Tripurari Sharma’s MAYA MEGH

Playwright & Director: Tripurari Sharma
Group: NSD Sikkim Repertory, Gangtok
Language: Nepali
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play
This is a tale which revolves around the life of a couple that leads an ordinary life and bicker incessantly. The wife is depressed about how her life turned out to be and hopes for salvation. One day the God of Death, Yama sends his messengers to inform her that she has only twenty-four hours from now to live, after which she would depart from the earth. The husband grows furious when he learns of this but is later deeply saddened by the news. He gradually realizes how precious his wife is to him. The wife, knowing that her end is near, tries to live her entire life within the span of a day. The play follows how the husband finds ways and means to fight the order of universe and dissuade the God of Death from taking her away.

Director’s Note
The Gond tale, on which the play is based, deals with the ingenuity of a man who wants his wife to live. The story reflects the imagination of a community which places men and Gods in a frame of combat that has reference both in the might of the divine and human behavior. The tale talks of a time when Gods personally came to earth to take a person away at the time of departure from earth. This is also a moment of reckoning, of being born anew and a rediscovery of the world. Set in the midst of mist and clouds, the performance creates a narrative of fantasy. The simple minded clear focus of husband contrasts with that of wife’s emotions oscillating between life and death; and the narrow minded avarice and complacency of others around. The logic that a woman cannot go without her husband’s consent is carried to extreme in order to keep her away from death. The tale with its ambiguity intrigues. The man is both villainous and heroic. The triumph renders possessiveness, tempered with love and integrity, almost a virtue. It was a rare opportunity to explore the tale with the actors of the Repertory Company of Sikkim, NSD. Each moment was full of spirit and delight.

The Director & Playwright
Prof. Tripurari Sharma, born in 1956, is a graduate from Delhi University with Honors in English Literature. She completed her diploma from NSD in 1979 with specialization in Direction. She has written and directed a number of plays and has been associated with several theatre groups throughout the country and abroad. She has written scripts of critically acclaimed films like Mirch Masala and Hazar Chaurasi Ki Maa and has also written and co-directed a few short films on the theme of the adolescent girl child and has been associated with the Street Theatre Movement. Prof. Sharma has travelled with her group to Norway, England and Pakistan and represented India in the first Women Playwright‘s Conference in USA, 1988. She was honored with the Sanskriti Award, Delhi, in 1986 and also by the Delhi Natya Sangh in 1990. In 2013, she was conferred with the Sangeet Natya Akademi Award for her immense contribution in the field of theatre direction. At present, she is a Professor of Acting in the National School of Drama.

The Group
Sikkim Theatre Training Centre is the first centre of the National School of Drama outside Delhi established in the year 2011. Situated in the lush green picturesque valley of Gangtok, the centre offers a year-long extensive training in theatre. In 2012, the centre started its Repertory Company in which students from the previous year’s training program are selected as artists.

Cast& Credits
Maya: Ranjana Manger
Santey: Bikram Lepcha
Bhatti Wala: Tashi Lepcha
Bhatti Wali: Prarthna Chettri
2 Old Women: Pabitra Kri. Gautam, Tila Rupa Sapkota
Yam Doot 1: Satyam Gurung
Yam Doot 2: Buddiman Rai
Yamraj: Tushar Nirala
Pregnant Woman: Chandrika Chettri
Shikari Kancha: Birbal Subba
Old Man: Nitlesh Chhetri
Sabji Wali: Balsrame A Sangma
Jhakri: Birbal Subba
Bhes Dance: Suman Rai / Birbal Subba
Badal: Chandrika Chettri, Prarthna Chettri, Suman Rai, Balsrame A Sangma, Vupen Gurung, , Bhuwan Sharma, Barsha Basu Thakur
Dance: Chandrika Chettri, Tashi Lepcha, Prarthna Chettri, Vupen Gurung, Bhuwan Sharma, Balsrame A Sangma
Villagers: Vupen Gurung, Anil Kr. Manger, Tashi Lepcha,Nitlesh Chhetri, Birbal Subba, Pabitra Kri. Gautam, Prarthna Chettri, Tila Rupa Sapkota, Balsrame A Sangma, Bhuwan Sharma, Barsha Basu Thakur.

