Girish Karnad’s Play: Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi

Playwright: Girish Karnad
Translator: Srotoswini Dey
Director: Tulika Das
Group: Kolkata Bohuswar, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 1 hr 10 mins

The Play
The play opens with Manjula Ray in a television studio, giving one of her countless interviews. Manjula is a successful Bengali writer whose first novel in English has got favourable reviews from the West. She talks about her life and her darling husband Pramod, and fondly reminisces about Malini, her wheel-chair bound sister. After the interview, Manjula is ready to leave the studio but is confronted by an image. Gradually Manjula starts unfolding her life showing two facets of the same character. The conversations between the character on stage and the chhaya-murti go on and Manjula peels layer after layer, revealing raw emotions and complexities of the relationship between Manjula, Promod and Malini. We can relate to both Manjula and Malini… all of us being flawed in some way or the other, and that’s what makes us human.

Director’s Note
I wanted to explore the text of Girish Karnad’s Broken Images with my own understanding of Manjula, the lady portraying two facets of the same character. Despite all her shortcomings and flaws, she did not degenerate into a stereotypical vamp. Although she had made unforgivable mistakes, wasn’t there enough reason for her to exercise duplicity and betrayal? I found myself asking this question and wanting to see the larger picture through another prism. It has taken years for the Bengali stage to come up with an adaptation of the 2004 play. The Bengali translation by Srotoswini Dey Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi helped me to stage it. Theatre, I feel, should not be just entertainment. It should encourage a bit of soul searching too. I am thankful to Mr. Karnad, Srotoswini and the team of Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi of Kolkata Bohuswar to help me do just that.

The Director
Tulika Das is an actor and director of Kolkata Bohuswar. After her M.A. in Theatre, she joined Bohurupee and acted in several plays under the direction of Kumar Roy and also directed four plays, which received a lot of appreciation. In Kolkata Bohuswar, she directed Choturthir Jor, Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi, Agnipaak and Anandamath. Tulika is working with under privileged children and young adults, using theatre as a tool to build their capacity to overcome the barriers around them. She is actively involved in Human Rights movement of people with disabilities.

The Translator
Srotoswini Dey, M.A., MPhil, is an Assistant Professor of English Language in a college of West Bengal. She is a theatre lover and is trying her best to enrich the Bengali theatre through the translation of scripts of famous playwrights who have written in other Indian languages. She has also published a book Re-reading of Vijay Tendulkar’s Ghasiram Kotwal: a Critical Study of Vijay Tendulkar.

The Group
Kolkata Bohuswar was established in January 2017 in order to create and promote innovative theatre. The word ‘Bohuswar’ means a collective of different kinds of voices. True to its name, Bohuswar is home to individuals of different ages, genders, religious identities and places of residence. The group has produced the play Choturthir Jor, based on a story by Ismat Chugtai (selected for 8th Theatre Olympic), Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi, based on Girish Karnad’s Broken Images (selected for 21st BRM), and Agnipaak, based on a play by Mahesh Dattani. The group had organised a November theatre festival (2018) along with a theatre workshop for young theatre workers with Ruchika theatre group, Delhi. The group facilitates inclusive theatre workshops for the under-privileged children in the rural areas of West Bengal.

Cast & Credits
On stage Sukriti Lahori Sinha, Piyali Guha Roy, Tulika Das

Off stage Mayukh Dutta, Monomita Chaudhury, Rashmi Natua, Sampreeti Chakraborty
Sumita Basu, Biswajit Roy, Arka Ranjan Bhattacharya, Tanmoy Das, Bobby
Kar, Arko Roy, Tapas Roy, Indrajit Mukhoty
Music Kalyan Sen Barat
Set & Light Gagandeep
Make-up Piali Samanta

Playwright Girish Karnad
Translator Srotoswini Dey
Director Tulika Das

Kolkata Bohuswar
18, Deodar Street, Kolkata- 700019
West Bengal
M: +91 9830262165, 9830872209
E: bohuswar.kolkata@gmail.com

Sheshpal Singh’s Munshiganj Golikand urf MookBalidaan


Playwright: Sheshpal Singh ‘Shesh’
Director: Atamjeet Singh
Group: Individual, Lucknow
Language: Awadhi
Duration: 1 hr 40 mins

The Play
In 1886, the British made the Avadh Rent Act and implemented it. In the Act, the Kings and Talukedaars got the right to collect Rent. Since their tax collection was arbitrary, the poor farmers opposed this recovery and under the leadership of Baba Ramchander, this movement spread in the districts of Rae Bareli, Barabanki, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh and Faizabad. Baba Janaki Das took over from Baba Ramchander, and was later captured along with his companions and put in the Rae Bareli Jail. Till then the Kisan Sabha had been formed. In 1920 farmers gathered in Munshiganj, across the Sai River, to free their leaders from jail. The farmers were fired on and hundreds of them were killed. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru came to Rae Bareli to meet the farmers, and the District Magistrate took him into custody. The commissioner, Colonel Founteray, realizing the gravity of the incident of the Munshiganj firing, ordered the injured to be shot as well so that they do not become witnesses of the massacre. Some of the dead bodies were loaded into Ikka-Taangas and drowned overnight in the Dalmau Ganges River. For the remaining corpses, four big pits were dug in Munshiganj, and a hundred corpses each were buried in them. Munshiganj is also called the second Jallianwala incident.

