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Bipannata

The Play

Bipannata is the story of the helplessness of Sulagna Dutta, a woman in her late 50s, a widow and a single parent. She represents the middle class, who wakes up to a daily routine expecting a more or less secured lifestyle. She is neither a political bigwig nor a celebrity, but one of those you wouldn’t even notice when passing by. She has raised her son Ujaan to be a responsible man and who is now a computer engineer. The only problem is that he has his own well defined opinions. He is sensitive and reacts like a normal human being to events happening around him…events of large scale state generated violence that permeate into our lives and induce a constant state of fear. Sulagna is worried for her son, who goes into bouts of depression and hides at home, refusing to go out and participate in a world he cannot question. She sets up an appointment with a renowned psychoanalyst Dr. Ahana Roy.

What follows is a heartrending search into fear psychosis and the resulting helplessness. Are we all trying to hide in our cocoons? Are we afraid to question? How is an individual supposed to negotiate in these circumstances? Do we need help? And who can help?

Director’s note

Choice of Bipannata – a rationale: The play tries to address the feelings of fear and helplessness that we carry within us in these hard times. How is one supposed to react to the violence that one witnesses daily? To questions of state induced terrorism, rape, capital punishment…….? Is one expected merely to drink it in with his morning cup of coffee? Or can one exercise his basic right of speech and thought? Can one help himself? Is there someone who can help? Can he expect any help at all?

The Director

Sohini Sengupta is an upcoming director and a leading stage artist and trainer of Nandikar. She has acted as the lead in most of Nandikar’s recent productions and also in some of the plays sponsored by the British Council and other reputed theatre groups from Kolkata. Her character in Aparna Sen’s film Paromitar Ekdin brought her major acclaims, including the award for the Best Supporting Actress at National Film Awards, the highest Indian recognition given to film artists. She has also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for her contribution to theatre.

The Playwright

Debatosh Das (born 11th, January 1972) is a contemporary Bengali novelist and short story writer. He is a Post-Graduate in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. He has written- two novels, four plays and fifteen short stories so far. He also writes features on varied topics in different newspapers regularly. He appeared in Bengal theatre with his maiden play

O Chand in 2012, which deals with the Maoist movement in India. Bipannata is his second play. It was published in the theatre magazine ‘Bahurupi’ in 2013.

The Group

‘Nandikar’ is a 53-year-old institution which has been at the forefront of the national theatre movement since its birth in 1960, and is recognized for the diversity, quality and scale of its sustained activities. Nandikar has produced about 80 plays, performed nearly 8000 times across the nation, featuring in all major national and state festivals, as well as abroad. Many of its productions, e.g. Natyakarer Sandhane, Chhati Charitra, Tin Poysar Pala, Bhalomanush, Football, Antigone, etc., have had more than 400 performances. Beyond its theatre mould, with wide reach and professional quality, it has also carried out diverse socio-cultural activities in various segments over the years. It holds workshops and works with institutions and organizations like Ministry of Women and Child Development, Human Resource Development, Sangeet Natak Akademi, ICCR and NSD under different collaborations. Nandikar is also involved in research, documentation & dissemination of literary, audio and video formats; organizes national integration camps; and hosting international exchange programmes.




Ke ?

The Play

Dr. Sunil Sen. has a tiff with his wife Kurchi, following which he comes to stay at his sister Bula’s and brother-in-law, Arun’s farm house. Manoj, a successful businessman, is Kurchi’s lover. One fine morning, a stranger, Srikanta Gupta, comes to meet Sunil and informs him that his wife, Lily who is Sunil’s patient, has committed suicide that morning. The reason behind the suicide is Lily’s alleged affair with Sunil and her pregnancy. Srikanta threatens Sunil with murder. Sunil, in self defense, approaches his college pal, Rabi, a high rank police officer. But Srikanta is violent with Rabi as well and injures him. Left with no choice, both Rabi and Sunil approach a private detective, Chatak Chattaraj, on Arun’s advice. Can Chatak Chattaraj solve the mystery?