Technical in-charge: Goge Bam
Production Coordinator: Lhakpa Lepcha
Stage Manager: Chakra Bdr. Chettri
Light & Set Design: Dipankar Paul
Light Assistant, Execution & Operation: Chakra Bdr Chettri
Set Execution: Tashi Lepcha, Sanjeev Sharma
Costume Design: Anil Kr. Manger
Sound Execution: Nitlesh Chhetri
Assistant: Uttam Gurung
Musicians: Uttam Gurung, Birbal Subba, Subrata Banerjee, NishithMajumdar, Tathagata Banerjee, Partha Sil, Suman Rai, Sayan Chakraborty

Stenography Painting: Dhiraj Pradhan
Poster & Brochure: Sangeet Shrivastava
Choreographer: Kiran Lama
Nepali Translation: Hasta Kr. Chettri
Property Design & Making: Jeewan Limboo
Assistant: Prem Pradhan, Buddiman Rai
Assistant Director: Bikram Lepcha
Associate Director: Vinod Bahadur Rai

Music Director Raghuvir Yadav
Playwright & Director: Tripurari Sharma

Dario Fo & Franca Rame’s THE OPEN COUPLE Director: Sara Zaker

Playwright: Dario Fo & Franca Rame

Director: Sara Zaker

Group: Nagorik Natya Sampradaya, Bangladesh

Language: Bengali

Duration: 1 hr

The Play

The Open Couple, written by Dario Fo and Franca Rame, and adapted by Sara Zaker, is the story of a couple where the husband is having multiple affairs. The wife is going crazy and wants to kill herself each time she discovers her husband’s latest affair with yet another woman. As the play proceeds the husband convinces his wife to accept the concept of an ‘open relationship’. As the story moves on the husband discovers that the wife too has fallen in love with another man. Seeing the wife so happy and in control, makes him very angry and jealous. Now, the husband behaves in the same manner as his wife earlier did i.e. trying to jump off the window of a four-storied building, attempting to shoot himself with a revolver etc. The wife, in turn, now pacifies him and urges him to have a dialogue in exactly the same way he had urged her when she was going crazy. 

Director’s Note

I adapted The Open Couple when my family was going through a crisis. My husband was detected with stomach cancer and was treated for more than six months in a foreign land. I took my mind away from all the side effects he had due to chemotherapy by working on this play. Adapting this play gave me relief from stress. I am primarily a performer so writing feeds the actor in me. Even though it was a trying time for the family, I liked to imagine (as a director) that one day this performance would see the light on stage. Also, as an observer of the society and as an actor-director, I felt it was time we articulated the polygamous relationship that permeates all levels of society.

The Director

Sara Zaker has been active on the stage since 1973 as an actress. She belongs to Nagorik Natya Sampradaya, the foremost theatre group of Bangladesh. She was trained at the British Theater Institute in 1981 for Direction. Some of the noteworthy plays directed by her are Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, Anton Chekhov’s The Sea Gull, and Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s The Open Couple. She is the recipient of Bangladesh’s second highest civilian award Ekushey Padak.

The Playwright

Dario Fo was an Italian actor, playwright, comedian, singer, theatre director, stage designer, songwriter, painter and political campaigner. The Virtuous Burglar, Archangels Don’t Play Pinball, Mistero Buffo, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Can’t Play! Won’t Pay!, Trumpets and Raspberries, Elizabeth: Almost by Chance a Woman, The Pope and the Witch are some of his popular plays. In 1997, Dario Fo received the Noble Prize in Literature.
Franca Rame was an Italian theatre actress, playwright and political activist. She was married to Dario Fo who dedicated his Noble Prize to her. In the 1970s, Rame began writing plays of her own, such as Grasso e Bello! and Tutta Casa.

The Group

Nagorik was established in 1968. It won recognition by the Shilpokala Academy and four of its leading actors Aly Zaker, Ataur Rahman, Abul Hayat and Sara Zaker won the second highest National Award Ekushay Padak for their contribution to theatre. Another member of the group, the present honorable minister for culture Asaduzzaman Noor has been awarded the highest National Award the Shadhinata Padak.

Cast & Credits

On Stage: Sara Zaker, Ziaul Hasan

Team Leader: Aly Zaker

Light Designer: Md. Nasirul Haque

Light Technician: Mir Badal Rahman

Sound Controller &Production In-Charge: Fakhruzzaman Choudhury

Production Assistant: Nima Rahman

Subtitles: Sara Zaker

Assistant: Ruhe Tamanna Labonyo

Stage Manager: Md. Mahfuzur Rahman

Assistant: Mishu Nasreen

Playwright: Dario Fo & Franca Rame

Director: Sara Zaker