Drama group claims civic body theatre broke booking rules

The drama group went on a hunger strike and after senior officials of the civic body intervened the group was given March 23 as an alternate date to perform.

Ashok Rode’s, producer of Usmanabad Drama Group Dharashivputra Productions, new play, “Wat Wat Savitri’ was booked to perform at 9 pm on January 5. “As the play is new, we had asked that January 5 be reserved for our performance. My agent blocked the date after consulting with the Balgandharva Rangmandir management, but they have sold the date.”

Date drama: Members of the Usmanabad-based drama group sit on a hunger strike outside the gate of Balgandharva Rangmandir

Rode added that he was shocked to hear that the date has been given to another group to perform. “The treatment meted out to us by theatre officials on Monday was insulting. This prompted us to sit on a strike in front of the theatre. I want justice since much money has been already invested for the show,” Rode said, and added, “It’s an honour to have the first show in Balgandharva Rangmandir. My agent reserved the same date at Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha, which I was reluctant about. I am hoping that we will get the date we want to perform at Balgandharva Rangmandir.”

Ramesh Shelar, chief security officer who intervened in the case, said, “The dispute was between the theatre management and two different drama groups. We have assured Rode of alternate dates and the issue has been temporarily resolved.”

Bharat Kumavat, manager, Balgandharva Rangmandir ruled out the claims. “We had not received any application from Rode about the booking of his play on January 5. He did not specify the date for the performance in the application. We did not sell the date to other drama group. We had given Rode an alternate date of March 23, 2013. As per the procedure, theatre bookings are made four months in advance.”

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