Director’s Note

Ke? (Who?)  apparently conveys the sense of a thriller, but at its core is a blend of complex human relations, empowerment of women, and the modern day stagnancy of the institution of marriage. The soul of the play carries a delicate hint that helplessness arising from individual vulnerability adds to the philosophical belief of life, more than human vaunting. Every space in this production penetrates the other. The office enters the house, the coffee shop makes way into the office, the doctor’s chamber breaks out of the coffee shop – each intertwined with the other, expanding into the entire city and society in the end. Casting of light is meant not merely to represent illumination or darkness, but to signify a process of psychological continuum. In this production, the transition from one scene to the next never occurs in darkness; rather the accompanying music portrays a world proportional to the light, entwining the conscious with the sub-conscious. While a prototype of music and light has been used to illustrate the consciousness of the mind, another pattern is used to depict its sub-consciousness. The association of cricket comes as a requisition in the play. Costumes and make up represent two different colors and mental states. Finally, is ‘Ke? (Who?) about analyzing the registers of life, unconsciousness, cricket, and society, placing them all on the same premise?

 The Playwright & Director 

Bratya Basu is an accomplished theatre artist, playwright, actor and director. His noted plays include Aranyadeb, Shahar Yaar, Virus-M, Winkle-Twinkle, 17th July, Ruddhasangeet, Chatushkon etc. His plays have been staged by various and renowned groups and directors. He has directed three films viz. Raasta, Teesta and Tara and has acted in many films including, Kaalbela, Icchey, Sthaniyo Sambad etc. Basu has bagged many awards and recognitions such as Shyamal Sen Memorial Award, Dishari Award, and Satyen Mitra Award.

Bratya Basu, currently Hon’ble Cabinet Minister and in charge of the Ministry of Tourism for the state of West Bengal, formed his own theatre group Bratyajon in 2008. His recent plays Cinemar Moto and Ke? are milestones in Bengali Theatre.

 The Group

‘Bratyajon’ is the brainchild of ace playwright and actor-director Bratya Basu. The group’s productions have been influenced by the learning, motivation, inspiration and experiences of the renowned playwright and theatre artist himself. Some of the important productions of Bratyajon are Ruddhasangeet, Canvasser, Byomkesh, Chiro Kumar Sobha, Cinemar Moto and Ke?. An important activity of the group is to organize an annual theatre festival, Bratyajon Natya Aayojan. Bratyajon confers Bishnu Basu Smriti Puroskar in the loving memory of the late Bishnu Basu and also organizes Bishnu Basu Memorial Lectures.




BASKET OF DOLLS

The Play

It is for children to play with dolls. In this play a girl Luwangbi and her friend play with their dolls called Thoinu and Luwangba. The play reflects the culture, politics and violence against women of the region. The dolls enact an old story which was a conspiracy hatched between the Burmese army and prince Koirengba who forcibly wants to marry a beautiful married woman called Thoinu. Luwangba, Thoinu’s husband who is the protagonist of the play dies heroically and honorably in the battle. Their small son is buried alive in order to check the overflowing water in the spate of flood. The masquerade gang of Koringba is unable to preserve the chastity of Thoinu. The play shows the courage and patriotism of the Meitei women (Manipuri women). It concludes metaphorically with a belief that if the dolls are not properly kept in their place, they appear in dreams, crying and weeping.

 Director’s Note

This play deals with the situation after the historical event of the battle of Manipur and Myanmar. We say that children reflect the society in their activity and the games they play. In this play, children play with their dolls in which they put up the socio-economic, cultural and political issues that they see in their daily life. The dolls represent the characters and the basket represents the society metaphorically.

