The Great Galata will see the usual excitement for which it has been known for with many first-time participants

It all began in 2012, when Nimi Ravindran and Shiva Pathak decided to do something exciting that would bring the theatre community together. That gave birth to The Great Galata in which theatre practitioners of different languages, specialising in various forms, came together on an occasion of spontaneous creativity to stage a gamut of productions.

Two years hence, The Great Galata has become an annual event. “When we started it the first time, it was supposed to be a one-off event. But it was appreciated so much that we knew it just had to happen every year. It’s like theatre on speed,” says Nimi.

This time The Great Galata is being presented by Sandbox Collective, a performance arts collective by Nimi and Shiva. Nine short plays in English, Kannada and Hindi will be created by nine playwrights, nine directors and 40 performers. The participating playwrights in English are Swar Thounaojam, Joshua Muyiwa and Basav Biradar and directors Arjuna Shankar, Ranji David and Vinod Ravindran.

In Kannada, the playwrights are Sharath Parvathavani, Raghavendra Acharya and Kashyap SV and the directors are Abhishek Iyengar, Ajith Hande and Archana Shyam. In Hindi, the participating playwrights include Ashwini Kumar Chakre, Amit Sharma, Kamal Pruthi and directors Amjad Prawej, Nandini Rao and Pawan Kumar.

“This year, the event is completely local. Almost 50 per cent of the participants are first timers in Galata. We’ve tried to bring in as many people as possible,” says Nimi.

“It got tougher to organise the event this time as there are many new plays opening the same time and people who had participated in the previous events could not participate because of problems in dates. This was good in a way, as we had a lot of new people being a part of the event,” says Shiva.

The participants picked lots to form playwright-director-actor combinations. Apart from this, there was another interesting feature: Galata googly. Shiva explains: “Each group got to pick another chit. In Galata Googly, some of them picked chits in which they were allotted either a musician, a dancer or a singer, whose skills they had to put to use in their production. There was a blank chit, in which only ‘best wishes, kisses and hugs’ was written. There was a ‘super advantage’ chit which allowed one group to take away one thing from any of the other teams. There was a chit which gave the participants additional tech time, one chit in which a team would get an extra light for their production and one in which a team would get a first pick of rehearsal space.”

The Great Galata will be staged at Ranga Shankara in one show at 7.30 p.m. today.

Tickets are priced at Rs. 250 and are available at bookmyshow.com.