, Madhya Pradesh
Language: Malwi & Rajasthani
Duration: 1 hr 10 mins

The Forms
Maach is a folk theatre form of Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, started in Ujjain by Guru Gopalji of Bhagsipura.
Turra Kalangi form of poetic and musical dialogues was jointly initiated by two saints Tukhangir and Shah Ali. Tukhangir was a Gusaain saint who wore saffron clothes and worshipped Shiva. Shah Ali was a Muslim Faqir who wore green and worshipped Shakti. Yet, both these forms have some common features.
The Play
A Brahmin family is passing through the forest where the exiled Pandavas are dwelling. The family encounters Ghatotkacha who is in search of a human for his mother Hidimba’s meal. He holds the family captive and asks them to decide who should accompany him. The eldest son of the family being dear to the father, and the youngest to the mother, the middle son is the only choice left to be handed over to Ghatotkacha. Being the middle one he is called ‘Madhyama’. Madhyama is thirsty and requests Gatotkacha to be allowed to go to a nearby pond for water. Ghatotkacha agrees and asks him to return quickly. But Madhyama gets delayed and Gatotkacha starts calling out to him, “Madhyama…Madhyama…” Bhima, who was passing by, and he too being the middle son (Madhyama), thinking that someone is calling out to him, reaches where the family is being held captive. On hearing the story of the family, he offers himself as Hidimba’s meal, on the condition that Gatotkacha defeats him in a duel. Gatotkacha defeats Bhima in a wrestling bout and takes him to his mother only to discover that Bhima is his father.

The Director
Hafiz Khan graduated from National School of Drama in 1981. He has been actively working in theatre, especially in the field of Children’s theatre. He has been the founder member of the TIE Company of NSD. He has also been a part of many theatre workshops organized by NSD all over the country. As he was born and brought up at Ujjain, the local folk forms have always attracted him. The present production is the result of one such workshop.

The Co-Director
Born on 11th of October 1963 in village Nayakhe of district Ujjain, Babulal Deora, at the age of 15,
joined Lokarg and Tejati Maharaj Katha Group and started his association with the folk theatre ‘Maach’. His initial inspirations were Guru Shri Siddheshwarji Sen and his elder brother Ratan Maharaj Lokesh Sen. He started as a chorus singer in the group. He continued the tradition after his guru died.

Director’s Note
I had conducted a workshop on Turrakalangi in December 2014 at Ghosunda, Chittor village. The workshop began with Kalangi Ustad Mirza Akbar Baig Kaghzi and Turra Ustad Narayanji Joshi, and around 20 artists of Turralalangi. I felt as if I was transported to Indra’s Darbar 300 years ago where Turrakalangi was Khayal, and Khayal was Maach. If one was to forget the intricacies of music and Rag-Raginis, then one finds that the form of rhythm, melody, abhinaya, singing and storytelling are all common in both. Thus, we selected Madhyam Vyayog of the great Sanskrit playwright Mahakavi Bhasa to be presented as a bouquet of Turrakalangi Khayal and Maach by the artists of Ujjain.

The Playwright
Mahakavi Bhasa (5th Century B.C.) was an Indian playwright who wrote in Sanskrit. His plays were lost to the world until 20th century A.D. when his manuscripts were rediscovered. Some of his available plays are Swapnavasavdutta, Pratibha-Natak, Panch-Ratra, Madhyam Vyayog, Doot Gatotkach, Urubhangham, Karnabharam, Hari Vansh, Abhishek Natak etc.

The Group
In the past four decades Ankur Rangmanch Samiti Ujjain has organised numerous theatre festivals, theatre camps, workshops and theatre productions. The primary objective of the group is education, literacy, health, social sciences and social justice. It uses regular theatre, children’s theatre, educative theatre, folk theatre, literature and art as its medium. The group has participated and organised events in collaboration with the Ministry of culture (Govt. of India), Sangeet Natak Akademi, National School of Drama (New Delhi), Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad, Madhya Pradesh Museum, Kalidas Akademi Ujjain and many local organisations. Malwa Maach organised in 1999, 2005, 2007, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 have been known for a wider promotion of this folk tradition.