The play also attempts to show the condition of the people, crime against women and children at the time of war as well as the power game in the society. This power play is happening since the reign of Kings. Through this power they treat people brutally. Women and children are the worst affected. Nowadays, the armed men are in power. They exercise their power according to their will. Koirengba symbolizes the man in power. In the children’s game, the way the doll is discarded after the play, so is Thoinu, who is raped brutally, and discarded by the gang of Koirengba.

The play shows us the effect of war on children. Today children, who are the pillars of the nation, are gradually getting trapped into the inhuman situation. They are losing their feelings, hope in humanity and their peace of mind, which is not a good sign for the future. The original text has been edited heavily and made concise. It has been put together in a symbolic and stylized form with the help of music and choreography, sustaining the whole essence of the original text.

The Director

Oasis Sougaijam has worked with different theatre directors and choreographers. He has been trained in Manipuri Martial Arts for five years under the guidance of Chingtham Ranjit and also in Manipuri folk dance under the guidance of Nameirakpam Tiken Singh.

He graduated from National School of Drama (NSD) in 2014 with the specialization in Theatre Techniques & Design. During the course of National School of Drama he assisted prominent theatre directors of India and abroad.

 The Playwright

R.K. Leingaklembi is a well known playwright, poet and social activist. She writes both stage and radio plays. Her radio play Ibengi Tampakta Lotluro received National award of all Indian competition. Leingaklembi’s plays attempt different themes working mainly for the weaker section and natural environment. Her play Laidhi Lubak (Basket of Dolls) has been staged at different theatres and has also been made into a movie. She was a junior fellow of Ministry of Culture Govt. of India. As a social activist she works for woman empowerment and to help unrest in the society.

 The Group

This play is being presented as part of the National School of Drama’s Graduate Showcase (Class of 2014), which aims to provide a platform for emerging theatre practitioners, while allowing them to share their work with a wide audience.




Jadubangsho

The Play

Jadubangsho boldly faces the problems of a tumultuous time. The time is the independent India in the 1950’s, with Bengal cut in two- trying to survive the severing of old ties of languages, lives and love. Jadugopal’s business flourishes in North Calcutta, but he is easygoing and childish. His wife Nandorani blames his laidback attitude for the fact that they are still without a child. She devotes all her time to rituals in a hope that an heir is born, even though both husband and wife are way past their prime. With them stay Jadu’s brother Narugopal who is a Jatra proprietor, rendered out of work because of the violence and restrictions that came with partition and Fagun, an employee’s daughter from East Pakistan who has taken shelter from the mayhem all around.  Dhurjoti, a distant relative of Jadugopal looks like a perfect gentleman, but is a thief unlike Sanai who though jailed for robbery, is not a thief. The two meet one night when a group of refugees are looking for a lost child.

 Director’s Note

The borders drawn in 1947 ripped not only across geographic terrain but deliberately tore people on the basis of religion, tearing individual from individual, threatening to wipe out the bonds of love and caring we shared since the beginning of time. Independence came to Bengal demanding labels. People were displaced, terrorised and killed. An entire generation was brutalized.

This play does not really focus on the anger and agony that Partition brought. It focuses on human relationships and the urgent need for communal harmony, a bonding across economic and social strata, a sense of belonging on which can grow a healthy sense of nationhood without religious considerations of any kind. More people are killed in the name of religion than anything else. As Jean Paul Sartre would have said Religion has proved to be a “costly hypothesis”.

The production is also keyed to that…the stage is uncluttered and we go less for period sets, more for authentic thoughts and feelings that are often obscured by political propaganda. My characters (as varied as the birds on a tree) dominate with their backgrounds, their beliefs, their interactions…The music refers briefly to the sentiments of the time but the theme music rolls in and out constant, unbroken like the tune that binds all together.

