The Ranga Shankara theatre festival is back, and its 15th edition is dedicated to plays that barely survived bans.
The theme of the nine-day festival is ‘Plays That Almost Weren’t’ and the focus is on bold plays that faced opposition but did not back off. The festival is on from October 27 to November 4.
Vivek Madan, director of the festival, says the idea is to create a platform for artistes “whom Rangashankara had never heard of and vice versa.” This is the first time Rangashankara has taken up such a theme, he told Metrolife.
The festival also features debates and lectures about censorship in art. Other topics: ‘How do you compose a street play with a message but also retain the craft of the street play?’, ‘How do you write a song that is musically appealing but also carries a message?’, ‘How do you translate an idea about social issues into a song?’
To kick off, Janam, a theatre group from Delhi, staged a street play called ‘Tathagat’, written and directed by Abhishek Majumdar, at places across Bengaluru on October 24.
Tathagat (Hindi, 35 min) explores the ideas of caste and gender, rebellion and nationalism, freedom and courage. Expanding on the idea of tark (reason) in Buddhist philosophy, it tells a story using the characters of a vain king, a defiant queen, a rebellious sculptor, a courageous daasi, and a conniving courtier. It examines the difference between a ‘traitorous’ and a ‘rebellious’ act.
Ahalya B D (Kannada)
Adaptation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler
Rajendra Laxmi (Nepali)
Dir: Namrata K C
The Aesthetic Dance
Dohri Zindagi (Hindi, Marwadi)
Based on a Vijaydaan
Dehta short story.
Dir: Gurleen Judge
Rahi Theatre, Mumbai
Animal Farm (English, Kannada, Hindi)
Based on Orwell book of the same name.
Dir: Nelson Bond
Director: Prashanth Nair
I am Not Here (English, Kannada, Hindi)
Dir: Deepika Arwind
Inspired by Gurdeep Kaur Bhatti’s ‘Behzti’ and Joanna Russ’s ‘How to
Writing.’The Lost Post Initiative, Bengaluru
Ammi Jaan (Kannada, Dakhini Urdu)
Dir: Satchit Puranik
Adaptation of Dario Fo and France Rame.
The Laughing Cavalier, Bengaluru
Chandala, impure (Tamil)
Dir: Koumarane Valavane
Indianostrum Theatre, Pondicherry
Inspired by William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo Juliet’.
Dir: Neel Sengupta
Adaptation of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros
Third Space Collective, New Delhi
Dir: Bikram Ghosh
Adaptation of Yevgeny Schwartz’s The Dragon
The Tadpole Repertory, New Delhi