Multilingual plays at the Theatre Festival
A scene from Manipuri play, Ashalata Gi Hakchang
Abhinaya Theatre Trust organised a multi-lingual theatre fest to promote national integration.
In collaboration with Department of Culture, Film, Television, and Theatre Development Corporation, Abhinaya Theatre Trust organised a four day multi-language theatre festival at Ravindra Bharati last week. The festival was inaugurated by former Chief Minister K. Rosaiah. He stressed the need to build a separate auditorium to stage dramas. He also appreciated Abhinaya Trust for holding this festival promoting national integration.
The first play staged was a Kannada play Rama Dhanya. This is based on compositions written by Kanakadasu. Essentially based on a devotional theme, it projected the disparity in castes like the way rice is given to upper class and ragi to the lower strata. But the equality is brought in the way both these classes offerthe same grain to the idol of Lord Rama. and how God responds more to the poor and to what they give and hence called the play Rama Dhanyam. Ramakrishna Marathe wrote this play which was directed by K.S.D.L. Chandru. A big cast presented it, displaying good co-ordination.
The second was a Tamil drama Molaga Podi, a story written by Baama. It portrays the social hierarchy of gender, caste and class divisions, depicting aversion to accumulation of property in contrast to poverty. If cutting grass and picking cotton for mere survival are treated as offences, the suppressed anger is by urinating as a mark of protest for the marginalisation of poor. A dozen and half artistes brought home the essence of the drama by portraying the characters well. Srijit Sundaram handled the production well. This was staged by Kattiyakkaari theatre unit of Chennai.
Assamese play Abhisar staged on the third day by Purbaranga of Guwahati, tried to convey that beauty is not permanent. Centred round a beautiful prostitute Vasava Dutta who tries to win the heart of a yogi, but fails. As days pass by aging takes over her and she feels lonely. That is when the same yogi reappears and takes her into his protective fold and consoles her. Sizu Priya played Vasavadatta. Gunakardev Goswamy was in the other role of Gurudutta, the yogi, who is also the playwright, music composer and director.
Manipur’s Ashalata Gi Hikchang put on board by Banian Repertory theatre, Imphal was a depiction of how the common people get sandwiched in the war between police and Naxalites. The title means the ‘dead body of Ashalatha’ as an example case. M.C. Arun wrote the play and M.C. Thaiba directed it.
Besides these main plays, there were some street plays staged as well.