 The Director and the Playwright

Manoj Mitra is the president of the Paschimbanga Natya Akademi (Govt. of West Bengal), and Sundaram. His professional career began as a professor of Philosophy at the Ranigunj College. Today he is a leading playwright of Bengal. He has till date written over a hundred plays like Mrityur Chokhe Jal, Sajano Bagaan, Parabas, Alokanandar Putra Kanya, Mesh O Rakhash, Noisho Bhoj, Operation Bhomragar etc. His works have been translated into many languages and produced by directors like Ratan Thiyam, Rajinder Nath and others. They are extremely popular in Bangladesh, America, Australia, England and other places.  He has written several books on film and theatre and is the recipient of many awards like, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Calcutta University Award, Bengali Stage Centenary Award, State Government Award, Filmfare Award for Best actor, Bangavibhushan Award etc.

The Group

Dedicated to the theatre of conscience, a tireless seeker of truth and beauty in all its forms –‘Sundaram’ was found in 1957 by a handful of college friends. The founder members of the group are: Manoj Mitra, late Partha Pratim Chaudhury, Prasanta Bhattacharya, Dulal Ghosh and others. Soon many more came to be associated with the group. At 58 with many new members Sundaram has a history of over 65 immensely popular original productions. To meet the paucity of original scripts in Bengali, for the last 23 years, the group has been conducting the only annual Bengali playwriting competition– ‘Parthapratim Sarane Smriti Purashkar’. It has also launched two awards for children and backstage artists- Ananta &Ashim Purashkar.

Touring India and abroad Sundaram has won many, national and state-level, governmental and non-governmental awards and has, more importantly, won the support of countless theatre lovers.




Tughlaq

The Play

Tughlaq is a play about the turbulent rule of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq. The protagonist, Mohammad bin Tughlaq, had great ideas and a grand vision, but his reign was an abject failure. Tughlaq was known for his reformist ideas, one of which was shifting the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad in order to have a capital that is in the centre of his province. This play covers the consequences that followed this decision. The play dramatically highlights the importance of credibility and authenticity for a leader.  The play outlines his clever plots to eliminate his opponents and ends with scenes of utter chaos and misery in the kingdom, and Tughlaq being left alone, having been abandoned by those who survived him.

 

Director’s Note

Tughlaq is a political play. Mohammad is more about power than about an individual. Therefore the structural difference between the individual Mohammad and the political Mohammad is crucial. When Power undergoes conflict, lying within an idealistic false consciousness, the notion of nation is abandoned. The conflict between duty and the political ambition of Mohammad makes life difficult for the masses, and the very foundations of the imagination of a nation are forsaken. The play Tughlaq, analyses the various dimensions of ‘how’ or ‘what’ a ruler should or should not be. It is this contemporarily relevant idea that we should gather from the play than mere history.

 

The Director

Dr. Samkutty Pattomkary is a freelance director, designer and technical trainer in theatre. Formerly, an executive member of the Kerala Sangeet Natak Academy, Government of Kerala. Some of his plays as a script writer include Bheemaparvam , Deepra Thamas (Illuminated Darkness),  Urubhanga Sangodom  etc. As a director, he has been associated with many plays like, Kaalam Sakshi, Andha Yug, Ghatakarpparanma, Anth Nahin, Mahachaitra, Yeshodhare, Medea etc.  He has also designed more than 350 amateur/professional theatre and dance productions in Kerala with many leading directors from Kerala and abroad. In cinema, Dr. Pattomkary has acted for the documentary film Nayanarude Katha, worked as Director for the documentary film From Hutment Colonies to Agricultural Land and as an Art Director for movies like Mankolangal and English film Tantra. Dr. Pattomkary has received many awards, some of them being, Bank men’s Art Director Award, G. Sankara Pillai Endowment Award, Thoppil Bhasi Director Award (KPAC) and School of Drama Silver Jubilee Award.

 The Playwright

Girish Raghunath Karnad (born 19 May 1938) is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, actor and movie director in Kannada language. For four decades, Karnad has been writing plays, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues. His plays have been translated into many Indian languages and directed by eminent theatre personalities like Ebrahim Alkazi, B.V. Karanth, Alyque Padamsee, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Satyadev Dubey, Vijaya Mehta, Shyamanand Jalan and Amal Allana. He is active in the world of Indian cinema working as an actor, director, and screenwriter. He is a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award. He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.