Director’s Note
I had read about the Munshiganj shoot-out about 30 – 35 years ago, and the writer of our Nautanki, Sheshpaal ji, had also told me about it. Since then the design of staging it has been in my mind. Since this incident was from Awadh region, the idea was that it should be performed in Awadhi language. Since I have experimented in Nautanki area, I decided to get it written in Awadhi language. I asked Sheshpaal ji to take up the responsibility of writing which he gladly accepted. In this Nautanki, about 30 young artists have rehearsed with complete dedication. It was a difficult task for city artists to memorize dialogues in Awadhi but they did well. I think this is the first full-length Nautanki written in Awadhi language.

The Director
A theatre group Meghdoot was formed in 1974 in Lucknow by theatre lovers and young people. Atamjeet associated himself with this group right from its inception. It was under the aegis of Meghdoot that he acted in a number of plays. In 1977, Atamjeet Singh acted in Aala Afsar. The play was in nautanki form, written Mudrarakshash and directed by Bansi Kaul.
Later Atamjeet Singh started directing nautankis independently. He has directed around 20 Nautankis; some of these are Laila Majnu, Bhaand Charitram and Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Nautanki Baje Dhindhora urf Khoon ka Rang was performed in Bharat Rang Mohatsava. Apart from acting in a few movies and T.V. Serials, Atamjeet Singh has toured countries like Finland, Norway and Pakistan on theatre projects. He has been honoured by different institutions in India, and has been awarded an Honorary Diploma by International Amateur Theatre Association. In 2003 U.P. Sangeet Natak Academy also honoured him for his contribution in the field of theatre.

The Playwright
Sheshpal Singh ‘Shesh’ was born on 20th December 1958 in village Kasna, Dist. Raebareli
He has written and directed a number of plays and nautankis for various government and semi government offices of Uttar Pradesh. He has written full-length proscenium nautankis Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Bhand Charitram and staged them in Lucknow under the direction of Sri Atamjeet Singh.

Cast & Credits
Sootradhar/Ahelkaar/Grameen Sandeep Kumar, Saurabh Kumar Mishr
Munshi Kalika Prasad/Grameen Aditya Vishwakarma
Sootradhar/Ziledaar/Pagal Sujeet Singh Yadav
Mangloo/Durga/Grameen Shivakant Awasthi
Sheetlu/Binda/Grameen Manoj Singh
Grameen/Isri Kaka Adarsh Singh
Raja Veerpal Singh Gagandeep Singh
Raja Tiloi/Ram Narayan Ramesh Chandra Saini
Raja Rampal/Mayor/Grameen Ashutosh Jaiswal
Raja Arkha/Sherif Vinay Kumar Mishra
Raja Tribhuvan Devasheesh Misra
Sootradhar/Ziledaar/Grameen Subham Singh Chauhan
Gayika/Baandi Shreya Awasthi
Gayika/Grameen Pallavi Singh, Shubhra Pandey
Baba Ramchander/Kedar Pandit/Grameen Vikesh Bajpai
Siphai/Grameen Sarabjeet Singh
Siphai/Grameen/Daak Babu Abhishek Yadav
Amol Sharma Harsh Jaggi
Acchi Jaan/Gayika Supriya Chaterjee
Chaprasi/Grameen Ravindra Nath Yadav
Nasrullah Khan/Grameen Shubham Tiwari
Shivbalak/Badri Narayan/Grameen Shivam Singh
Gangadeen/Grameen Avinash Kumar Singh
Ram Awtar/Grameen Gaurav Dhingra
Baba Jankidaas/Grameen/Commissioner Abhishek Singh
Nehru Ji/Grameen Akshat Sunil

Stage Design Gagandeep Singh/ Manoj Singh
Stage Décor Abhishek Singh/ Ramesh Chanra Saini
Stage Property Aditya/Shubham/Shivakant
Rehearsal In-charge Devasheesh/Rozy Dubey/ Abhishek/Sujeet
Costume Karamjeet Kaur
Music Harsh Jaggi
Make-up Shaheer Ahmad
Harmonium Zubair
Nakkara Md. Siddiqui
Dholak Md. Imran
Light Assistant Nitish Bharadwaj
Light Design Devasheesh Misra
Dance Choreography Rozy Dubey
Presentation Controller Assistant Sujeet Singh Yadav
Presentation Controller Sarabjit Singh

