The annual Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival is back from October 27 to 31. It marks the 17th anniversary of the iconic institution.
The theme for the five-day festival is ‘Staying Alive’, and it features stories of courage and humanity displayed during the pandemic.
“The past year and half have been such a brave effort in society. Throughout it all, the fight to stay alive has been extremely consuming. So we wanted to create the festival around that theme,” says Arundhati Nag, managing trustee and artistic advisor, Ranga Shankara.
The festival, she says, is also aimed at helping various theatre groups return to the stage and stay alive. “Due to the pandemic, no new work was produced because there was no place to perform. We have funded four new plays and they are premiering at the festival,” she told Metrolife.
The festival will also feature a digital exhibition of content created during the pandemic, curated by theatre director and artiste Amitesh Grover. Details regarding the digital showcase will soon be displayed on the Ranga Shankara website.
“The pandemic highlighted the importance of digital media to us. It was the only way to tell the world that we were alive. Going forward, digital is definitely here to stay,” says Arundhati.
She believes the world of theatre has definitely changed and despite lockdown restrictions being relaxed, not everything is back to normal.
“With kids under 18 not yet vaccinated, we have not been able to allow them back on our premises. Even if kids are allowed, consent forms are required from parents, so the whole thing is quite messy,” she says.
SEND IN A PIC
A photo display is part of the theatre festival, and people from all walks of life can send in their entries. We wanted to ask our audience what staying alive truly means to them. What comes to mind when you hear ‘staying alive’? I have already given two pictures, one of nature being resilient and another representing the struggle of folk artists through the pandemic,” says Arundhati Nag.
To be a part of the photo wall, send in two photographs, taken in the last 20 months, representing your lockdown journey, to email@example.com. The last date for submission is October 24.
BILLBOARD: FIVE DAYS FIVE PLAYS
Oct 27: ‘Kantha Mattu Kantha’ (Kannada, directed by: Surendranath S, troupe: Sanket, Bengaluru.)
Oct 28: ‘Lock down’ (Kannada, directed by: Abhishek Iyengar, troupe: WeMove Theatre, Bengaluru.)
Oct 29: ‘Jhund’ (Hindi, directed by: Chanakya Vyas, troupe: Indian Ensemble, Bengaluru.)
Oct 30: ’Kaamarupigal’ (Kannada, directed by: Ganesh Mandharthi, troupe: Sanchaya, Bengaluru.)
Oct 31: ‘Hunkaro’ (Marwari, Hindi, Haryanvi, Awadhi, directed by: Mohit Takalkar, troupe: Ujaagar Dramatics Association, Jaipur)
(Shows begin at 7 pm. Tickets on BookMyShow and at the Ranga Shankara box office.)