Cast & Credits
Sutradhaar1                                 Babulal Deora
Sutradhaar2                                 Rajesh Bhati
Hidimba                                       Vishnu Chandel
Ghatotkach                                  Narendra Bhanvariya
Brahmin                                       Tikaram Bhati
Brahmani                                     Seema Kushwah
Son 1                                           Dilip Chauhan
Madhyam (Son 2)                        Sonu Bodana
Son 3                                           Chirag Chandel
Bhima                                          Sudhir Sankhla

Harmonium                                 Ramesh Aswaar
Dholak                                        Pappu Chauhan
Tek                                              Raju Bhati
Synthesizer                                 Nilesh Manohar
Costume & Make-up                   Vishal Mehta
Stage Management                    Irshad Khan
Set                                              Ivan Khan
Light Operation                           Amit Bhandari
Production Design                      Kailash Chauhan
Stage Manager                           Prakash Bhatia
Co-ordinator                               Shailendra Vikal

Playwright                                  Mahakavi Bhas
Co-Director                                Babulal Deora
Director                                       Hafiz Khan

Ankur Rangmanch Samiti
C/o Vishal Steel, 64 Fawara Chawk
Ujjain- 456001
M: +91 9868511508


Prof. Khushalani’s review of the play and interview with the director –

Girish Karnad’s Play: Nagamandal

Playwright: Girish Karnad
Translator: Sukesh Panda
Director: Nalini Nihar Nayak
Group: New Quest Repertory, Rourkela
Language: Odia
Duration: 2 hrs 15 mins

The Play
Almost all creation, be it animals, birds, trees or men, has two elemental components – male and female. Each wishes to keep the other under subjugation. Girish Karnad, in his play Nagamandal conveys that the companions should remain complementary to each other. Rani weds Apanna, who has the typical ‘I am the master’ role and expects his wife to submit unquestioningly to his shenanigans. Suppression of womanhood in this male-dominated society is a common phenomenon. The writer advocates gender-justice and freedom through Rani. By integrating folk tales into the play he has been able to create a drama of varied hues.

Director’s Note
Trouble in the universal yet intricately delicate relationship between a man and a woman creates an imbalance, a disturbing ripple. Incorporating this social message, the play Nagamandal by Girish Karnad really fascinated me. I am able to relate to folktales and legends of such essence, since they are prevalent in my culture, land, and people. Hence I was allured to recreate this folktale. And in doing so I used many indigenous and dying art-forms of Odisha like Mayurbhanj Chhau dance, Odissi dance and song, Sambalpuri dance and songs, etc. The music is played using classical instruments, for classical dance forms beginning with Ranapa to Odissi and Bharatnatyam. I have tried to make it a musical and choreographically expressive play, hoping it will be well received by the audience.

The Director
Nalini Nihar Nayak is a well-known theatre director, actor, designer, and music composer of Odisha. He is a trained Chhau dancer in the Mayurbhanj style and has won many awards like the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2012 in the field of theatre direction awarded by Sangeet Natak Akademi, Rajiv Gandhi Professional Award, National Youth Award, Baisakhi National Excellency Award, National Natya Vibhushan, and more than 200 Government & non-Government Awards. He has acted in 85 plays, directed 41 plays throughout India and abroad. He has participated in SNA Festival New Delhi; EZCC Festival; National Youth Festival; Inter-University theatre festival; Bharat rang Mahotsav and many more.

The Playwright
Girish Raghunath Karnad was an Indian actor, film director and Kannada writer. He is the recipient of Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour conferred in India. For four decades Karnad composed plays, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues. He was also active in the world of Indian cinema working as an actor, director, and screenwriter, and earning numerous awards along the way. He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.

