Balasubramanian G’s Play: Thoothukudi Massacre 13

Dramaturge & Director: Balasubramanian G
Group: NSD Diploma Production, New Delhi
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hr

The Play
The play aims to give voice to the dramatic event of Tuticorin Massacre and how non-democratic practices thrive, law and order deteriorates, the high-handedness of military and security forces prevails, and the common man’s life loses meaning. The play begins with the scene of protest against environmental pollution caused by a factory. The police resorts to baton charge and starts shooting at the unarmed innocent people. The play inevitably invites the audience to identify the hypocrisy of the so-called civilization in the contemporary world. The play also portrays the politics of atrocity and its ultimate purpose of acquiring power and wealth by exploiting and sacrificing the common people, who do not even understand the purpose for which they fight and die. The authoritarian body of the state and factory officials justifies this slaughter of democracy in the name of action against injustice. The people who are killed are neither the perpetrators of injustice, nor are they aware of the injustice. By showing how the authority and the management justify this massacre of innocents, the play tries to project the ambitions of the global powers to assimilate wealth and resources, and how these ambitions are realized through wars, neo-imperial political treaties and so on. The competing forces among the global powers work together but from different directions and for the same target – towards the ultimate and complete exploitation of the resources and territories of the people. Almost always, history has repeated itself in this way all around the world.

Director’s Note
The play centres on the brutal killing of unarmed innocent civilians in Tuticorin who were murdered for protesting against the toxic Sterlite Copper plant factory. The government itself seems to have ignored rules on the use of force to quash protests by firing at the heads of protesters rather than their legs. The government killed its own people without any mercy.  This shows the fascist dictatorship mentality of the so-called democratic country. The greatest political invention of mankind is nothing but democracy. It enables for the people to regulate their leaders and to overthrow them without the need for a revolution. Collecting and documenting the data from the newspaper articles about those who became the victim of this protest against the Sterlite Copper plant factory, the play is a documentary theatre form with fictional elements. The play provokes questions in the mind of common people who believe in democracy. Who ordered the policemen to fire on the protestors? Why were highly advanced weapons used to disperse the crowd and under what law was this permitted?  Why was no warning given before the firing? Is it really a ‘democratic’ country?

The Director & Dramaturge
Balasubramanian G is a director, designer and dramaturge. He is also an actor, light-designer, set-designer, sound designer and projection designer. He holds a Diploma in Dramatic Arts, with Theatre Technique and Design as specialization from the National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi, India, M.P.A. in Theatre Arts and B. Tech. in Electrical and Electronics from Pondicherry University, and Film Appreciation Course from FTII, Pune. He has participated in many theatre workshops in New Delhi, Goa and Pondicherry.

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 Snigdha Mondal, Suman Purthy, Melodi Dorcas, Jitu Rabha, Manoj Kumar Tapar, Sayan Sarkar, Boomisutha Das, Somnath Chatterjee

Set and Lights Sarthak Narula
Sound and Video Saras Kumar Namdeo
Music Marthandan, Abhishek, Prerna
Guitarist Raman Kakkar, Sounak Karmakar
Costume Boomisutha Das
Properties Suman Purthy, Snigdha Mondal
Stage Manager Harishankar Ravi
Video Guidance Sourov Poddar
Poster & Brochure Vishala R Mahale
Translation Vishala R Mahale
Carpentry Jiyual Hassan, Rizwan Ahmad
Sound Sourov, Ahsan

Dramaturgy & Direction Balasubramanian G

Balasubramanian G
No.11, I-Block
Thiogue Mudaliar Nagar, Mudaliarpet
Puducherry, India – 605004
M: +91 7291001102

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

Maya K. Rao’s Play: Loose Woman

Playwright & Director: Maya Krishna Rao
Group: Vismayah, Delhi
Language: English
Duration: 1 hr 15 mins

