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Ranga Shankara offers bonanza for theatre lovers in city

Staff Reporter

17 classic plays to be staged during the festival that begins on October 28

  • A mini-festival planned from October 29 to November 1
  • `Bariri' programme for students of journalism
  • Budding artistes to be taught nuances of stage design, make-up
  • Ticket price for matinee performance fixed at Rs. 49

    AWESOME THREESOME: Actor Arundhati Nag flanked by film-maker M.S. Satyu and playwright Girish Karnad (right) at a programme to announce drama festival by Ranga Shankara, in Bangalor eon Thursday. — Photo: K. Murali Kumar

    BANGALORE: This Rajyotsava, Ranga Shankara is holding a Kannada festival to enhance the State's celebration of its identity and culture. In the second year of its theatre festival, special emphasis is laid on Kannada writing for the stage.

    The festival, which begins on October 28 and during which 17 plays will be staged, will showcase classic plays of the Sixties and Seventies as well as present contemporary works of innovative practitioners, festival director Arshia Sattar said.

    He told presspersons on Thursday that Ranga Shankara will honour the works of playwrights such as Ebrahim Alkazi, Badal Sircar, Vijay Tendulkar, M.S. Satyu and K.V. Subbanna.

    During Rajyotsava and Deepavali, from October 29 to November 1, there will be a mini-festival of Kannada plays, said Ms. Sattar.

    The Kannada playwrights whose plays will be staged at the festival include Shriranga, Chandrasekahr Kambar, P. Lankesh, Girish Karnad, Prasanna and K.V. Akshara.

    The festival covers over 70 years of dramatic writing in Kannada.

    Arundati Nag, Managing Trustee of Sanket Trust that organises the festival, said several new elements have been added to the programme this year. One such programme is "Bariri", which seeks to improve the quality of young playwrights. As part of this event, 20 to 25 students of journalism and mass communication from Bangalore and other districts of Karnataka will be exposed to the skill and contexts of writing about theatre.

    Participants of "Bariri" will be trained by senior critics such as Keval Arora, Sadanand Menon, Bhaskar Rao and G.S. Sadashiva. Playwright Girish Karnad said ventures such as "Bariri" were essential for creating good playwrights. "It is a very difficult task," he said.

    The festival has organised a large outreach programme "Running Amok — Youth Theatre and Kicking". As part of it, performances and workshops will be conducted. Two young theatre groups — Rafiki and Joining the Dots — will give 20-minute performances for young artistes and students. Budding theatre artistes will be taught nuances of stage design, make-up and lighting. Ranga Shankara, in association with Hutch, its partner for the festival, is planning to take the event to the districts.

    Samuel Selvakumar, Operations Director of Hutch, launched "play the play", the initiative to take the plays to different parts of Karnataka.

    In a bid to encourage more youngsters and senior citizens to come and watch the plays, Ranga Shankara is holding matinee performances at 3 p.m.

    Tickets for these performances are cheaper at Rs. 49 instead of the regular price of Rs. 100 for the 7.30 p.m. shows.

    Tickets will be available from October 25 at Ranga Shankara and select locations as well as through Hutch. For more details, log onto or call 26581587/8.

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