The theatre festival hosted by Manana Natya Sanstha left a lasting impression on the audience.
Theatre in Orissa has always been the victim of a step-motherly treatment both by the Government and the people. Yet, it has not discouraged few theatre organisations to carry on their activities. Bhubaneswar-based Manana Natya Sanstha is one such organisation that has been hosting an annual drama festival to promote Oriya plays.
The recently concluded five-day festival started with Panu Padhan chalighara (Panu Padhan’s hut) directed by Manana’s founder Manoj Patnaik. The play portrayed the plight of the ‘Paika Akhada’ artistes of Orissa. The involvement of ‘Paika Akhada’ exponent Kedarnath Das in training the actors brought real life on the stage.
Girish Karnad’s much acclaimed Nagamandal was the other play that left lasting impression on the audience. Translated in Oriya by Sukesh Panda and directed by Nalini Nihar Nayak, both faculty members of the drama department of the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, the cast and crew put up a pulsating performance in staging this complex Kannada classic.
Baxa (box) and Kritadas (slave) staged by Sampark theatre troupe of Rourkela and Rangashala of Puri respectively appealed for their simplicity of story and presentation. Although rooted in the contemporary society, both the plots portrayed the universal human behaviour.
Holiday Home on the concluding day by Samabesa theatre group of Cuttack had a reason to attract the audience. It has a number of people from the film industry — director Hara Patnaik who has also acted in the play, music director Manmath Mishra, actors Pradyumna Lenka, film director Himansu Parija who has also acted in the play along with his actress wife Sadhana Parija.