The Play
Loose Woman is about the travels of a woman – into and out of herself. To make this show, a performer, a video & sound designer, and a singer, through a series of improvisations, ‘looked for her’ in different places, in different manifestations. The stories that emerged were given an episodic form. They each stand alone, though a loose thread connects them all. We see her at home getting ready for office and then, on a whim, stepping out of her cab and disappearing altogether. In ‘Dancer’ she discovers what it means to not walk the straight and narrow but to ‘side-step’. ‘The Line’ jolts her into the realization of how precious her own looseness really is. And so on…
She looks for, she muses, she discovers the possibilities of ‘looseness’ in her life – of new directions she can create. The very ground beneath her seems to shift when she reacts with objects and characters from the world around her. She rediscovers her own mother. Even Gandhi enters her universe.
With humour, yet serious introspection, Loose Woman has been conjured, coaxed and driven by different mediums – theatre, sound, dance and the camera. Of course, the underlying reference here is to the heavy irony in the throwaway expression ‘loose woman’, whose application is rampant in a skewed familial and social setting crafted by just one sex.
For the purposes of this show, though, she’s not loose enough….not yet!

Director’s Note
Way back in 2002, I had made a show called A Deeper Fried Jam. In trying to recreate it, I found myself veering towards this woman – the ‘loose woman’. Possibly, it’s the sign of our times – it is by looking through a woman’s gaze that we see, in sharp relief, currents and under currents at play in society. The one person who carried over from the 2002 show is Gandhi – he seems to have travelled over the years and found a firm place in the ‘loose woman’s’ universe. This performance derives in its entirety from improvisations with a guitar player and a singer. Musically too, we wanted to keep it open – traverse a range of musical references – from rock to blues to sounds closer home. For each show we change the mix of episodes, to keep her fresh and alive.

The Director & Playwright
Maya Krishna Rao is a theatre artist and teacher. Her shows range from dance-theatre to cross media collaborations to comedy. She is her own performer, writer and director. Some of her celebrated performances are, Khol Do, The Job, A Deeper Fried Jam, Heads are Meant for Walking Into and Ravanama. Walk was created in response to the horrific gang rape in a moving bus and eventual tragic death of Jyoti Singh in 2012. Her latest, Loose Woman, are explorations of the extents to which a woman can stretch and redefine herself.

The Group
Vismayah was founded in 1993 under the chairpersonship of Shri P.N. Haksar, diplomat and iconic policy maker. On a regular basis Vismayah attempts to create new theatre, drawing upon our traditions of dance, music and the other arts. Among it’s celebrated productions are Khol Do, A Deep Fried Jam, Heads are Meant for Walking Into, Are You Home, Lady Macbeth? and Ravanama. Vismayah also works in the area of education, conducting workshops for teachers and students on drama as a methodology of education. Vismayah performances have travelled to various places, both across the world and in India and have been received with critical acclaim.

Cast & Credits
Performer Maya Krishna Rao

Sound design Sumant Balakrishnan,
Video design Santana Issar
Lights Sujay Saple
Costume Pratima Pandey

Concept, Creation
& Direction Maya Krishna Rao

Director, Vismayah
A 30 Friends Colony East
New Delhi- 110065
Ph: 011-41058951
M: +91 9818324311


William Shakespeare’s Play: Richard III

Playwright: William Shakespeare
Director: Guy Roberts
Group: Prague Shakespeare Company, Czech Republic
Language: English
Duration: 2 hrs 50 mins

The Play
Shakespeare’s conclusion to his epic Wars of the Roses chronicles, Richard III is a riveting portrayal of the politics of power, both personal and political, at their most devious and bloody. Deformed in body and spirit, this depraved madman is obsessed with becoming King of England. Does he fall? Of course, but not before he has taken all of us on his wickedly entertaining ride. Jealous and crippled, Richard of Gloucester murders his brothers, nephews, and any opposition to become King Richard III. In the end, Henry of Richmond raises an army, kills Richard in battle, and becomes King Henry VII.

Director’s Note
Like Richard eating away at anyone in his path, the play Richard III gnaws on our global consciousness. It is a story that plays out time and time again, and, if anything, has become even more relevant now, over four hundred years after it was written, with corrupt leaders doing absolutely anything to achieve and maintain power. I am excited to present a new production of this timely play supported by the exciting and dynamic multi-national artists we have assembled for this special event. PSC is continental Europe’s only professional English-language Shakespeare company, employing artists from across Europe, Asia and North America, by bringing together a group of artists from many different cultural sensibilities. We are able to come together, united by the words of William Shakespeare, as we explore the deep resonances this play brings out concerning national identity, politicians, corruption, honor, duty and the extreme measures, people – both good and bad, will push themselves to in their ambitious climb to the heights of power.