 The Group

‘Samudaya’ established in 1974, is a pioneer cultural organization. Some of its prominent proscenium plays are, Maxim Gorky’s Thayi (Mother), Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena’s Kuri, P. Lankesh’s Sankranthi , H.S. Shivaprakash’s Mahachaitra , Kattale Daari Dura an adaptation of Chekov’s ‘Ward No. 6’, Mahaswetha Devi’s Rudaali and Neeru, K.P. Poornachandra Thejaswi’s Jugari Cross, Suttikondare Sarpa a Kannada adaptation of Ibsens’ Enemy Of The People etcThe group has also produced many street plays like Patre Sangappana Kole, Kooli Thangi, Belchi, Bhanvri Devi, Tippu, Kesari Bili Hasiru, Meravanige, Dhanvantri Chikitse etc. as a cultural protest pertaining to the contemporary issues of the nation. In addition to the plays, Samudaya has been active in conducting seminars, book releases and national festivals too.




C SHARP C BLUNT

The Play

Meet Shilpa, an attractive, interactive and user-friendly mobile phone application that has been projected to be the most popular mobile applications of 2013. Created, incorporating the latest technology, Shilpa will sing for you – in the flesh. She will sing what you want to hear in her sugary and husky voice, and shake her hips when you want her to, dancing to your favourite tune. Best of all, she behaves exactly the way women are supposed to behave in the eyes of men; that is, until the next update is released.

C Sharp C Blunt is the latest offering by Germany’s, Flinntheater, in an Indo-German collaboration that explores the realms of digital dramaturgy, repetition and user choices to create a new hybrid form of theatre-meets-performance art.

Director’s Note

Our team comprises of working women in the entertainment/art industry today and we felt the need to say something about its limits for women, the small sexisms, the twisted images we have to battle and the glass ceilings – but we wanted to do it in an entertaining and satirical way. This play has been devised from the realm of our shared experiences, but certainly lays more focus on the experiences of women performers in India than in Germany. Swar Thounaojam, Ritu Bhattacharya and Irawati Karnik contributed to this play in different ways, but the centre was certainly Pallavi and the disparate worlds she occupies in one day. I consider myself more of a frame worker than a director in the classical sense. I am interested in performers that have a need to express a certain issue. I try to frame this issue and give it an exciting and contemporary form that the audience would like to watch and engage in. We had nothing, but some secondary text material, when we started. About five lines from Donna Haraway’s, A Cyborg Manifesto made it into the play. But the rest of our script is based on wild improvisations and after a while some ideas, scenes and performance oriented moments prevail. Then we had to weave this into a performance that had logic in recurring themes, symbols and ideas as well as an energetic dramaturgy, that would keep the audience engaged although they are not following a linear narrative.
As technology and the media shape the way we perceive and interact with the world, I like to reflect this in my theatre. The concept of user inputs and user choices has been intriguing me for a while because it is contradictory to the theatre set up, where there is a group of people instead of only one user. It is an experiment, all I can say is: Come and use the App and ‘C’ for yourself.

The Director

Sophia Stepf lives in Berlin and has an MA in Dramaturgy for Theatre and Media from Leipzig and Toronto. She has been involved in theatre for the past fifteen years, as a director, dramaturge, critic and scout and is the Artistic Director of the company, Flinntheater that has produced acclaimed performances with writers and performers from India and Nigeria. Her play India Simulator won several awards in Germany and her documentary play A Small Small World travelled to Dhaka, Bangalore, Bremerhaven and Hamburg. Her new play The Power Play was invited to Lagos/Nigeria in December 2012..