The Group
New Quest Repertory was established in 2003, under leadership of Nalini Nihar Nayak, with an objective to train young artists in theatre and to use their learning in professionally; to resurrect the dying art form of Odisha. It has participated in festivals organized by Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi, Yuva Pratibha Mahostav, and SNA New Delhi; and experimental theatre festivals hosted by EZCC, Kolkata; National Youth Festival by Ministry of Youth Affairs, Govt. of India; 18th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, NSD; National Theatre Festival by Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal; Konark Festival and many more across the country besides theatre festivals by Govt. and non-Govt. organizations.

Cast & Credits
On Stage                                                  Niranjan Acharya, Lalatendu Panigrahy, Pragyan Ranjan                                                                           Panda, Dwiti Krushna Panda, Swarup Ranjan Das, Chinmaya                                                                     Kumar Panda, Nabakishore Ghosh, Soumyaranjan Mohanty,                                                                     Pankaj Nath, Dinesh Mohanty, Surajsatapathy, Barsharani                                                                         Barik, Rashmita Das, Pinkiraninayak, Afreen Begum,                                                                                   Shubhasmita Singh, Manasi Das, Tanushree Parida

Sound                                                       Jasobanta Narayan Ray
Light                                                          Sagar Swaroop Swain
Set                                                            Chintamani Biswal
Make-up                                                    Ramesh Chandra Sahoo
Music                                                         Kailash Chandra Senapati
Props                                                         Amit Kumar Meher
Camera                                                     Dipankar Janah

Odia Translation                                       Sukesh Panda
Playwright                                                 Girish Karnad
Choreography, Light,
Design & Direction                                   Nalini Nihar Nayak

Director, New Quest Repertory
TF-7, NIT, Rourkela 769008
Distt. Sundragarh, Odisha
M: +91 9937556626, 7978071741


Watch Professor Khushlani’s review of the play and interview with directors –


Abhishek Garg’s Play: Jadu Mantar

Playwright & Director: Abhishek Garg
Group: Switch on Scurry Art Organization, Bhopal
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hr 10 mins

The Play
The central character of this story is Madhav, the best student in the ashram. Guruji is very happy with the helpful nature of Madhav and gives him a magic shankh which can fulfill all his wishes and desires. But Guruji puts a condition with this magical shankh that although whatever Madhav asks for himself will be duly fulfilled, but along with that his neighbour will get the double of the same.
So Madhav, out of jealousy, does not ask anything from the shankh, so that his neighbor shouldn’t benefit from it. In the end he realize his mistake. This play compels the audience to see where we are headed in the present society and its degenerating values.

Director’s Note
With the meaning of humanity gradually dying and man being totally self-driven, no one comes forward to help others and those who do make an effort, find themselves trapped. Thus I found this interesting folk tale apt in the context of present times. This play is a comic satire and the most important part is the style of the script and performance which has been woven around songs and poetic dialogues. This performance compels the audience to think and change its attitude and behaviour towards the world around it.

The Director & Playwright
The journey of playwright & director Abhishek Garg started in 2001 with Jabalpur’s Vivechana Rangmandal, in which he acted in various plays including street plays. He joined Bharatendu Natya Akademi, Lucknow in 2007 and after completing PG diploma in 2009, was selected by Theatre-in-Education (Sanskar Rang Toli) as actor-teacher (Acting). He completed his tenure there in 2016 and since then he is carrying forward his theatre activities with his own group Switch On Scurry Art Organisation.

The Group
Switch on Scurry Art Organization, Bhopal has been producing and performing plays since 2015. It started with a solo drama Nachani written by Bhanu Bharati. Since then the group has been staging plays every year viz. Kaggrajraj, specially designed for children, parents and teachers; two nukkad dramas, Bhagmabh and Cham Chama Chaat; and Jas Sangat Tas Rangat, performed in Yashodhara theatre festival organized by Tribal Boli and Vikas Academy of Bhopal, and selected for the 4th Minerva Theatre Festival (2019) organized by the Ministry of Culture of West Bengal. The group has also performed shows of its plays with the help of Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi and in different cities of Madhya Pradesh. This year it has produced a new play Jadu Mantar, based on a Bundeli folk tale, which will soon be staged at different theatres.