The Director
Guy Roberts is the Founding Artistic Director of Prague Shakespeare Company (PSC). Guy won the 2018 Best Actor Houston Theatre Award for his performance of the Poet in An Iliad. Guy has been awarded the TG Masaryk Medal of Honor from the Masaryk Democratic Movement in recognition for his work promoting arts and artistic freedom, and the inaugural Sidney Berger Award from the Shakespeare Theatre Association in recognition of his outstanding talent and dedication to the works of William Shakespeare. His award-winning work as actor, director and producer has been seen in over 200 productions in the US, Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, India, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Qatar and Egypt and has been honored with multiple awards and over 100 US theatre award-nominations for Best Actor, Director and Production.

The Playwright
William Shakespeare was a renowned English poet, playwright, and actor born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare was a prolific writer during the Elizabethan and Jacobean ages of British theatre (sometimes called the English Renaissance or the Early Modern Period). Shakespeare’s works include 38 plays, 2 narrative poems, 154 sonnets, and a variety of other poems.

The Group
Based in Prague, Czech Republic, the award-winning Prague Shakespeare Company presents professional theatre productions, workshops, and other theatrical events of the highest quality, conducted primarily in English by a multinational ensemble of professional theatre artists, with an emphasis on the plays of William Shakespeare. Celebrating its 12th year, PSC has entertained, enriched, enlightened and inspired students and audiences not only in the Czech Republic but in India, United States, Hungary, France, Egypt, Qatar, Netherlands and elsewhere around the world.

Cast & Credits
Richard Duke of Gloucester/King Richard III Guy Roberts
Queen Elizabeth Jessica Boone/Lady Anne Deputy High Commissioner Jan Thompson, OBE
Edward IV Lane Davies
Buckingham Scott Bellefeuille
Richmond/Henry VII Taylor Napier
Clarence/Catesby Jeff Smith
Margaret Abigail Rice
Duchess of York Julie Josephson
Hastings/Lord Chamberlain John Poston
Archbishop Robert Orr
Lord Rivers Dan Brown
Lord Grey Stanislav Callas
Lord Stanley Bob Boudreaux
Tyrrel Vanessa Gendron
Ratcliffe Grant Podelco
Sir Robert Brackenbury/Keeper of the tower David Fisher
Princess Elizabeth Natassia Bustamente
Prince Edward Julian Bellefueille

Light Designer Premysl Janda
Costume Designer Eva Bellefeuille
Hair & Make-up Designer Eva Nyklickova
Stage Manager Eric Sammons
Assistant Stage Manager Kris Ayers

Playwright William Shakespeare
Director Guy Roberts

Director, Prague Shakespeare Company
U Havlickovych Sadu 1531/11, Prague 2,
Czech Republic- 120000
M: +420 776469159

Kevin Duvall and Taylor Brewerton’s Play: Live Nukes

Playwrights & Directors: Kevin Duvall & Taylor Brewerton
Group: The Central Scrutinizers, USA
Language: English
Duration: 1 hr

The Play
When two boorish government lackeys working in a nuclear facility accidentally launch a nuclear weapon into the stratosphere, the chase is on! The mismatched duo’s quest to save the world from nuclear annihilation hurls them from a decrepit bunker, down a sketchy roadside, through the clouds, and down to the very depths of Hell itself. Their journey, of course, culminates in a valiant duel against the king of demons. This critically-renowned screwball comedy has toured across America in 2019, and has been hailed as a “master-class in mime and physical comedy”. Live Nukes! is a truly international play, performed without the use of props, set, or real words of any kind!

Director’s Note
We believe that theatre can be a universal art form. When we began working on what would become Live Nukes!, we set a few strict rules for ourselves in the hope of creating a performance which could be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their native language or national origin. The rules were as follows: no props, no set, and no real words. Chicago is a city of immigrants, and in order to bridge the real gap that exists between the theatre community and Chicago’s very diverse population, we needed to make a comedy which transcended language and culture. In the spirit of silent cinema, tinted with the apocalyptic concerns of our contemporary political climate, we devised a play which, we hope, will poke fun at our increasingly-grim global outlook.

