'Donors' break promise but artistes don't lose heart

(Left) Artistes busy levelling performance platforms for the play ‘Arya- Dravida’ at Kagemanti, near Mandya.  DH Photo

If all had gone according to plan, the Charvaka troupe should have staged the historic ‘Arya-Dravida’ play over ten times, with the play spread over a good 10-hours for every production.

The play has over 5000 years history of India as its central theme and will be staged at Kagemanti (between Mandya and Pandavapura) near Hulikere. The troupe had originally planned to erect three stages at different spots spread across five acres of land on top of a hill.

With the ‘generous donors’ who had initially agreed to contribute for the play, having backed out, there cropped up the most crucial challenge to the play -- that of finance. In any case, this has not affected the spirit of the artistes.

Artistes’ ‘Shramadaan’
When they were faced with huge financial problems, Charvaka didn’t lose heart. ‘We don’t have money; but we have strength to make things work. We will stage the play, no matter what,” says the team.

Accordingly, they are working through the night to give shape to the platforms and sets required for the play.

With this, the team has prepared nomadic society and its counter culture -- the stable one. Modern society is assuming shape with the help of some more artistes now.

Most students who are at various stages of their student life are among the most active ones in this troupe, including M Sc student Prathibha, teacher Satish, Shwetha Rani who is pursuing her course in MSW. Majority of them have barely held crowbar all their lives, let along work on them. With the sole objective of ‘keeping the show on’, they have sacrificed their careers and course till the play sees the light of the day.

Halemane Kuteera

In order to commemorate in a rather meaningful manner, Rangayana Director Lingadevaru Halemane who died recently, a ‘Kuteera’ has been named after him. Halemane had offered great support to the team when it set out rather ambitiously to stage the play.

The team is looking at receiving some monetary support from donors who would want to further the dream of staging the longest stage play in the history of Karnataka theatre.

The last play that enthralled the theatre buffs was that of director Basavalingaiah’s ‘Malegalalli Madumagalu’ which lasted eight hours and was staged on five platforms by Rangayana artistes and other students last year.

Girish Machalli can be contacted at 9901599961. The play is likely to be staged in a month’s time.

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