Playwright Sheshpal Singh
Concept, Sound Design & Direction Atamjeet Singh

H.No. 11 Lane No. 5,
Hans Nagar Colony,
Near Purana Para Thana,
P.O- Manak Nagar,
Lucknow – 226017
M: +91 9335313104
E: atamjeetsingh1949@gmail.com

August Strindberg’s Play: Babai

Playwright: August Strindberg
Adapter & Director: Ishita Mukhopadhyay
Group: Ushneek, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 2 hrs 10 mins

The Play
Babai is a trans-creation of August Strindberg’s The Father. Taking inspiration from the original, playwright Ishita Mukherjee has adapted the play into an Indian locale and has given it a relevance to the socio-economic reality of today. The play is about an extremely complex relationship between a husband and a wife, which culminates when it comes to the question of the future of their only child. Not wanting to lose her custody over the child, the wife induces suspicion in her husband’s mind about him not being the real father, thus pushing the husband into an abyss of doubts, and taking over the household and making everybody believe that the husband’s sanity is under question. The husband, unable to bear this painful predicament, gradually loses his mind and in the end the family, under the vigilance of his wife, sends him to an asylum. The play talks about the eternal power politics between man and woman, state and religion, and society and individual.

Director’s Note
Strindberg’s The Father is considered as one of the finest naturalistic psychological drama. Often it is seen as a tragedy of a husband falling into the trap laid by his wife. As a woman director I have a different take on that. To me, Strindberg created sympathetic characters. He created a strong impression of male dominant society of his era which is quite relevant even today. To me, the wife is also a victim of patriarchy just like her husband is. The proof of fatherhood is instrumental to form a social-respectability which is inspired and instructed by the voice of patriarchy. I found that the play not only speaks about the gender politics but also speaks about the mistrust, unfaithfulness, loss of trust and the general lack of communication between man and society, society and politics, politics and religion, religion and concept, concept and individual.

The Director& Playwright
Active in Bengali theatre for more than three decades, Ishita Mukhopadhyay has created her place as an important theatre director of our times. As a director, she brings a sensibility in her work that is the result of her experience as a woman. She has well-formed views about group theatre, the economy of theatre and the challenges of being political in theatre. Over the years, Ishita Mukhopadhyay has directed a host of plays of which Ghar, Kamalkamini, Gawaharjan, Khela Bhangar Khela, Kallu Mama, Ora Tinjon and Agnijatak deserve special mention. Ishita has received numerous awards as the best director, some of which are Uttam Kumar Award, Pramathesh Barua Award, All India Critics Award, All India Women Association Award, Kalaratan Award and many more.

The Group
Ushneek was formed in 1984 by enthusiastic young theatre lovers and was registered in 1991. Till date Ushneek has produced 14 full-length plays, 5 one-act plays and 3 audio plays. Ushneek has participated in all the major theatre festivals in India like Nandikar Natya Utsav, Natya Academy Natya Utsav, Yuva Utkal International Festival, Sangeet Natak Academy festival, and 8th Theatre Olympics etc. Ushneek has travelled with its productions to almost all the major cities of India, not to mention the small towns. Besides staging plays Ushneek has also organised seminars and held workshops to enhance its capability to do better theatre. Ushneek has organised theatre workshops for mentally challenged children for two NGOs and has also worked with the male and female sex workers of Kolkata.

Cast & Credits
Professor Dipankar Bose Debshankar Halder
Doctor Samanta Subhasish Mukherjee
Maya Srijata Bhattacharjee
Mashi Chhanda Chatterjee
Mimi Arunika Dey
Dinu Thakur Prabir Dutta
Nakul Majhi Saptarshi Bhowmick

Light Designer Debabrata Sarkar
Music Ablu Bhattacharjee
Make-up Aloke Debnath
Set Designer Sanchayan Ghosh
Sound Operation Kalyan Sarkar
Crew Sujit Chotttopadhyay, Subhojit Bakshi,
Chitra Dey, Shreyashi Barua,
Ayan Debnath, Deepan Roy,
Parthosarathi Ghosh, Arnab Acharyya,
Sourav Ghosh Roy, Sushmita Halder,
Soumen Halde, Pinaki Das,
Sumitra Das, Debabrata Sarkar,
Ritesh Kumar Mondal

Playwright & Director Ishita Mukhopadhyay

Director, Ushneek
6, Ashutosh Chowdhury Avenue,
Kolkata – 19, West Bengal
Ph: 033-22810326
M: +91 9433582323
E: ushneekishita@gmail.com

Atul Satya Koushik’s Play: Ballygunge 1990


Playwright & Director: Atul Satya Koushik
Group: Films & Theatre Society, Delhi
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hr 20 mins

The Play
The play Ballygunge 1990 is a thriller. The place is Ballygunge, Calcutta and the year is 1990. Kartik and Vasuki had been in a passionate relationship for more than ten years, before Kartik left Vasuki behind to chase his dreams in Mumbai. Vasuki is now married to a famous painter and is living a life full of regrets and vendetta. She holds Kartik, and their failed love, responsible for her miserable life. Now she has invited him over for a coffee at her mansion. Kartik is a bit confused and happily surprised to see the same ten-year-old passion and love in Vasuki’s eyes. Vasuki is unpleasantly surprised to see the same hostility and detachment in Kartik’s eyes. A well-crafted plan is going to change the course of their lives forever.

