Raise a toast to Mahesh Dattani's theatre

Feb 04, 2013, 07:31 IST | Kartiki Nitin Lawate

The stage is set for a national-level seminar on the theatre of celebrated Indian playwright and heavyweight, Mahesh Dattani

The English Department at St Mira’s College, Pune is organising a National level seminar (funded by University of Pune) on “The Theatre of Mahesh Dattani”. Dattani is acknowledged to be India’s foremost playwright in English at present.

“We extend a warm invitation to students, teachers and lovers of Literature to attend the seminar and to theatre goers to see the play. The seminar is particularly relevant for those in the University of Pune since one of Dattani’s plays (Final Solutions) is currently prescribed for study at MA Part II level,” said Dr Mohini Khot, Head, Department of English, St Mira’s College.

Dattani has written plays like Final Solutions, Dance Like a Man, Bravely Fought the Queen and On a Muggy Night in Mumbai. He is the first playwright in English to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi award. Eminent directors like Arvind Gaur, Alyque Padamsee and Lillete Dubey have directed his plays.
It promises to be an exciting event — the playwright will be present at the event and will speak about his school of theatre as well as answer questions from the audience. There will be an academic paper reading session in the afternoon. Scholars from all over India will present papers related to the drama of Mahesh Dattani.

The day will conclude with a performance of Where Did I Leave My Purdah? by Lillete Dubey and her group, The Prime Time Theatre Co. This is Dattani’s latest play and is being staged in the city for the first time. (The group had to change the play from the original choice, Dance like a Man, which is mentioned in the brochure, since one of the actors had to undergo a surgery). The play will be open to the public.

Khot said the seminar will help participants to understand techniques to write for India’s English-speaking audiences, and will help them relate to Dattani’s writing style. His plays are not only realistic, but also play the time factor. This seminar will be relevant for literature students as well as people who are interested in English plays.  There will be a few plays staged here that have never being shown to audiences in the city earlier.

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