Cast & Credits
Guruji, Dhol (Padosi Bachcha1) Wasim Khan
Buddhia Ramesh Ahire
Hariya Rahul Jadhav
Maakhan Ashwini Mishra (Prabhu)
Rukmini (Rakku, Makhan’s Wife) Priyanka Garg
Gachar (Bachcha 1) Vivek Tripathi
Pachar (Bachcha 2) Tilak Sharma
Seth, Dhamaka (Padosi Baccha2) Priyesh Pal
Birju (Maakhan ka Padosi) Amitesh Pratap Singh
Lila (Birju’s Wife) Sangatna Bankar
Chorus All Artists

Stage Management Priyesh Pal
Stage Design Assistance Ashwini Mishra
Light Design & Operation Dhannulal Sinha
Music Shruti-Dharmesh
Rhythm T.S. Dharmesh, Prashant Shrivastav, Shrutdharmeet
Harmonium T.S. Dharmesh
Singers T.S. Dharmesh, Shruti Rawat, Shailender Soni,
Nikhil Bakare, Bhavna Navale, Swati Saraf, Priyanka Garg
Percussion Shruti Rawat & Priyanka Garg
Speed Control Wasim Khan
Costumes Design Priyanka Garg
Costume Making Rakesh Bhaiyya
Gond Painting Rashmi Acharya
assisted by Priyanka, Gunjan, Sangartana, Nupur, Priyesh, Amitesh, Priti, Tilak
Head-Gears Mukesh Prajapati
Stage Property Devendra Sharma (Joshi Ji)
Make-Up Sonam Sahni
Assistant Director Wasim Khan

Playwright & Director Abhishek Garg

Switch on Scurry Art Organization
E-8, 290 Trilanga, Bhopal, M.P
M: +91 9717156005

Farid-ud-Din Attar’s Play: Conference of the Birds

Poet: Farid-ud-Din Attar
Director: Wendy Jehlen
Group: Anikaya, USA
Language: English (???)
Duration: 1 hr 20 mins

The Play
Conference of the Birds is an evening-length movement theatre work, conceived and directed by Wendy Jehlen and inspired by the epic poem of Farid ud Din Attar. It is a tale of a group of birds that set off in search of the mythical bird, the Simurgh.  Many of the birds abandon the quest. When the remaining birds arrive in the land of the Simurgh, they find themselves reflected… they are the Simurgh. We use Attar’s text as a frame for narratives gathered from refugees and other migratory people, symbolizing the journey that we, the diversity that is humanity, take together. It is a story of found community, of the necessity of difference. Conference of the Birds has been supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, The Boston Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow, Arts Emerson, Theatre Communications Group, New Music/USA and National Endowment for the Arts.

Director’s Note
Conference of the Birds poses the question: How can we be different together? The performance proposes an answer. Anikaya explores this question by translating contemporary migrant stories into dance. In the creation of the work, the company directly engaged with refugee and other migrant communities throughout the creative process. Through a community-based, artist-led process, we have created a framework within which a dynamic evolving presentation can happen – relevant to the moment. Conference of the Birds addresses many narratives at once. It addresses issues pertinent to religious and cultural minorities, gender and sexuality, refugees, and works to counteract xenophobia in its many manifestations – both in content and in the composition of the company. Re-contextualising this classical Sufi text illuminates current moment in history, bringing to full circle the idea that human history is a history of movement, mingling and entanglements.

The Director
Wendy Jehlen’s career has been marked by international explorations, study and creative collaboration. Wendy engages in collaborations across languages, culture, media and genres. Her work questions the boundaries that we imagine between ourselves, and seeks to break down these imagined walls through an embodied practice of radical empathy. Her unique approach to choreography incorporates elements of Bharat Natyam, Odissi, Capoeira, Kalaripayattu, West African dance, Butoh, and a wide-range of contemporary movement forms. Her emotionally powerful choreography has been created and performed in the US, Canada, Italy, India, Japan, Brazil, Benin, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Mali and Turkey. Her works include Delicateness in Times of Brutality (2017), a duet with Deaf Butoh artist Dakei; Entangling (2015), a duet inspired by Quantum Entanglement; The Deep (2015), a work for 25 dancers created in Brazil; Lilith (2013), a solo on the first woman; The Knocking Within (2012), an evening-length duet on a disintegrating relationship; Forest (2010), a journey through the archetypal forest; and He Who Burns (2006).

