Young take the stage
Watch plays from Ahmednagar to Lucknow, attend workshops by international artistes and witness a futuristic digital play at this annual youth theatre extravaganza
Ten women, draped in yards of cloth, interpret the story of Draupadi in an eponymous performance. A Hindi-Urdu piece titled Khazaana merges clowning tradition with qawwali to narrate an Afghan folktale about a farmer and his unwavering faith in god.
Meanwhile, artistes Keith Sequeira, Abhishek Krishnan, Tushar Kadam and Dharmaj Joshi merge guitar riffs with keyboard, cajun and djembe sounds in a performance titled, Jibroo. These acts, along with a host of plays and workshops, will engage you at the 19th edition of Thespo, a seven-day extravaganza that focuses on theatre by the youth.
"This year, we received 141 play entries from 17 cities, including smaller centres like Guwahati, Ahmednagar, and even Islamabad. We selected four plays based on merit. The criteria was that they should feature a team of under-25 and the play should be 60-minute long," says Toral Shah, founder-member of the fest, organised by QTPâÂÂand Theatre Group Bombay. On the final day, eminent actor Dr Mohan Agashe will be presented with a lifetime achievement award. "He has been instrumental in popularising GRIPS theatre for children and has inspired the next generation too," she sums up.
From : December 18 to 24 AT Prithvi Theatre, Juhu (workshops and plays); NCPA, Nariman Point (awards).
Call : 7506025456
Log on tO : bookmyshow.com
Entry : Rs.200 onwards
"While Ahmednagar has a thriving theatre scene, most plays are adaptations of literary works. We wanted to tell our own story," says 24-year-old college student Amol Salve, who has directed Khataara, one of the four full-length plays that will be staged at the festival. Featuring a 16-member cast, the Nirmiti Rangmanch production tells the story of an agrarian family, keen to sell their bullock cart, considered outdated by society, for a motorcycle. However, certain events make them realise its importance.
On : December 22, 9 pm
Mrig-Trishna, a play by Vairagi theatre group from Delhi, is themed on sexuality and revolves around an outcaste transgender's self-realisation journey.
ON December 19 and 20, 9 pm
Main Mera Baaja Aur Woh is an Awadhi-Hindi play helmed by Lucknow's Karooj Theatre Troupe. It is a hilarious story of unrequited love between Bhuvlan, an electronics repairman and his estranged wife.
On : December 21, 9 pm
Trikon Ka Chautha Kon? by the city-based theatre group, Actomers, explores the theme of plagiarism in writing.
On : December 23, 5 pm and 9 pm
Workshops to attend
Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore, co-artistic directors of the Scottish company Junction 25, will conduct a session that covers how to devise theatre from scratch, including brainstorming ideas from an individual's experience.
On : December 18 and 19, 10 am to 1 pm
Alexandros Raptis and Sissy Ignatidou, from Athens-based Hippo Theatre, will teach you the art of Kinemo, a style that explores the art of expression through emotions, without using words. Open to actors above 18, the session will help you discover your body by stimulating the senses. The duo will also conduct an interactive workshop for eight to 14-year-olds to help them understand theatre and emotions better. The participants will deconstruct a story by Jorge Bucay through games, narration and improvisation.
On : December 23 (for adults) and 24 (for kids); 10 am to 1 pm
Light designer, director and actor Arghya Lahiri will help you discover the craft of lighting in theatre, examine the hardware, and have a shot at designing and executing light plans.
On : December 18, 10 am to 8 pm
When theatre meets technology
Step into the world of digital theatre with an experimental project created by Matthew Wasser, a New York-based video and projection designer. He brings together performers from different cities to interact through live videos in a piece titled Esteban's Village, based on Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez's short story The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World. "The idea is to create a mutual performance space by connecting people in disparate locations. A live video link connects each location to the stage. The piece will include images and pre-recorded footage generated during rehearsals that are carried out via video conferences," saysâÂÂWasser. The artistes include Advait Rahalkar from Pune, Gaurav Singh from Delhi, and Laina Singha from Guwahati. Wasser will also conduct a multimedia workshop.
On : December 19, 7 pm
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