The Group

Flinntheater Company was found in 1992 in Kassel /Germany and has produced and co-produced seventeen plays. Since 2007, the sisters Sophia and Lisa Stepf are the artistic directors of the group and work with professional teams of actors, writers and musicians. Since 2009, their productions take up globally relevant issues and are devised with the input of writers, performers and musicians from countries, like India, Bangladesh and Nigeria. Flinntheater has an education branch too and puts up its productions for schools and young people. Flinntheater was awarded the art award of the city of Kassel and the culture award of the Dr.-Wolfgang-Zippel-Foundation. The play, India Simulator (2009) has won several awards. The group has toured India, Bangladesh, Germany and Nigeria with its productions.




Inna Ki Awaaz by Syed Asghar Wajahat

The Play & Director’s Note

Inna Ki Aawaz is political satire based in an imaginary country where the king is a tyrant. Inna is a common man employed in the construction of a new palace for the king. He has got a melodious voice, all the workers, masons gather around him to listen his magical singing. He becomes so popular amongst lower strata of the kingdom that king feels threatened by him

The play Inna ki Aawaaz deals with the individual’s hidden tendencies both at political & social level. How an individual overplays the tricks to save his power, how important it becomes for him to suppress the voice of opposition.

The effective plan is not to finish the existence but to create such a situation where these voices are diverted and never find their way out.

It resembles a lot with contemporary political scenario where one’s supremacy includes the opposition to play safe, and after its utilization, is disposed off.

Secondly, it directs to the tendency of an individual, who after attaining one certain position forgets his own landscape and gets addicted to the facilities provided.

And this uncertainty leaves him somewhere near nowhere.

The Director

Shyam Kumar Sahani started his theatre journey from his group ‘Theatre Unit’ and later moved to Begusarai where he worked with ‘Akashganga Rangchaupal’. He has acted in Andha Yug, Andher Nagari, Panchlight, Godan, Kafan, Macbeth, Civilization on Trial etc. His directrial ventures include Papa Kho Gaye, Bas Aakar Chale Jana, Aaj Ka Hatimtai, Faans etc. He has worked as designer in many plays and has also done Art Direction for TV serials.

 The Playwright

Syed Asghar Wajahat, popularly known as Asghar Wajahat born July 5, 1946 is a Hindi scholar, fiction writer, novelist, playwright, an independent documentary filmmaker and a television scriptwriter, who is most known for his work, ‘Saat Aasmaan’ and his acclaimed play, Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya O Janmyai Nai, based on the story of an old Punjabi hindu woman, who gets left behind in Lahore after the partition and then refuses to leave.

He has published five collections of short stories, six collections of plays, street plays and four novels.

The Group

This play is being presented as part of the National School of Drama’s Graduate Showcase (Class of 2014), which aims to provide a platform for emerging theatre practitioners, while allowing them to share their work with a wide audience.




Chanakya by Mihir Bhuta

The Play

Chanakya brings to life the great visionary and statesmen, Chanakya, but in a modern context. Realizing the threat of invasion and conquest and equally driven by the desire to improve the condition of his kingdom, Chanakya decided that it was imperative to create an authority figure who could rule the subcontinent as well as the hearts of his subjects. It was because of his brilliant manoeuvers and the integrity of his intentions that the cruel rule of the Nandas ended and was replaced by the Mauryan Empire, marking the beginning of a new era in Indian history.

The second version of Chanakya was started immediately after the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai and its first show was dedicated to the memory of martyr Constable Tukaram Umbale.

 Director’s Note

Internal discord, external threat, polluted politics and the despicable corruption of public servants – Was this the scenario in the times of Chanakya? Or are these just the headlines of today’s newspaper? The fabric of our once magnificent society has corroded from within and without, and we are plagued by the decay of morality and social consciousness. Only the austerity and selfless commitment of Chanakya’s thoughts and concepts can rebuild this society and restore it to its previous glory. This play is our modest attempt to look into the past and to present an opportunity for introspection for society and its leaders.

