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‘Chirabandewade’ to be staged today

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A scene from ‘Chirabandewade’.
A scene from ‘Chirabandewade’.

Staff Correspondent

It is based on Mahesh Elkunchwar’s play

The play is directed by Pramila Bengre of Rangayana

MYSORE: Rangayana Theatre Repertory will stage “Chirabandewade” on Sunday at Bhoomigeetha. The play is based on “Wada Chirebandi” by Mahesh Elkunchwar. Marthi Shanubagh has translated the play from Marathi to Kannada and Rangayana artiste Pramila Bengre will direct the play.

“Chirabandewade” will be staged every Sunday, as part of Rangayana’s commitment to stage a play every weekend.

Mr. Elkunchwar has been an influential figure in Indian theatre for the past three decades. His plays have gained a wide following nationally as well as internationally. They are read, performed and studied in various parts of the world.

Mr. Elkunchwar has written over 15 plays. Other than “Wada Chirebandi”, “Party” (which was made into a film by Govind Nihalani), “Pratibhimb” and “Atmakatha” are established classics of contemporary Indian stage.

“Wada Chirebandi” was later expanded to a trilogy. The second part is titled “Magna Talyakathi” and the third is “Yuganta”. The trilogy has been performed in French and German.

“Wada Chirebandi” captures the gradual decline of the “wada” or joint family structure in Maharashtra and of the social changes in the world beyond. Ms. Bengre says that more than being a social drama, it brings into focus the clash between the traditional and the commercial or consumer culture in modern Indian society.

H.K. Dwarakanath, Srinivas Bhat, Huligappa Kattimani and Sagai Raju have handled stagecraft, music, costume designing and lighting.

The play opens with the death of the taatya, the head of the Deshpande family in a village in Vidarbha and narrates the complex internal struggles in the minds and lives of the members of the family. The play ends with the eighth-day death rites.

Ms. Bengre said, “The play posed a major challenge to me as silence plays a dominant role and there is less dialogue. We have used old lanterns to reflect the intensity of the play. The play is mostly set in the night and we have decided to make the atmosphere as dim as possible to explore the inter-personal relationships of the characters. This play is not only a challenge for me but for the audience as well as its complexity demands the total attention of the audience.” “The sound of a tractor has been used in the play to represent the agrarian crisis plaguing the country because of which farmers are committing suicide. ‘Chirabandewade’ will make people think,” Ms. Bengre added.

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