Kolkata Correctional Home inmates to act in English play

Published: Dec 26, 2017, 14:29 IST | PTI

Inmates of two correctional homes in Kolkata will act in an English play 'The Teahouse of the August Moon' as part of effort by the jail authorities to involve them in cultural activities

Inmates of two correctional homes in Kolkata will act in an English play 'The Teahouse of the August Moon' as part of effort by the jail authorities to involve them in cultural activities. The play was adapted from a 1951 novel by Vern J Sneider. It had earlier been adapted as a Broadway play in 1953. In 1956 an American film, based on the book, was made which starred Marlon Brando among others.

Correctional Home inmates to act in English play
The play was adapted from a 1951 novel by Vern J Sneider. It had earlier been adapted as a Broadway play in 1953

"There are several characters in this play and hence a large number of inmates could be inducted and given chance to explore their acting skill. They all enjoyed the whole experience during rehearsal," one of the directors of the play, Nandini Bandyopadhyay said. The inmates, numbering around 15, were mainly drawn from Alipore Central Correctional Home and few from Alipore Women's Correctional Home.

The inmates will also share the stage with former IGP of Correctional Services B D Sharma and two jail employees. Mukhopadhyay said Sharma and Director General Correctional Homes Arun Gupta were instrumental behind the whole initiative. This was the second English play production involving the correctional home inmates with the first one being Begum Samru. Five inmates of the first English production are also
part of 'The Teahouse of the August Moon' production, staged for the first time tonight.

The inmates have been trained in special English communication. Some of the inmates have been imparted training to pronounce Japanese phrases in the comedy play as it is set in post-war Japan where a US Army Captain is sent in to build a school and make people aware of the values of democracy. Sharma, who is turning up on stage for the first time, is enacting the role of the despatched US Army Captain's senior, a Colonel of the US Army.

'Begum Samru' had been directed by theatre personality Rohit Pombra who had also conceptualised 'The Teahouse of the August Moon' production here but died in last August. Stagecraft, one of Kolkata¿s premier English language amateur theatre groups, which had been founded by Pombra in 1986, trained the inmates and other actors for both 'Begum Samru' and now 'The Teahouse of the August Moon' productions.

Nandini Bandyopadhyay and Krishna Roy had taken over as directors after Pombra's sudden death with all support from correctional home authorities and Sharma.

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