Delhi to host eight-day South Asian Women's Theatre Festival beginning this Monday
NEW DELHI: To give women of South Asia an opportunity to share and solve each others' problems, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in collaboration with National School of Drama and Jamia Millia Islamia is organising an eight-day theatre festival here in the Capital beginning this coming Monday.
“Leela: South Asian Women's Theatre Festival” featuring 14 plays from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India will be inaugurated by ICCR president Karan Singh at Kamani Auditorium. The plays will also be staged at Shri Ram Centre and Sangeet Natak Akademi.
“For the first time a South Asian Women's Theatre Festival is being organised. We at ICCR give a lot of significance to the entire South Asian region as we believe in facilitating people-to-people exchange to promote peace, brotherhood and culture. Theatre is a medium in which artistes as well as the common man can form an intrinsic bond. At the festival we are giving a chance to theatre directors and artistes to interact with one another,” said ICCR Director-General Virendra Gupta on Wednesday.
According to NSD Director Anuradha Kapur, the festival is aimed at initiating a dialogue between neighbouring countries who share a common theatre tradition: “Delhiites would also get a chance to watch different theatre traditions of our neighbouring countries. We are establishing a dialogue among the people of countries who normally don't get a chance to meet quite often. The plays would interpret mythology, adapting classical text and depicting different facets of life.”
The plays have been selected by a steering committee and most of the countries have produced more than one play.
Hindi play “Nati Binodini”, based on the autobiography of actor Binodini, will be staged on the first day. Directed by NSD chairperson Amal Allana, the play will be staged uninterruptedly for 100 minutes. A prostitute by birth, Binodini was among the first women actors to come into the limelight of Kolkata, rising to become a popular star.
Sri Lanka's “Colombo Colombo: The story of your coffin” will also be shown the same day. An “experimental piece”, the play consists of four independent episodes that are linked together through the appearance of several characters and conditions that are common to all events.
“As a scholar, it is important for me to take the findings of my academic research into the community I live in. Like most artistes, I too long to share my feelings and interpretations about the world and human conditions through my theatre practice,” says director Indika Ferdinando.
Pakistan's Urdu play “Jang Ab Nahin Hogi” based on Greek classic “Lysistrata” will be staged at Shri Ram Centre on March 11. It is about two tribes, Khaebani and Phool Machhi, which after becoming independent through a joint struggle against foreign colonial rule, are kept in a state of strife and war among themselves by chauvinistic rulers.