Director’s Note
Having successfully presented grand historical productions, musicals, comedies and social satires, I wanted to take up a subject which has not been explored much, especially in Hindi Theatre. Suspense and thrill was for sure one genre which I personally had not seen much in my theatre viewing memory of about ten years. Therefore I coined the idea ‘Ballygunge 1990’ and started writing it. As I went deeper into the process of writing and designing the show, I realized that this play is more than a mere suspense plot. It is more of a love story… a story full of emotions and passion. All the regrets, complaints and vendetta that appear in the story, have roots in love which flowered between the two protagonists over a decade.

The Director & Playwright
Atul Satya Koushik is well-known in the field of modern Hindi commercial theatre of India. An alumnus of Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC, Delhi) and a qualified Chartered Accountant, he also holds a degree in Law. He is in his early 30s and has already written 15 full-length theatre plays, and produced and directed them with over 700 shows in different parts of India. Atul is a recipient of many awards including the Times Entrepreneurship Award and the Yuva Natya Nirdeshak award by Sahitya Kala Parishad. He has been one of the flag-bearers of commercial theatre in Delhi, running many ticketed shows to full houses and casting celebrities in his theatre productions. His popular productions include The Legend of Ram, Chakravyuh, Raavan Ki Ramayan, Dad’s Girlfriend, Ballygunge 1990, Pajama Party, Draupadi, Wo Lahore etc. He writes his own plays and is emerging as an important modern playwright of India.

The Group
Established in 2009, Films & Theatre Society, Delhi is one of India’s leading theatre companies which has its own original scripts and in-house direction, production and marketing. The group has performed more than 700 shows of its 15 productions in over 30 cities of India. Many of its productions feature famous film, TV and theatre personalities, and put together, they offer a wide range of themes, genres and presentation styles. FTS conceptualises and organises various theatre events and art festivals, like Rang, at a large scale, bringing artists, sponsors and audience together for larger-than-life art extravaganzas.
Some of the group’s popular productions are Chakravyuh, Ballygunge 1990, Raavan Ki Ramayan, Pajama Party, The Legend of Ram, Dad’s Girlfriend, Wo Lahore etc. which have been staged at various prestigious festivals and platforms such as Jaipur Rang Mahotsav, Kala Ghoda Festival, Parliament House auditorium etc.

Cast & Credits
On Stage Annup Soni
Nishtha Paliwal
Kunal Kaushik

Background Score & Music Rajesh Das
Creative Design Ashwani Kumar
Graphic Design Kunal Kumar
Production Manager Sumit Negi
Backstage Manager Sonam Kanotra
Music Operation Latika Jain
Light Operation Tarun Dang
Backstage Team Devansh Gulati, Rajeev Sachdeva
Set maker Mohd. Gulpham
Producer Ishaan Yadav, Aditi Chauhan
Concept Atul Satya Koushik & Nipul Malik

Playwright & Director Atul Satya Koushik

Films and Theatre Society
113/2, Baldev Park Krishna Nagar- 110051
M: +91 9910606476
E: sumit.negi1@gmail.com

Paresh Pasad Parit’s Play: Mahishasur Mardini

Director: Paresh Prasad Parit
Group: Purulia Chhau Dance Academy, Jharkhand
Language: Bengali
Duration: 1 hr 15 mins

The Form
Chhau is a traditional dance-drama performed during the Chaitra festival (April-May) in the adjoining districts of the three bordering states of West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as stories from the Puranas, and those from everyday life, are portrayed through this masked dance form. A Chhau troupe consists of 15-20 artists. The musical instruments used are drums (dhol) and flute (shehnai).

The Play
The performance begins with an invocation to Lord Ganesha, and then to Lord Kartikeya.
Mahishasura, a demon who has created terror in the world of the gods, has captured heaven, earth and the nether world. Goddess Durga, who rides a lion and has been bestowed upon with weapons from Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh to fight Mahishasura, after a long battle slays him.