The Directors
Kevin Duvall and Taylor Brewerton are a physical theatre duo who have been collaborating as actors, directors, and writers for over a decade. Together they have developed work in myriad theatrical forms, from a devised farce, to an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s short story The Prophet’s Hair, the high tragedies of Shakespeare and Euripides, environmentalist game shows, and beyond. They have performed at many venues across the United States and Canada. Kevin and Taylor both hold Masters from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. They are honoured to be given the opportunity to present their wordless, absurdist pantomime Live Nukes! at the Bharat Rang Mahotsav.

The Group
The Central Scrutinizers is not a theatre group in the traditional sense, but is an ensemble of a duo, Kevin Duvall and Taylor Brewerton who collaborate on script, performance and direction.

Cast & Credits
Performers & Directors Kevin Duvall & Taylor Brewerton

The Central Scrutinizers
1517 W Hollywood Ave, Chicago, IL
United States- 60660
M: +1 8048373327

Philippe Pelen Baldini’s Play: Vast

Playwright & Director: Phillippe Pelen Baldini
Group: Surya Performance Lab, Auroville (T.N.)
Language: English
Duration: 1 hr

The Play
This is the story of a young boy from Nepal who has been abducted and taken away from his family and home in the Himalayan Mountains. Kidnapped and abused, he now lives in a slum in a big city in India. He is all alone in the world, living stifled in his small room. He tries, day after day, to find in his body a door that opens to the ‘Vast’, a path to his Himalaya, and his own limitless nature, beyond confinement and misery. An encounter with a strange character helps him on his journey. This is the god Hanuman, with monkey and human features, heroic, wise, and full of humour.
Vast is an organic, physical and dance based performance that is hypnotic, emotional and universal. It showcases how the human body carries in itself the memory of the ‘Vast’. How the human body – beyond ruptures, oppression and confinements – has the nostalgia of nature and vastness.

Director’s Note
For the young boy whose childhood and dreams were shattered, the journey from confinement to freedom is a process of reconnection with nature and with himself, without any limitation. In this journey he is helped by Hanuman. Together they reconnect with the ‘Vastness’ they both come from. Hanuman is introduced here as a special character, the symbol of primordial memory. The play proposes a work on the memory of the body.
We are also exploring the relationship between body and the mother-tongue, between body and the ancient mantric poetry, between body and words. We draw upon contemporary dance, theatre, vocal work, and even aerial dance to explore this inner territory between confinement and Vastness. From gravity to weightlessness, it is also an exploration of the body being free in three dimensions, and of its expansion into Vastness.

The Director & Playwright
Born in France, Phillippe Pelen Baldini is the founder of Surya Performance Lab in India. He had earlier founded the International Talipot Theatre in Reunion Island, France. He has created and directed 40 shows with dancers, actors, musicians, and video creators from Africa, India, Europe and territories in the Indian Ocean. His productions have been welcomed at Opera de Paris, Théâtre de la Ville de Paris and well-known festivals in Honk Kong, Singapore, Italy, Brazil and South Africa. He has toured and worked in 82 countries. His shows have received awards in Poland, Scotland, France, Italy and South Africa, among other countries. He also directs workshops worldwide with professional dance companies, universities, townships and communities. He is interested in indigenous culture and has worked a lot with people from different ethnic groups in South Africa including the San communities as well as other different communities.

The Group
Surya Performance Lab is a dance-theatre company based in Auroville, India. In its 50-year long history it has worked with devoted artists and has performed in more than 82 countries. This professional company is directed by Philippe Pelen Baldini and Thierry Moucazambo. The group welcomes dancers, actors, photographers, video designers, painters, etc. from India and all over the world. Surya Performance Lab endeavours to create a bridge between art, science and consciousness. Inspired by the ‘First people’, indigenous cultures, ancient traditions, new discoveries in the field of body-mind consciousness and quantum science, it creates a contemporary expression and art, a new dramaturgy holistic and humanist, open to nature and the planet.

Cast & Credits
Performers                                      Thierry Moucazambo, Gopal Dalami

Light Technician                              Ashwin Ezhumalai

Assistant Director                           Thierry Moucazambo
Director and Choreographer          Philippe Pelen Baldini

Director, Surya Performance Lab
E-4, Sunship Apartments, Auroville, Bommayapalayam,
Tamil Nadu, Auroville, Tamil Nadu 605101
M: +91 8903869078