Vasant Deo’s Play: Sudama ke Chawal

Playwright: Vasant Deo
Director: Jagdish Sharma
Group: Anveshan Theatre Group, Sagar (M. P.)
Language: Hindi & Bundeli
Duration: 1 hr 10 mins

The Play
Lord Krishna’s friend Sudama Sharma and his wife Savitri are living a difficult life of poverty. Sudama’s wife urges him to go to Dwarka and seek Krishna’s help. Sudama goes to Dwarka. On hearing of Sudama’s arrival, Krishna leaves his throne and runs towards his friend and embraces him. Sudama receives great hospitality in Dwarka and after a while Krishna bids him farewell but without offering any help. Angry Sudama gets back home to find that his hut is transformed into a palace now and his house is filled with riches. On asking his wife as to how this happened, she tells him that Lord Krishna appeared himself and gave them this prosperity. Sudama has many doubts and expresses his distrust. What next…?
The purpose of this play is to convey a contemporary version of the legendary tale, and not to undermine the pleasure that it is supposed to bring you.

Director’s Note
Sudama Ke Chawal is a narrative of the contemporary human situation and is a satire on today’s man, his double standards and polluted mind. The age old tale and its characters have been used only as reference. The protagonist of the play is Krishna who cries at the sight of poor Sudama, his childhood friend. Krishna is an epitome of friendship and his love for Sudama is exemplary. Krishna does not appear on stage but he pervades the play throughout. Sudama of this play is used as a medium to convey the hypocritical human of today. The language of the play is Hindi, blended with Bundeli, and the performance is made richer with the blend of Bundeli folk songs and Dhimaryai, a traditional folk dance.

The Director
Born on 20 Jun 1965, Jagdish Sharma has been active in theatre for more than 25 years. He formed Anveshan Theatre Group in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh in 1992. He has been an actor and director of this group. Some of his popular productions are Andha Yug, Sudama Ke Chawal, Bhagam-Bhag, Aadhe-Adhure etc. Jagdish has worked with the famous film director Shyam Benegal. He has acted in many TV serials and written scripts for a few street plays and the film Acharya.

The Playwright
Prof. Vasant Deo was a teacher by profession and had taught for many years at Bundelkhand University, Jhansi. During this period he wrote scripts in Hindi blended with Bundeli. Sudama Ke Chawal was written sometime in the 90s. Strangely enough, even after a lot of search, his whereabouts today are not known.

The Group
Anveshan Theatre Group was established in Sagar (M.P.) in 1992. In the past 26 years Anveshan has not only produced plays but has also organised many theatre festivals, workshops, seminars and conferences. It has organised production based workshops with renowned thespians like B.V. Karanth, Habib Tanvir, Govind Namdeo, Sunil Sinha, Mukesh Tiwari and Ishtiaq Arif Khan. The group has performed in numerous theatre festivals at Bhopal, Jabalpur, Balaghat, Indore, Ujjain, Khajuraho, Delhi, Chandigarh etc. The artists of Anveshan are now serving in prestigious institutions in different parts of the country. Many of them have established themselves in films, journalism, theatre and other fields.

Cast & Credits
Sudama                            Jagdish Sharma
Savitri                                Deepganga Sahu
Dwarpal 1                         Atul Shrivastava
Dwarpal 2                         Manoj Soni
Dwarpal 3                         Kapil Nahar

Shadow Play                     Nitin Dubey, Rishabh Saini
Folk Songs
& Dance                             Liladhar Raikvaar
Instrumentalists                  Amar Raikvaar, Khemchand Sen, Ranjeet Raikvaar
Scenography                      Rajeev Jat, Satish Sahu
Lights                                 Santosh Dangi, Akash Vishwakarma
Sound                                Praveen Kaimya
Make-up                            Karishma Gupta

Playwright                          Vasant Deo
Direction                            Jagdish Sharma

Anveshan Theatre Group
Sagar (M.P.)
M: +91 9818324311

Saras Kumar Namdeo’s Play: Infinite Walk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saras Kumar Namdeo
M: +91 7898279889

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

Abhishek Garg’s Play: Jadu Mantar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Playwright & Director Abhishek Garg

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

Henrik Ibsen’s Play: Peecha Karti Parchhaiyan

Playwright: Henrik Ibsen
Adapter: Ila Arun
Director: K. K. Raina
Group: Surnai Theatre and Folk Arts Foundation, Mumbai
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hrs 20 mins

The Play
This is an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s controversial play Ghosts which was first staged in 1881 causing quite a stir. This is the story of the family of late Maharaja Kunwar Viraj Bhanu Pratap Singh, whose death is shrouded in mystery, talked of in whispers, and hidden in the inscrutable eyes of his widow, Yashodhara Baisaheb. As the story unfolds, we see the causes of the break-down of families, symbolised in the destruction of the havelis they inhabit. But yet the ghosts of the past cannot be destroyed. The play deals with the issue of domestic violence and suppression of women, whose voices are silenced by tradition and society. The voices of Ibsen’s women, just as the voices of women all over the world, need to be heard.

Director’s Note
Ghost is a family drama that deals with the conflict between generations due to changing human conditions, beliefs and customs which are handed down from one generation to another, thus degenerating the social system that was created to protect and nurture. These beliefs and customs turn into ghosts and keep haunting us in one way or the other. This relationship between past and future can make our present unbearable if not understood and analysed well. Ibsen had said “we sail with a corpse in cargo”. Therefore these ghosts need to be re-examined in the light of each individual’s experience, and socio-political and religious system he is confronted with. If not, the most gifted of society’s future generation will face destruction.

