Preview Theatre

The stage is set

Transformation, a play by School of Drama, Thrissur

Transformation, a play by School of Drama, Thrissur

Theatre lovers are bound to be delighted with an interesting mix of themes to be showcased in a forthcoming street theatre festival ‘Theruvarangu 2017,’ organised by P J Antony Memorial Foundation. Displacement, unemployment, contract labour, mass psychology, fascist tendencies, atrocities against Dalits and women are some of the subjects of the 12 plays selected for the third edition of ‘Theruvarangu’, perhaps the largest street theatre festival in Kerala, which will be held in four venues in Ernakulam district, from March 1 to March 4.

“We received 35 nominations. The ones that highlight contemporary and relevant issues, backed with a sound script, were hand-picked for the festival by a panel headed by Chandradasan, the festival director,” says M Krishnadas, secretary, PJ Antony Memorial Foundation. Incidentally, some of those selected do not strictly adhere to the genre of street plays.

Adi Sankara Training College, Kalady, presents Mattuvin Chattangale

Adi Sankara Training College, Kalady, presents Mattuvin Chattangale

Two of the plays of ‘Theruvarangu’ are by all-women theatre troupes. The women’s wing of C4CART, Kochi, a non-governmental organisation, stages Ethu Josephinte Katha; Annayudeyum and Campus Theatre of Adi Sankara Training College, Kalady, presents Mattuvin Chattangale . While the former focusses on the atrocities against women, the latter is about conflicts women undergo in the course of their lives. The issue of unemployment due to modernisation and mechanisation is the focus of the play Anjalottakaran (Mail Runner), based on a story by S K Pottekat.

Uniform, a street play by Peoples Arts Centre, Ernakulam (PACE)

Uniform, a street play by Peoples Arts Centre, Ernakulam (PACE)

Uniform , a street play by People’s Arts Centre, Ernakulam (PACE), led by BSNL employees, discusses ‘terrorising fascist actions of the ruling class’.

Janaganamana (Mind of the mass), by Creative Efforts, Aluva, attempts to trace the way in which mass psychology works and how people react to different situations, ignoring their consciousness.

Transformation , a play by School of Drama, Thrissur, portrays oppression and bitter experiences that Dalits undergo.

The play employs traditional music of the Dalits, along with traditional dance and rhythms of the Zulus of Southern Africa. In the play, a car is the symbol of power and hierarchy.

There are two solo plays. Velayudhante Swapnam, by Repertory Theatre, Kozhikode, reveals the deep-rooted feelings of caste that exist in the state today, while Kavalkaran , turns the spotlight on contract labour.

Man’s tendency to embrace alien ideas ignoring his own roots is discussed in Jayaprakash Kuloor’s Velichenna (Kalanilayam Natakavedi, Kuthuparamba, Kannur), while man’s predicament as a lover and a husband is explored in N N Pillai’s Shudhamaddalam (Theatre Initiative Kerala, Kollam). K R Ramesh’s Photopradarsanam (Natinakam Natanavedi, Parur) portrays the painful experience of a mother ignored by her children.

A street photography contest is also being organised and select photographs will be exhibited at the main venue. There will be talks by eminent theatre personalities at all venues on all the days of the festival.

It is being organised in association with Ernakulam Public Library; Sruthi, Panagad; Jawahar Arts Club and Library, Parur; Bodhi, Kothamangalam, and P Krishnapillai Memorial Library, Thrikkariyoor.

Inaugural play

Probhir Guha, veteran street play director from Kolkata, will inaugurate ‘Theruvarangu 2017’ at Ernakulam Public Library, Kochi, on March 1.

Alternative Living Theatre, Kolkata, presents the inaugural play Ghar Vapasi Ka Geet (In Search of an Address)

Alternative Living Theatre, Kolkata, presents the inaugural play Ghar Vapasi Ka Geet (In Search of an Address)

His troupe, Alternative Living Theatre, Kolkata, will present the inaugural play Ghar Vapasi Ka Geet (In Search of an Address). The play focusses on the issue of displacement due to loss of shelter, joblessness, rioting, fear, industrialisation and globalisation. It portrays the plight of those who are forced to leave their homes behind and move to cities and other states in search of a space to live.

In the spotlight

Watch the plays at Ernakulam Public Library, Kochi (main venue); Sree Mahaganapathi Temple Maidan, Panangad; Jawahar Arts Club and Library, North Paravur, and Thrikkariyoor Mahadeva Temple Maidan, Kothamangalam.

The events start at 5.30 pm, with a talk on theatre, followed by three plays each. There will be 48 performances altogether.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 4:48:07 am | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/Plays-on-contemporary-social-issues-take-centre-stage-at-%E2%80%98Theruvarangu-set-to-begin-on-March-1-in-Ernakulam-district/article17353209.ece