The Poet
Abū Ḥamīd bin Abū Bakr Ibrāhīm, better known by his pen-name Farīd ud-Dīn Aṭṭār, was a Persian poet, theoretician of Sufism, and hagiographer from Nishapur who had an immense and lasting influence on Persian poetry and Sufism. Manṭiq-uṭ-Ṭayr (The Conference of the Birds) and Ilāhī-Nāma (The Book of Divine) are among his most famous works.

The Group
Anikaya’s mission is to break down the perceived boundaries between people, cultures and art forms. Our work has so far extended to the US, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, France, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mali and Turkey. Anikaya weaves together music, dance and storytelling to create works that pull from the full range of the body’s communicative capabilities. We incorporate traditional forms, internalizing them and then allowing them to reemerge as part of a new contemporary movement vocabulary. The result is work that is resonant of deep-rooted traditions, without being bound to any particular genre, place or practice. The ensemble includes performers from Benin, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, India/South Africa, Japan, Turkey and the US.

Cast & Credits
Dancers                                   Ibrahim Abdo (Egypt), Yasin Anar (Turkey), Sarveshan Gangen (South                                                      Africa/India), Kae Ishimoto (Japan), Danang Pamungkas (Indonesia),                                                        Luciane Ramos da Silva (Brazil)

Music created by                     Fraction (Eric Raynaud) (France), Shaw Pong Liu (USA), Shaho Andalibi                                                  (Iran/Canada), Deraldo Ferreira (Brazil/USA)
Light Design                            Stephen Petrilli (USA)
Light execution                       Gregory Casparian (USA)
Projection Design                  David Bengali (USA)
Calligraphy artist
& content consultant              Pouya Jahanshahi (Iran/USA)

Director/Choreographer        Wendy Jehlen (USA)

Director, Anikaya
67 Dane St., Somerville, Massachusetts,
USA- 002143
M: +1 6178617930

Dharamvir Bharati’s Play: Andha Yug

Playwright: Dharmavir Bharati
Translation: Sukesh Panda
Director: Chavan Pramod R.
Group: Department of Dramatics, M.S. University, Vadodara
Language: Gujarati
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play
Prologue: The prevailing fight between power and survival in the world, the wrath of the blind age.
Act 1: Dhrutarashtra and Gandhari crying for their dying sons and eagerly waiting for Sanjay. The Vrudhha Yachak enters with his predictions.
Act 2: Ashwatthama transforms himself into a destructive being and tries to kill Sanjay and Vrudhha Yachak, Krutvarma and Krupacharya question Ashwatthama’s intentions.
Act 3: Yuyutsu enters Hastinapur after winning battle with Pandvas, and Gandhari dishonours him. Ashwatthama justifies his intentions, and Krutvarma and Krupacharya join his struggle.
Interlude: The Vruddha Yachak explains Andha Yug and the characters give a description of their world.
Act 4: Vidur and Sanjay narrate the details of Ashwatthama’s cruelty to Gandhari. Ashwatthama releases Brahmastra. Sanjay leads Gandhari to the corpse of Duryodhan. Gandhari blames Krishna and curses him.
Epilogue: Question – “How to save humanity?”

Director’s Note
This piece of work focuses solely on the thematic content of the play, rather than abiding by the conventional structure. It attempts to look beyond the barriers of time and space and emerges subtly and symbolically. The questions raised are regarding human tolerance and the atrocities of war, where women, children and youth are the major victims. “When will the world be peaceful?” is the quintessential quest. I have attempted to depict my perceptions about how various systems drive a region and its inhabitants into insoluble problems of restless society and political turmoil, where the sole sufferers are the common people.