The Director
With over 30 years of experience actor, director and writer, K. K. Raina is a graduate of the National School of Drama, New Delhi. He joined Surnai theatre group as an actor but soon was entrusted with additional responsibility of direction. He has been directing and acting in all its plays since 1983 and is amongst the earliest members of the core group.
He has acted in over three hundred theatrical performances and directed over two hundred fifty shows. He has directed two short T.V. films and has been writing, directing and producing T.V. serials for Kashir Channel independently. He has acted in prime roles in over 30 Bollywood films and continues to do so. In the past he had acted in many T.V. serials.

The Playwright
Henrik Johan Ibsen (20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a Norwegian playwright and theatre director. As one of the founders of modernism in theatre, Ibsen is often referred to as ‘the father of realism’, and one of the most influential playwrights of his time. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, When We Dead Awaken, Rosmersholm, and The Master Builder. He is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare, and by the early 20th century A Doll’s House became world’s most performed play.

The Group
In 1982, Surnai began its journey with the twin objectives of promoting the folk arts of India and staging contemporary plays which are thought-provoking and focus on relevant social issues. In 2016, the group re-established itself under the aegis of its newly-established Surnai Theatre and Folk Arts Foundation. This foundation is committed to the uplift of women, starting with the survival of the girl-child, her literacy, health and the seemingly insurmountable problem of child-marriage and widowhood. The Surnai Foundation, with its focus on folk theatre, puppetry, and traditional story-telling forms like the phad hopes to reach out not only to urban audiences but also to rural platforms to carry these themes to villages in far-flung areas.

Cast & Credits
Yashodhra Baisa                            Ila Arun
Purohitji                                          K. K. Raina
Yuvraj Bana                                    Rahul Bagga
Thomas                                          Rajeev Pandey / Gaurav Amlani
Reena                                            Mia Maelzer

Music Arrangement                       Ila Arun.
Sets & Lights                                 Salim Akhtar
Music Operation                            Sanjoy Daz

Adapted by                                   Ila Arun
Director                                        K K Raina

Director, Surnai Theatre and Folk Arts Foundation
401, Paradise Apts, 7th Road, Santa Cruz East
Mumbai- 700055
M: +91 9820047176

Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry’s Play: Gumm Hai

Director: Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry
Group: The Company Theatre, Chandigarh
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hr 15 mins

The Play & Director’s Note
The play Gumm Hai has been sourced from many references including The Seven Stages of Grieving, a performance text by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman, and Anuradha Kapur’s play Nali Wali Larki.
The story begins with a child going missing in a village, and examines how an inexplicable loss irrevocably changes the dynamics within a family and the community. The varied skeins of narratives were dovetailed to examine and understand grief, loss, death, human affirmation and survival. This play was a way of engaging with the world, dealing with lost memories, and retrieval and archiving of these memories through performance and storytelling. The plays recurring leitmotif follows Pinki, a young girl of eleven who has gone missing from her village for two months. It portrays the broader, more abstract idea of something precious that has been lost, never to return. The narrative follows the experience of ‘everywoman’, chronicling her worldly grief and joys. This devised performance draws from traditional, popular and contemporary cultural practices, resorting fundamentally to the storytelling techniques that include song, dance and real life issues. Loss here is not communicated conventionally, but in an ironical, humorous and irreverent manner. However, despite the stories dealing with a subject that can be considered dark and brooding, the dominant atmosphere is one of affirmation, dance and song and sharing of stories.  The overall tenor is the resilience and strength of the human condition i.e. the instinct for survival.
During the process of putting the play together, we tried to juggle the role of the storyteller, the actor and the social commenter. We made no attempt to preach, judge or invoke any feeling of rancor on either the human or social condition, but to seek a human connection between the personal and the public.
Whenever one develops something new, whether it is an agglomeration of memories, anecdotes, songs, poems or personal or historical experiences, the aim is to uncover or discover the ‘internal logic’ of what appears to be a set of random, disjointed ideas. In this instance, the effort has simply been to tell a story within several stories, all coalesced together, to create a story of one’s own.

The Director
NSD alumnus, Dr. Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry has a master’s degree in the History of Arts. In 1976 she moved to Mumbai where she worked in schools and colleges, doing theatre workshops and children’s theatre. In 1979, she moved to Bhopal and was associated with Rang Mandal, a theatre repertory attached to the multi-arts complex, Bharat Bhavan. In 1984, she came to Chandigarh where she set up her own theatre group, The Company. Along with international teaching assignments, she has also been teaching in the Department of Indian Theatre, Punjab University since 1990. Under her guidance the group has participated in major national and international festivals. Dr. Chowdhry is the recipient of several awards including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Shiromani Bhasa Vibhag, Ford Foundation Award, and the Padma Shri which she received in 2011.

The Group
When Dr. Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry formed her own group, The Company in 1984 in Chandigarh, she was looking for a vocabulary for training urban actors in traditional forms that were available in Punjab. The Naqqal tradition, through which she explored her work, belonged to rural Punjab and did not have a well-developed theatrical tradition in terms of aesthetics, technique and style. By working with the natives for the last twenty-eight years, along with urban actors, a way of working has emerged which combines, through fusion and differences, a new way of looking at history, performance space, image and text. Most of the plays produced by The Company have been translated by the eminent poet Surjit Patar, with music composed by BV Karanth.

Cast & Credits
On Stage                                    Mahesh Saini, Davinder Pal Singh, Surinder Arora, Chaman Lal,                                                               Ambika Kamal, Gursewak, Gurnam

Singer                                        Pamela Singh
Musicians                                  Satnam, Meher Chand, Amarjit, Bhadur Chand, Ram Singh
Light Designer                           Daulat Ram Vaid
Associate Director                     Vansh Bhardwaj

Director                                      Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry

The Company Theatre
H.No. 9 Sector- 4, Chandigarh- 160001
M: 9891186750, 9814202344