Deepika Arwind’s Nobody Sleeps Alone will be staged in a newer, evolved version at Jagriti Theatre, opening on March 27

Deepika Arwind’s (written and directed) Nobody Sleeps Alone made it to the shortlist of The Hindu MetroPlus Playwright Award, 2013 and was staged last year, at Ranga Shankara.

The play, since, has been re-written quite a bit by Deepika to include more dimensions and is slated to be performed at Jagriti Theatre.

The play was further developed at a dramaturgy workshop that was led by Kirtana Kumar. “The dramaturgy group gave me a lot of inputs. The script had been re-written to a certain extent, but some of the changes also came from the workshop,” says Deepika.

The play is about three gangsters Godfrey Singh Joseph, Sarayu and Wazir. The trio get involved in a private operation of their own that takes an unexpected turn.

The audience, who might have watched the play before, can expect to see a more streamlined version. “The play is darker and edgier. All the elements that were there in the play continue to exist, but a lot of them have been strengthened,” explains Deepika.

Deepika has also entered into collaborations with Deepak Kurki Shivaswamy, a performing artist.

“He was one of the ten participants in the dramaturgy workshop. One of his suggestions really stood out for me. Since the play has a certain amount of physicality to it, it was nice to have someone who is an expert in movement and improvisation to give us inputs. The play has become, with two weekends of him being here, super rich.”

Deepika speaks of the process of translating the play from text to stage. “A lot of people will firmly tell you it isn’t the right thing for playwrights to direct their own plays because there’s no objectivity. There’s no understanding outside of you, in a sense. But a lot of others will tell you it’s perfectly all right to do that because the direction is an extension of the writing in a lot of ways. It depends on how you approach the text and how you approach theatre and the processes that involve both. For me, it has been both an excruciating and a very fulfilling process. Also it doesn’t mean that I will always direct something that I write. I would like to pick up more texts, hopefully more Indian contemporary texts and direct them.”

Nobody Sleeps Alone concludes Jagriti’s 2014 New Writing Festival. “Jagriti has done a wonderful thing by having a new writing festival. I think it might be the first in the city. It has brought writing from across the world almost because there’s been a play from the UK as well. There have been plays from Bombay, many plays from Bangalore. I just wish more audiences would support new writing. Bangalore has proven itself to be one of those places where the most interesting new writing happens.”

Deepika says she received a lot of support from her cast, which includes Prashanth Nair, Shiva Pathak and Pritham Kumar. “My actors are instrumental in creating this process. They are willing, they are supportive and they are very skilled.”

Nobody Sleeps Alone, presented by Lost Post Initiative, will be staged at Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield, on March 27, 28 and 29 at 8 p.m. and on March 30 at 3 p.m. and 6.30 pm. Tickets are available on bookmyshow.com.