The Director
A recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Ustad Bismillah Khan National Award for Theatre Direction, Dr. Chavan Pramod R. is a disciple of Guru Kavalam N. Panikkar, under whose guidance he pursued training of Natyashastra and Sanskrit Theatre. He also underwent the basic training of Kutiyattam at Kalamandalam and worked in-depth on different forms of Kerala. Dr. Chavan Pramod has done Ph.D., Masters and Bachelors in Theatre with 4 gold medals from the Dramatics Department, M. S. University of Baroda. Some of the plays designed and directed by him are Andhayug, Uttararmcharitam, Venisamhara, Ashadh Ka Ek Din, Waiting for Godot, Vikramorvashiyam’s fourth Act, Dak Ghar, Juloos, Hayavadan etc. His book Rang Saptak – An Anthology of Panikkar’s Plays Translated in Hindi has been published by Rajkamal Prakashan.

The Playwright
Dharmavir Bharati was a renowned Hindi poet, author, playwright and a social thinker of India. He was the chief editor of the popular magazine Dharmayug. Bharati was awarded the Padmashri for literature in 1972 and Sangeet Natak Akademy Award in playwriting in 1988. Prominent works by him include Gunahon ka Devta, Suraj ka Satwan Ghoda, Andha Yug etc.

The Group
Department of Dramatics, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda has nurtured a number of aspiring artists wanting to pursue theatre as profession. Along with the academic experience it also creates a platform for art events, festivals, workshops, seminars and research. It has started “Satur Theatre” to inculcate performance skills in the students and orient audiences for the Theatre Movement. It has been conducting the Manch Parva – National Theatre Festival since 2011.

Cast & Credits
Gandhari 1                                     Mallika Lokhande
Gandhari 2                                     Riya Doshi
Gandhari 3                                     Vaidesha Lobiyal
Dhrutarashtra                                 Shashank Jha
Ashwathama                                  Bhavesh Thakarel
Yuyutsu                                          Priyank Gangwani
Sanjay                                           Saket Chouhan
Western Dance                             Prashanjit Dey
Vidura                                           Mohammad Nawaz Khan
Krutvarma /Western Dance          Akhil Nair
Krupacharya                                 Hardik Soni
Prahari 1                                       Nirav Popat
Prahari 2 /Fashion Show              Himadri Vyas
Vyasa/Fashion Show                   Ivan MD Khan
Chorus 1/Western Dance/
Fashion Show                              Parth Nair
Chorus 2                                      Sanket Chouhan
Garba Dance                               Nupur Thaker, Shweta Jain

Music Composer
& Vocal                                        Vipul Barot
Music Composer
& Instrument                               Manish Barot
Music Arranger                           Birju Kanthariya
Music Operator                           Sanket Chouhan / Riken Chokshi
Light Design                               Rishikesh Karanjgaokar
Make-up                                     Gaurav Chaturvedi

Playwright                                  Dharmvir Bharati
Director                                      Chavan Pramod R.

Dr. Chavan Pramod R.
Director, Department of Dramatics
Faculty of Performing Arts
The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
Opp. Sursagar, Nyay-Mandir, Gujarat
Vadodara- 390001
M: +91 9898822624

Nishantha De Silva & Rajitha Hettiarachchi’s Play: Grease Yaka Returns


Playwrights & Directors: Nishantha de Silva & Rajitha Hettiarachchi
Group: Ananda Drama, Sri Lanka
Language: English
Duration: 1 hr 05 mins

The Play
Prologue – Fear Walks
Study Partners – Sahani and Arun ‘study’ despite Kalana, when they see their creepy neighbour.
Lu, Lu – Sahani posts a story that goes viral.
Bus Stand – Kanthi and her daughter Charini learn about the grease yaka.
Shoe Shopping – Arukshi is shoe-shopping with Kishan, helped by a greasy salesman.
Lunchtime – Supun, Hansani, Ms. Shriya and Mr. Manjula are public servants. What happened to their dessert?
Channel Surfing – TV shows enthrall the nation. What is this grease disease?
Warriors – Sahani conducts a make-up tutorial, but can ‘darkies’ discuss beauty?
Spilt Coffee – Charini appeals to Arukshi for help against discrimination.
Fairness Treatment – Sahani needs help to become fairer.
Mirror – The politicians are with us.
The Cure – Kanthi seeks medical help for Charini.
Consequences – Riots!
Another Beginning – We look to our leaders.
Epilogue: A Mother’s Love – Is there a cure?

