The Vinod Doshi Memorial Theatre festival in Pune focuses on plays that would not ordinarily be a part of the commercial theatre scene.
In its fourth year, The Vinod Doshi Memorial Theatre festival — set up by the industrialist’s wife, art historian Saryu Doshi and son Maitreya Doshi, chairman Premier Ltd. as a tribute to his passion for the arts and particularly theatre — will be held at Yeshwantrao Chavan Theatre, Kothrud, Pune over five days.
Each year the festival puts together a representative selection of some of the best productions from different parts of the country. Plays are selected on the basis of criteria that change from year to year with a commitment to bringing good theatre to the city and promoting the long-term interests of theatre in the region by specifically promoting new experiments of a high quality.
This year the festival brings five such plays to Pune. It will begin with Sunil Shanbag’s well received “Stories in a Song”, a collage of captivating back stories set in diverse musical contexts from pre-Independence to current times. The anecdotes have been dramatised and performed by a talented set of actors who can sing, and has been conceived by classical musicians Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Paradhan.
Over the next four days, plays in Hindi, Marathi and English will also be shown. “Preth”, a Hindi play from Gopal Dutt and Purva Naresh in Mumbai, has a musical dramatic form overlaid with a folksy narrative and an attempt at social critique. “Bandhlelyachi Manogata” is a Marathi play, based on Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, directed by Praveen Bhole, an assistant professor at Lalit Kala Kendra Pune.
Veteran filmmaker and director Sai Paranjpye’s “Aalbel” is inspired by Sartre’s No Exit. The festival will end with “Comrade Kumbhakarna”, a production by the National School of Drama Repertory, New Delhi with a distinctly political core. Directed by Pune based director Mohit Takalkar this ambitious Hindi play will have its first show in the city during the festival.
Festival director Ashok Kulakrni, who has selected the plays along with playwright Satish Alekar and director Sunil Shanbag, says the focus this year was on bringing good theatre, which would not ordinarily be a part of the commercial scene.
“The festival too is evolving and we are open to exploring a variety of strategies that will promote and encourage new and quality theatre”, says Kulkarni.
In the past the festival has commissioned new plays that have received critical acclaim and looks forward to doing so again.
The Vinod Doshi Memorial Theatre Festival
Dates: February 27-March 2
Venue: Yeshwantrao Chavan Theatre, Kothrud, Pune