The Director

Manoj Joshi has been an actor on stage, in television and in films for the last twenty five years. His work includes performances in television serials like Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka, Damini, Kehta Hai Dil, Yeh Meri Life Hai, and others; and films like Aan –Men At Work directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, Jaago directed by Mehul Kumar, and Devdas directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. His work on stage includes Hindi plays like Chanakya, Rageela Re, Golmaal Pyar Ka, and Gujarati plays Suryavanshi, Doctor Tamhe Pann, Gandhi Virrudh Gandhi, among others.

Playwright

Mihir Bhuta is a well known playwright of theatre from Gujarat. He has to his credit more than fifteen plays such as Atank, Atmas and Shapath. He has won ‘Best Writer’s’ Trophy in the full length play competition organized by the Abhiyan Magazine and the ‘Best Script of the Decade’ award for Chanakya by the Gujarat Government. He has written for Gujarati, Marathi and Hindi television serials such as Khel, Aakaashpeltana and Chauraha. He has also written for films like Tore Aanchi Ki Chaiyaa Tale and Shortkut. Mr. Bhuta is also a member of the Committee for Awards for Gujarati Films; has designed and runs the Gurjari Channel and the Sankraman Studio as Creative Director.

The Group

‘Manoj Joshi Creations’ started its production of Gujarati and Hindi plays and theatre activities in 1995. The prime objective of the group is to promote theatre artists, youth and other aspirants. Some of the group’s major productions include Rangeelo, Ghasiram Kotwal, Rangeela Re and Shobha Yatra. In 2008 it produced three one-act plays, Chhoti Si Kahani Se, with amateur actors to promote inter-collegiate theater activities; and in 2009 it revived the Hindi historical Chanakya.




DU and ME by Shrirang Godbole & Vibhawari Deshpande

The Play

As we all know, we live in a jet age. This is an era of connection, exchanging and growing beyond geographical boundaries and that has brought about a great deal of cultural crossovers, amalgamation and conflicts.

Uday, Uma, their daughter Radha and grandmother Aaji live in a typical Maharashtrian urban upper middle class family. Uma is presumably a free modern mother who believes that her daughter needs western exposure. Hence, she enrols Radha in a student exchange program between Berlin and Pune. Deshpande family welcomes Boris Seidler- a young boy from Berlin, Germany through this exchange program.

Du and मी, deals with this in a very light hearted manner. The play talks about all the bittersweet, amusing, disturbing and alarming moments, such a cultural contrast might bring out. It also says that two people from across the globe can cross over all the socio-cultural boundaries and connect with each other when they talk a language of love.

 Director’s Note

Grips Theatre, Berlin and Maharashtra Cultural Centre, Pune has a long collaborative association. It started in 1986 when Max Mueller Bhavan and Theatre Academy, Pune collaborated to produce the first Grips play Chhan Chhote Vaitta Mothe. Since then this theatre movement has strengthened over the years. With more than 1500 shows of 13 productions in the last 26 years, it is one of the strongest Children and Youth theatre movements in India.

During the 25th Year celebrations in 2012, when Grips Theatre founder Volker Ludwig and his team visited India, an idea of “Author Project” was struck upon.

Author Project is a novel concept where both Indian and German Grips writers are working upon a “common script”. Michael Flucht, the then director of Max Mueller Bhavan initiated the Author project in which Shrirang Godbole & Vibhawari Deshpande from India and Lutz Huebner from Germany collaborated. A common text of the play Du & Me (You and Me) evolved through interactions and improvisations with artists in Germany and India. This play is first being performed in Marathi in Pune. It will be performed in Berlin by Grips actors February 2014. It is for the first time that a common text is being performed by both the theatres.

The Playwrights & Directors

Shrirang Godbole: Actor, writer, director and lyricist in theatre, films and television has been associated with ‘Theatre Academy’ and ‘Maharashtra Cultural Centre’ for more than 35 years. He has written both mainstream and experimental plays. He is a writer-director for GRIPS plays since 1986.

