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Gen-Y takes the stage

The 16th edition of Thespo, the theatre festival for the youth will witness a host of new plays, and workshops conducted by stalwarts from the industry

Theatre-lovers below 25 years can rejoice, as the 16th edition of drama festival Thespo that starts today, promises to pack even more fun with the theme, Plug-in to the Tamasha.

Walking Path is a play from Sri Lanka, written by Ruwanthie De Chickera and directed by Jayampathi Guruge. The play is based on the several walking paths of Colombo
Walking Path is a play from Sri Lanka, written by Ruwanthie De Chickera and directed by Jayampathi Guruge. The play is based on the several walking paths of Colombo

The shortlist
The festival received 186 entires acrross India, Sri Lanka and Canada, from which the final list was shortlisted to six full-length plays, six platform performances and seven fringe performances.

Falls 2-11 is a play from UK that merges social issues and gravity
Falls 2-11 is a play from UK that merges social issues and gravity

This year, all of the final plays in the competition are productions in regional languages and cover countless issues. Apart from Prithvi Theatre, the festival will also be hosted at Sitara Studios.

Some of the main plays include: Normal, directed by Khushboo Upadhyay, this is a story about the real-life German serial killer Peter Kurten who, in Germany in 1931 was convicted of the murders of eight people.

The Private Ear is the story of Neel, a music-loving recluse
The Private Ear is the story of Neel, a music-loving recluse

Written by Anthony Neilson, the play is a semi-fictional account where the viewers meet Kurten in his cell, being interviewed by his counsel, Justus Wehner. Activist Malala Yousufzai also serves as an inspiration for the play Tomar Dake, written and directed by Suvojit Bandyopadhyay.

The play is a portrayal of social injustice and violence in North and West Asian countries. Tambola is a story of three ordinary men who hatch a plan to rob a bank in dire need of money and end up committing a crime that raises questions about the society and morality and chuckles too.

Seat for spontaneity
The Platform section will include plays that rely on spontaneous performances. These include Happy Ending, written and directed by Pune’s Dhananjay Mhasawade and Jayesh Newgi, where things go awry in search of a happy ending. A critique on the business of making news is TRP Ka Zamana hai by Jatin Gupta and Tanya Arora from Bengaluru. Aparajeeta is a one-woman monologue about a woman’s struggles and her journey.

On the fringe
The Fringe section will see an international play with a local connect. Conceptualised by Gillian Clark, from Halifax, Violence Against Women Project will mark two years since the Delhi Gang Rape with a cross-cultural discussion on the meaning of sexual violence against women in urban India and Canada. On a lighter note, Buddhon Ki Mauj is a situational comedy of four old men.

The festival will also host a film screening of Ariane Mnouchknine- L’ Aventure du Theatre du Soleil’ (1974) in association with Alliance Francaise Bombay .

Workshops galore
Just like the plays at the festival, the workshops at Thespo will also cover a wide array of subjects. Imran Rasheed will conduct a fun workshop on the art of comic timing.

Lighting designer and director, Arghya Lahiri will host a workshop that will cover lighting theory, standard lamps and accessories, their uses and more. Other veterans who will conduct workshops at the festival include playwrights Mahesh Dattani, Alyque Padamsee and Shernaz Patel. Lok Shahir Sambhaji Bhagat will cover the topic of the history of protest theatre in India.

Did you imagine that your face is all you need to act? Puja Swarup will change your perception with the workshop Playing With Masks.

QTP, the organising team of Thespo will also felicitate Joy Michael, the founder of Yatrik Theatre in Delhi with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Till: December 21
Log on to: www.thespo.org
Call: 9769145101 for workshop registrations

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