The Director
Paresh Prasad Parit is a well-known artist of Purulia Chhau and is popularly known as Guru Paresh Kumar. He is an M. A. in History and a trained dancer, musician, composer and choreographer who is dedicated to this art since childhood. His inspirations have been Padma Shri Gambhir Singh Mura, Padma Shri Nepal Mahto, Ustad Juru Kumar, Ustad Laal Mahto, Ustad Rasu Sahis, Ustad Gopal Suri (Mandal), and his own parents. He was trained under Chhau Guru Sudhir Kumar who is an international famed artist of Purulia Chhau. He has struggled for the preservation and promotion of Purulia Chhau in the borderlands of West Bengal & Jharkhand, hoping for a bright future of this traditional form. He has received the Fellowship for Purulia Chhau from the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. He has also been awarded the Panchal Ratna Award from All India Cultural Association (Regd.), Chhau Guru Award, MRD cultural award, and Jharkhand Sanskritik Samman. He is a member of CCRT Regional Selection Committee under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.

The Group
Purulia Chhau Dance Academy was founded in 1985. The group is based in the village Jamdih, under Tila Panchayat, Nimdih block of Seraikela Kharsawan, a district state of Jharkhand in India and a border-land area of West Bengal. It is a troupe and training centre aiming to preserve and promote Purulia Chhau. The dancers and musicians of the group are farmers, farm labourers and students. Although the academy is dedicated to Purulia Chhau, it actively participates in social service as well. It is registered under the Govt. of Jharkhand and empanelled under Indian Council for Cultural Relations. It has performed in cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Patna, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Gurgaon, Bareilly, Agra, Jaipur, Baripada etc. The academy has received many prizes and awards in festivals and fairs held at different places in India.

Cast & Credits
Lord Ganesha Swapan Machhua
Lord Kartikeya Gunadhar Kumar
Goddess Durga Falari Kumar
Demon Mahishasur Dhiren Singh
Devil Lakhindar Machua, Parmeshwar Majhi,
Alang Chand Kumar, Sudip Yogi
Laxmi Gansh Karmakar
Saraswati Gayapati Mahato
Lion Ram Nath Singh, Ram Charan Singh
Peacock Bhut Nath Machua
Dhol Dhar Kalindi
Shahnai Shikant Kalindi
Maracas Bibhuti Singh
Tasa / Nagara Purna Kalindi
Casio Bhism Dev Machhua
Prompter Udai Mahali

Director & Group Leader Paresh Prasad Parit

Purulia Chhau Dance Academy
Jamdih, P.O. Tilla
P.S. Nimdih, S.D. Chandil
Distt. Seraikela Kharsawan
Jharkhand – 832401
M: +91 8709364919, 9955332690
E: pareshkumar99@gmail.com

Jyoti Prasad Agarwala’s Play: Manimugdha

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

Guernica Creatovista
Amranga, Borihat, Distt. Kamrup
Pin – 781125, Assam
M: +91 9101255217, 8638260589
E: pranami18@gmail.com

Deepika Arwind’s Play: I am Not Here

Critic: Manohar Khushalani in Conversation with the Director: Deepika Arwind

Playwright & Director: Deepika Arwind
Group: The Lost Post Initiative, Bangalore
Language: English
Duration: 1 hr 10 mins

Watch Manohar Khushalani’s Review about the play in the video above

The Play
i am not here is designed as an 8-step guide in how to censor women’s writing, which plays out in a boxing ring. In parts dark, funny and brutal, the dance-theatre production looks at the subtle, almost-invisible and insidious ways in which women’s writing has often been flicked to the fringes. The two women performers enter the boxing ring, watching and being watched, often at unease with what they must do to ‘show’ you this guide. Their bodies transform: they play men, women and creatures. A frying pan is a metaphor for a chalkboard on which freedom is contested ; a traditional dance class reveals the impossible ways in which women’s bodies are written about, a chick-lit writer reads a review about herself in public … Abundant with movement and haunting music, the play seeks new form, and heightens and complicates the audience and performers.

Director’s Note
What is the cost of dissent, of protest in performance? Why is it always important to bear wounds in front of an audience to ‘convince’ them of lived reality? What is the silence after the protest like? Is it broken, like the two actors who piece together broken words at the end of this ‘show’; is there meaning to be made, new language to be formed. i am not here is as much about language and writing as it is about silence. It is as much about protest as it is about its aftermath. This aftermath is embodied by two female performers, because who else will embody it? i am not here continues an experiment I began with my last work No Rest in the Kingdom about gender and performance, and the intersection of the two in the female performer’s body, and its significance as a site of protest.