Vibhawari Deshpande: Actor, writer, director in theatre, television and films, has been associated with GRIPS theatre movement through ‘Maharashtra Cultural Centre’ for more than 25 years. She has written & directed 8 plays till date.

Lutz Huebner (Co-writer): Is an Award winning contemporary playwright from Germany. His work has been translated into over 10 languages and has been staged around the world. He is an immensely respected theatre personality all over Europe.

 The Group

‘Maharashtra Cultural Centre’ is a public charitable trust based in Pune since 1965, devoted to the promotion of performing arts mainly Drama, Music and Dance for the last 49 years. The centre has two intimate experimental auditoria at Pune named- ‘Sudarshan Rangmanch’ & ‘Jyotsna Bhole Sabhagruha’ which now have become a hub for theatre activities.

The multifarious cultural activities of the Centre are – Production of experimental & GRIPS plays, seminars and workshops in performing arts, Indian classical music and dance lessons and film and art appreciation workshops.

 

Co-writer:                                                      Lutz Huebner

Written & directed by:                                 Shrirang Godbole, Vibhawari Deshpande




Ma Aak Nirvik Soinik by Koushik Kar

The Play

A mother is a woman. She gives birth to a new life, which is why she cannot take away a life. Maybe for this reason, there is no woman-martial group worldwide. Men fight and exhibit their strength and power and rule over the world. They willingly dedicate their youth to mass slaughtering and cherish the crude political gamble. The mother is the only loser in this whimsical primitive game as she has to empty her lap every time.

Anaturi is one such mother who tries to inflict in her only son, Kohen, the seed of the eternal virtue of love. It is her continuous fight to protect her son under the warmth of her safe apron strings from the ill-effects of war-loving King Bumbujang or against the shimmering of sharp weapons of the Souramati King. It is a war pledged against war.

 Director Note

A warring world. Since the very dawn of creation, man has existed by applying only his strength and power. The entire world becomes afflicted towards establishing the rule of the most powerful and the mighteous. The state power is not only the sole origin of this exhibiting warring nature. This love for power & violence gets infected in every man, in every child.  For of this millennium through the game of blood and war like Max Paine, Prince of Persia or Contra video games or to relish over the blood smeared screen and rejoice over killing, as in WWF Action TV shows.  As the child grows up, his addiction to taste blood and violence also grows. This greed thrashes him into dirty politics in schools, colleges, which calls for inter country quarrels in the guise of narrow patriotism and thus nationalism culminates into nasty terrorism.Here, in my play, there is the story of a mother who struggles all-out to keep her only war-loving son away from the deadly weapons and bloodshed and imbibes the value of eternal love.Mother is a woman and she alone can give birth to a child. When a life is lost in war, it is only a mother’s lap that becomes void.

But at times, a mother needs to pick up arms in her hand to establish the virtue of love and mercy at the cost of giving up precious gem that is her only son. It is a war waged against war, a war to establish eternal love against crude violence.My play is dedicated to mothers world-wide who have lost their sons in war. A mother is actually ‘a fearless warrior’.

The Director & Playwright

Koushik Kar has been a theatre personality with over 12 years of experience as an actor and director. He is known for being a keen planner, strategist and implementer ensuring successful management of operations in theatre. His time- centric approach is coupled with a flair for executing production. He has been the Founder–President of Kolkata Rangeela’He essayed many important roles in major productions of Yuganata, Rann, Minerva Sangskriti Charchakendra and Nirnoy. He was honoured with Best Director Award for Terrorist andDour.

The Group

‘Kolkata Rangeela’ was founded last year under the leadership of Koushik Kar. It launched its first production, Ma Aak Nirvik Soinikwith the unveiling of its logo by the eminent theatre personality, Bibhash Chakraborty.

The organisation is ready for shouldering the responsibilities of offering a new focus on the Total Quality Theatre. While trying to fulfill the objectives of entertainment, education and information, it would pay special attention towards developing the thought process of the theatre workers and audience.

Playwright & Director           Koushik Kar