Telling tales the modern way

From dramatising the struggle of a common man, to narrating the painful saga of a widow and sketching the biography of a legendary poet, Modern Theatre Festival brings together a slice of classic adaptations from different genres. The festival is an initiative of the Delhi Government to promote theatre among masses.

Organised by Department of Art, Culture and Languages along with Sahitya Kala Parishad, the five day theatre festival will showcase interesting plays namely, Rangbhoomi, Jivito Mrito, Bol Ke Lab Azad Hain Tere, Math ke Raaste Mein Ek Din and Shayar...Shutter Down.

Surendra Sharma’s play Rangbhoomi, based on a novel by Munshi Premchand, will open the festival. Based on the unassailable spirit of the common man, the play will have life playing itself in its arena and in many shapes, forms and emotions. It will examine tension between the rulers and the ruled while capturing the travails and traumas of peasants. “Premchand’s work is beyond time.

It was relevant then and even now and that is why it has been added in the Modern Theatre Festival,” says Surendra and explains that his decade old play doesn’t place the character of Vinay (penned by Premchand) in the centre. Instead, he revolves the script around a blind beggar.

Following this twist in the tale, Math ke Raaste Mein Ek Din will be presented on the second day. Adapted from Satish Aalekar’s story and translated by Seema Mittal, the play is directed by Suresh Bharadwaj.

The staging of Anuradha Kapur’s Jivito Mrito which casts Seema Biswas will garner attention on the fourth day. Adapted from Rabindranath Tagore’s story, the play is a very intimate play where the backstage and audiences become a part of the narrative. The play will present the poignant moments in the life of a widow while narrating her struggle for acceptance by those she loved the most in life.

This struggle of widow will pave way for the struggle of eminent poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz in the play Bol Ke Lab Azad Hain Tere on the fourth day of the festival. The play features nuances from the biography and struggle of his life journey.

Director Lokendra Trivedi shares, “The play is a musical drama which examines how Faiz’s poetry evolved out of his life’s struggle.” Talking about modern theatre, he says, “Modern theatre not only comprises a modern script but also a modern perspective towards human emotions and the use of modern techniques in story telling.”

The saga of story telling will close with festival will close with the staging of Shayar…Shutter Down, written and directed by Trupurari Sharma. It is a story of a protagonist who is not in sync with the world and is fighting loneliness.
The Modern Theatre Festival is slated for December 10-14 at Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House.

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