The Director & Playwright
Deepika Arwind is a theatre-maker, playwright and performer based out of Bangalore, India. She works as the Artistic Director of The Lost Post Initiative (TLPI), a theatre and performing arts collective that works with diverse artists, largely around gender and women on stage. She is a scholar of the Internationales Forum at Theatretreffen ’18, and presented her work at The John F Kennedy Centre of Performing Arts ’16 and Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin ’18. She has won and been nominated for several awards for her work, including The Hindu Playwright Award, the Stückemarkt Prize at Theatretreffen, and the Toto Award. Her current touring works nationally and internationally are No Rest in the Kingdom (produced by Sandbox Collective) and i am not here (supported by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore). Her previous works, among others, include A Brief History of Your Hair (supported by India Foundations for the Arts) and Nobody Sleeps Alone. She is the author of a children’s book Sarayu (published by Le Cosmographe Éditions, France, 2018).

The Group
The Lost Post Initiative is a theatre and performing arts collective largely working with themes around gender. Much of the work looks at the female performer’s body as a site of protest and possibility. Works include Nobody Sleeps Alone, a Brief History of Your Hair, No Rest in the Kingdom, i am not here, among others.

Cast & Credits
Devised & Performed by Ronita Mookerji & Sharanya Ramprakash

Light Design Pritham Kumar
Light Execution Niranjan Gokhale
Music & Vocals Nikhil Nagaraj, Pallavi MD
Set J Dinesh
Producer Veena Appiah
Assistant Akash Narendran
Dramaturge Theresa Schlesinger
Supported by Goethe-Institut Bangalore / Max Mueller Bhavan

Playwright, Design
& Director Deepika Arwind

Director, The Lost Post Initiative
258, 3 Rd Main, BHCS Layout, Uttarahalli
Main Road, Bangalore, Karnataka-560061
M: +91 9845272215
E: veenaappiah@gmail.com

Samkutty Pattomkary’s Play: Adayalam


Playwright: Samkutty Pattomkary
Director: T. Suresh Babu
Group: Natakagramam Kozhikode, Kerala
Language: Malayalam
Duration: 1 hr 50 mins

The Play
Adayalam is a play based on the rape case of Bhanwari Devi. Bhanwari Devi had been employed as a ‘saathin’ for the Womens’ Development Project, run by the Rajasthan government, for two hundred rupees a month as salary. She was brutally raped by Gujjars in front of her husband. Bhanwari, along with her injured husband, decided to file an FIR at the Bassi police station, but the policemen rejected their plea and asked for a medical certificate. The couple went for the medical certificate to many hospitals in Jaipur. The government doctor asked for the magistrate’s order as a prerequisite for the medical certificate. One of the doctors even tried to rape her. After 52 hours they submit the certificate in the police station, only to be asked by the police to bring her clothes as a proof. Finally, the case reached the court and was dismissed on the grounds that upper cast men cannot rape low cast women. The judgment also questioned how her husband could be a mute spectator to his wife’s rape.

Director’s Note
The incident happened on 22nd September 1992, and she has been fighting for justice ever since. Bhanwari Devi, a Dalit by cast, became an icon of the women’s movement when she decided to go public and fight her case following a gang rape by five upper caste Gujjar men, after her attempt to stop a nine-month old girl-child’s marriage in her village of Bhateri located 45 km south of Jaipur. Potters by profession, she and her husband have been socially boycotted after the unfortunate turn of events.
This case led to the famous verdict on women’s security at work-place. The question raised by the play is “Is justice in our country in safe hands?”

The Director
T. Sureshbabu is a dedicated artist who works with the ordinary village people of Kerala and tries to empower them using theatre as a tool. He completed his degree from Arts and Science College, Kozhikode. He works as a director, scenic designer, actor and light designer in the field of drama. He is the present director of Natakagramam Kozhikode, a well-known theatre group of Kerala. He has received recognition for his work in the form of three Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Awards, Natya Bushan Puraskaram, Thalassery Shyama Award, Balan K Nair Award, Bankmens Club Award, and V.T Smaraka Award. He has directed more than 100 plays in various languages. Some of his known directorial works are House of Bernard Alba, Shadow of Glen, Riders to the Sea, Arthamanartham, Perumkollan, Nayattu, Maniyara, Soap Cheap Kannadi, Suganidrakalilekk, Swapnavetta, Kozhikkariya, Orugandhavicharam and Adayalam.

The Playwright
Dr. Samkutty Pattomkary is a playwright, freelance director, designer and technical trainer in the field of theatre. Formerly, he was an executive member of the Kerala Sangeet Natak Academy, Government of Kerala. He has designed more than 350 amateur / professional theatre and dance productions in Kerala.

The Group
Natakagramam Kozhikode is a famous theatre group of Kozhikode district, Kerala which has been active for last twenty years. It endeavours to bring together various drama artists in the villages of Kerala. The group stages its productions in the villages and conducts theatre workshops and enrichment programs all over Kerala. The group has a total of twenty five members including 11 executive members. Natakagramam is also blessed with famous artists of Kerala which includes good actors, playwrights, musicians, light designers, directors, set designers and efficient organisers. Natakagramam has exhibited more than 30 plays in Kerala.