Directors’ Note
The Grease Yaka (grease demon) myth describes scantily clad, grease covered men suspected of crimes ranging from voyeurism to rape to abduction and murder in Sri Lanka. Although no grease yakas were ever caught, grease yaka ‘sightings’ hogged the headlines from time to time, causing widespread alarm and panic, especially during the conflict period. Ananda Drama’s Grease Yaka (2014) examined the emergence and proliferation of fears in the society by using this urban legend as a metaphor and a tool.
Grease Yaka Returns, first staged in 2018, explores the corrosive and sometimes devastating consequences of those fears. It looks at how easily distrust can be sown between various groups in the society through the aggregation of relatively small event and incidents. It looks at how quickly this distrust can morph into social divisions, sometimes even erupting in violence. It holds a mirror, and a warning, to the society.

The Directors & Playwrights
Nishantha de Silva is the founder of Ananda Drama, a non-profit theatre company based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Before Grease Yaka Returns (2018), Nishantha co-wrote and directed the trilingual political satire Picket Republic (2017) and a comic adaptation of Dracula (2015). He produced Grease Yaka (2014) and Grease Yaka Returns (2018) for Ananda Drama. Together with Rajitha, he won the awards for Best Direction and Best Original Script at Sri Lanka’s State Drama Festival 2019 for Grease Yaka Returns, which won a total of 10 awards including Best Play. His other directing credits include The Tempest at The Workshop Players’ Shakespeare in the Park Festival 2017 and Stuart Paterson’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom (2013). He holds an M. Phil from Cambridge University and a Fellowship in Directing from Trinity College London.

Rajitha Hettiarachchi joined Ananda Drama as a writer and director following its establishment in 2013. Rajitha co-wrote Grease Yaka (2014) with its director Ruwanthie de Chickera whilst also acting in it. He acted in Stages Theatre’ Group’s Walking Path, which won Best Play and Best Ensemble Cast at the THESPO theatre festival in Mumbai in 2014. Rajitha founded the performance company Idea Couch and was an Art Think South Asia Fellow in 2018. He holds a B.A. in English from Sri Jayawardenepura University and is an Attorney at Law.

The Group
Ananda Drama grew from the work carried out by its founder Nishantha de Silva and other alumni at Ananda College, Colombo, since 2006. With many students involved in the school’s English theatre activities wanting to continue their work in theatre after graduating, Ananda Drama was formed as a non-profit entity in 2014 to showcase their work to the general public.

Cast & Credits
Students                                   Leeth Singhage (Kalana), Eshani Seneviratne (Sahani)
Lakshitha Edirisinghe (Arun),
Mother and Daughter               Dmitri Gunatilake (Kanthi), Dinoo Wickramage (Charini)
Couple                                      Ashini Fernando (Arukshi), Chalana Wijesuriya (Kishan)
Government Servants              Jayavi Jayawardhana (Hansani), Sabreena Niles (Shriya),
Lithmal Jayawardhana (Supun), Gavin Ranasinghe (Manjula)
Opportunists                            Charith Dissanayake, Nandun Dissanayake
Pemanthi Fernando, Eraj Gunawardena
Ayudhya Gajanayake, Rithmaka Karunadhara
Vidura Manoratne, Malith Kulathilake
Amandi Kulathilake, Hiruni Herath

Designer                                 Jayampathi Guruge
Stage Manager                       Ishtartha Wellaboda

Playwrights & Directors          Nishantha de Silva and Rajitha Hettiarachchi

St. Rita’s Road,
Colombo – 00350
Sri Lanka
M: +94 777268164