Theatre people recall fave plays, playwrights

Theatre people recall fave plays, playwrights

Shakespeare to Girish Karnad, have top the list of favourites among theatre artistes. Today is World Theatre Day.

Theatre has stood the test of time and continues to be a preferred medium of expression among many despite the rise of the digital era. On the occasion of World Theatre Day, Metrolife asked theatre artistes in the city about their favourite play and playwrights. Here’s what they shared:

‘Girish Karnad is a pathbreaking playwright’

Ganesh Shenoy, Founding member of theatre group ‘Sanchaya’ 

Favourite play: “I love all the plays by Girish Karnad. My favourites are ‘Tughlaq’ and ‘Rakshasa Tangadi’. Both plays are based on history and speak about the country’s socio-political events at the time.”

Favourite playwright: “Girish Karnad is a pathbreaking playwright, who gave a new dimension to Indian theatre. I love him for his plays that are based on mythology and history. They are rooted in Indian tradition while discussing contemporary issues.”

‘Bandvalvillada Badayi’ made me realise a playwright’s power

Abhishek Iyengar, Director of ‘WeMove Theatre’

Favourite play: “My favourite play is ‘Bandvalvillada Badayi’ written by TP Kailasam. This play had a great impact on me — it made me realise the power of a playwright and what strong content or writing can to do the society. The play is about a lawyer who keeps building stories. It is satirical; it makes one smile and also introspect.”

Favourite playwright: “I grew up reading TP Kailasam’s plays. He is a classic playwright and contributed immensely to Kannada literature. Every character that he created is relevant in today’s time. He has touched upon topics such as untouchability, women’s rights and others, which are relevant in today’s times as well.”

‘Local fragrance and flavour highlights in Chandrashekhara Kambara’s plays’

Krishna Hebbale, Member of ‘Sanchaya’ 

Favourite play: “My favourite play is a play called ‘Ek Aur Dronacharya’ by Shankar Shesh. It was translated to Kannada by GS Bhaskar as ‘Pratibimbagalu’. It was directed by Suresh Anagalli and I acted in it. The script sees two different periods and timezones. The play construction was uniquely presented by Suresh, which gave many firsts to Kannada theatre.”    

Favourite playwright: “Chandrashekhara Kambara is one of the most important playwrights I have read. The subjects he writes on are deeply rooted in our nature — earth and space. The local fragrance and flavour in his plays are heartwarming. One can see the entire landscape when reading his works.” 

‘I love Marathi plays a lot’

Archana Shyam, Actor, director and theatre practitioner with ‘Team Antharanga’

Favourite play: “I love Marathi plays a lot. I love ‘Purush’ by Jaywant Dalvi, which was first produced by Nana Patekar in Marathi. I played the protagonist in the Kannada version of it, which was directed by Pradeep Nadig. It addresses universal issues between a man and a woman. It is very contemporary.”

Favourite playwright: “Girish Karnad’s style was very impressive and intriguing. All of his plays dealt with relationships and power equations, and his subjects are relevant. They were introspective yet simple to follow.”

‘Sriranga’s contemporary concepts are impressive’

Dr Rajashree S R, co-founder and artistic director, ‘YouAndMe Theatre’

Favourite playwright: “I appreciate Kalidasa for the language he used in his works, and the similes, metaphors and visual imagery which were used. Another impressive writer is Sriranga. I like his writing for the contemporary concepts, humour and deep spiritual parallels it has.”

Favourite play: “The first play I played was ‘Maranayaka’, Kannada adaptation of ‘Macbeth’, which will always stay close to my heart. The play was directed by Krishnamurthy Kavathar and I played the role of Mangale (Lady Macbeth). I was just 16 then, and it was the first time I understood what it meant to get into a character.”

What is World Theatre Day?

World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI). Various theatre events are organised to mark this occasion. One of the most important of these is the circulation of the World Theatre Day Message. The first message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962.

Corona? The show must go on...

For those who hold theatre close to their heart, WeMove Theatre has put together an initiative where one can read a line/part from their favourite play and make a video of it, for two minutes and send it by WhatsApp to 98860 62324.

These videos will be uploaded on the Facebook and Instagram pages of WeMoveTheatre and on the Facebook page of Bengaluru Theatre Circuit.

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