Cast & Credits
On Stage Sudhi
Vineesh P Vasu
Shyju P Olavanna
Rajesh Kakkoor
Girish Mannur
Saju Mokavoor
Kumar G Palath
Vinod Pilassery
M V Sureshbabu
R K Jayaprakash
Mirshad Salma
Mani Alampattil
Priya Sreejith

Stage Assistant Mohandas P M
Coordinator Madhu M
Music Sasi Pookkad
Technical Support Chanduz T
Make-up Govind S
Scenic Design Samkutty Pattomkary
Associate Director Sreeshyju. K .P

Playwright Samkutty Pattomkary
Director T. Suresh Babu

Natakagramam Kozhikode
Nalini Nivas, West Hill (P.O.)
Kozhikode, Kerala – 673005
M: +91 9495612576
E: natakagramamkozhikode@gmail.com

P. Melodi Dorcas’s Play: Behind the Borders

Dramaturgy & Direction: Petrishia Melodi Dorcas
Group: NSD Student Diploma Production, New Delhi
Language: Non verbal
Duration: 1 hr 10 mins

The Play
Behind the Borders discusses the issue of ‘rage’ in an episodic manner. Throughout the play the issues of lynching, rape, land-occupation, honour killing, and writers’-murders are depicted in a visual vocabulary. This is a new medium of narration to communicate with the audience where each scene has strong images and each image is different from every other in the scene. The music instruments used in the play have a strong interpretation to every scene, depending on how the performer’s body is transforming in every scene and how the bodies that deal with different characters and craft are a part of scene. There is no backstage or green room in Behind the Borders, and the idea of bringing the backstage musicians onto the stage has its own narrative in the scene.

Director’s note
During the process, it was quite a task for us to bring out the visual language of the text we were dealing with. We started improvising each incident from the script. Each one of us came up with different ideas and we started exploring everything. As a collective, we explored different mediums during the process like sound, music, visual installation, durational images, digital narrations, drawings, five senses of the script etc. Behind the Borders is thus a production which is developed by each and every artist of this play collectively. We carried a responsibility of bringing out an ideal production, following the dramaturgy, but later we just went with the flow of the process.

The Director
Petrishia Melodi Dorcas is a versatile artist who graduated from the National School Of Drama, Bengaluru centre, with specialization in Acting. Later she joined the National School of Drama, New Delhi and graduated with specialization in Direction in 2019. She has been working in theatre as a director and actress for the past decade. She is an active participant in social and cultural activities all over India. Currently, she is traveling all over India for her research in the field of theatre to understand the roots and cultures of different parts of India to bring out the importance of various traditional and tribal forms and their contributions to the performer’s body.

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
On Stage Anmol Guliani
Bhumisuta Das
Jitu Rabha
Manoj Thapar
Snehlata Siddartha Tagde
Tamilaasi Anandhavalli
Yashaswini R / Silpi Dutta

Recorded Vocal Palin Kabak
Scenography Ramkumar Kannadasan
Property Bhandari Arun
Drawings Elan Cheziyan
Video Vishala R Mahale
Sound Mayengban Sunil Singh
Chreography Petrishia Melodi Dorcas
Lights Sarthak Narula
Poster & Brochure Partha P. Hazarika
Stage Manager Sejuti Bagchi
Music Mayengban Sunil Singh

Dramaturgy & Direction Petrishia Melodi Dorcas

P. Melodi Dorcas
M: +91 9840359239
E: phenomenalmelodi@gmail.com

Mahasweta Devi’s Play: Bayan

Writer: Mahasweta Devi
Director: Usha Ganguli
Group: NSD Repertory Company, New Delhi
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hr 35 mins

The Play
Based on a story by Mahashweta Devi, Bayan is that play which creates awareness about the core expression of her writing, i.e. socio-economic disparities and the different shades of human life. Bayan’s Chandi Dassi is one who, at a very young age, is thrown into the work of burying dead animals. By invoking her responsibility towards the work of her ancestors, she is forced to live a life of great hardship. In time she decides to tie the knot with Malinder, a man who works in the government crematorium, and one who takes on her responsibility. However, the same Malinder later declares her to be a ‘bayan’ and Chandi Daasi loses all her rights to live a decent life. She starts believing that her life of inhuman exile is simply the norm.

Director’s Note
In my creative journey in field of theatre, along with the works of Rabindranath, Manto, Kabir and Premchand, the works of Mahashweta Devi have also struck me with a strange sharpness and intellectual perceptiveness that moves alongside their human aspects. Even before Rudali or Ganesh Mahima. Bayan’s Chandi Daasi had made a place for herself in my memory. Over the past few days, she has been helping this director search for a new vision, sometimes searching for a new theatrical language, shirking from the complexities of realism on the stage and trying to both give and take in the exchange of creative energies. For the past many years, the prop-less stage has appealed to me and attracted me for many reasons. I believe that minimalism on the stage might be able to help in the search for a new theatre vocabulary as drawn from the power of the actor’s body language, the internally developed characterization the symbolic imagery on stage, and the sounds of music- and this is what I kept trying for. Chandi Daasi and her creator Mahashweta Devi and those human shapes that get lost in the darkness and then remerge with strength and burn like sparks, are the ones who have been the sources of my inspiration.

The Director & Adapter
Usha Ganguli, a renowned theatre activist, known for her presentations like Lok Katha, Mahabhoj , Holi , Himmat Mai, Court Martial , Rudali , Mukti , Chandalika , Manasi , Hum Mukhtara and many others.
Rangakarmee, the Theatre troupe found by Usha Ganguli in 1976, remains the most active and prolific group, performing in Hindi, not only across India but also travelling abroad extensively. Usha Ganguli is perhaps the first and only theatre Director in India to be directing a play for a Pakistan theatre group Ajoka Theatre under their two-year long programme Theatre for Peace which includes theatre festivals, workshops, seminars etc. She has received the Best Production and Best Director Award (1993-94) by All India Critic Association and Paschim Banga Natya Academy for Rudali, Best Director Award for Lok Katha by Ritwik Ghatak Memorial Committee, Sangeet Natak Academy Award (1998), Girish Puraskar by West Bengal Govt in 2016 and several other awards from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh State Academies. At present, apart from being the Director and President of Rangakarmee, Usha Ganguli is a member of SWAN (South Asia Women’s Network) which is a wing of SAARC. She is also currently the Scholar in Residence at the Viswa Bharati University.

The Author
Mahasweta Devi (14 January 1926 – 28 July 2016) was an Indian Bengali fiction writer and socio-political activist. Her notable literary works include Hajar Churashir Maa, Rudali, and Aranyer Adhikar. She was honoured with various literary awards such as the Sahitya Akademi Award, Jnanpeeth Award, and Ramon Magsaysay Award, along with India’s civilian awards Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan.

The Group
Established in 1964 with a membership of only four persons, the Repertory Company is the regular performing wing of the School. It was set up with the dual purposes of establishing professional theatre on one hand and continuing with regular experimental work on the other. Over the years it has produced a variety of plays ranging from stylized musicals to realistic contemporary Indian drama to translations and adaptations of foreign plays. In addition, several eminent persons of national and international repute have worked with the Company, and it has performed over one hundred and eighty one plays by ninety-eight playwrights and has worked with ninety directors. Quite a few of its actors have emerged as celebrities in theatre, cinema and television. The Company has toured extensively in India and abroad. It is celebrating fifty years of its existence this year.

Cast & Credits
Chandi Dasi Shruti Mishra
Joshi Sampa Mandal
Jhumu Anamika Sagar
Kali Suman Purty
Chumki Palak Jasrotia
Somari Sakshi Sharma
Puti Kaki Snehalata S. Tagde
Chorus Sampa Mandal, Anamika Sagar,
Palak Jasrotia, Suman Purty, Aparna Menon,
Snehalata S. Tagde, Debomita Sur
Malinder Deep Kumar
Bhagirath Sikandra Kumar
Ketan Kaka Shahnawaz Khan
Sutradhar (Debu) Ashutosh Banerjee / Shubham Pareek
Dhuna Virendra Singh
Ganju (Gajendra) Naveen Singh Thakur
Budhu Manish Dubey
Dulu Rahul Kumar
Kali Mata, Khokan Jitu Rabha
Mintu Parag Baruah
Tulu Shubham Pareek / Ashutosh Banerjee
Khokha Vishveshvar M. Gondhali

Set Design Sanchayan Ghosh
Set Execution Ram Pratap, Manoj Kumar, Brijesh Sharma
Music Kajal Ghosh
Light Design & Operation Souti Chakraborty
Light Operation & Execution Govind Singh Yadav
Assistance Md. Suleman, Pradeep Aggarwal
Sound Mukesh Kumar
Costume Design Usha Ganguli
Chief Costume Co-ordinator C.S. Bhatia
Properties Design Dipankar Ghoshal
Assistant Mole Kumar Jana
Property Incharge Moti Lal Khare
Make Up Sikandra Kumar, Shruti Mishra
Assistance All Repertory Artists
Tabla & Dholak Om Prakash
Shehnai Shakti Pada Matti
Octopad Narender Kumar
Harmonium Naveen Singh Thakur
Production Co-ordinator Sukumar Tudu
Stage Manager Govind Singh Yadav

Story Mahasweta Devi
Dramatization, Design
& Direction Usha Ganguli

NSD Repertory Company
Bahawalpur House
Bhagwandas Road
New Delhi – 110 001
Ph: 011 23383420
W: www.nsd.gov.in