Theatre

The Way Across: A native spin

A scene from ‘The Way Across’  

Many plays and films have depicted the life story of Gautama Buddha, but what made the musical play The Way Across unique was its regional focus. Directed by G. Kumara Swamy, the play adapted from the book Telangana lo Buddhism focused on the enlightenment of a cursed Brahmin Bawari and his 16 curious disciples willing to understand the deeper truths of birth, death, rebirth and brotherhood.

From the impressive use of projector visuals, music and shadow-play, there was every effort to lend authenticity to the theme. Despite the play’s focus on Telangana, the native essence was compromised, due to the English rendition (done for a wider reach). The lines appeared jaded with literal translations.

The honest performances from the crew impacted only on a surface-level. Kiran Kumar’s Bawari act and Krishna Chaitanya Joshi as Pingiya (said to have propagated Buddhism from Telangana to several regions across South India) grab your attention. The use of the song Dhamma Dhamma, a tacky fusion number to give a contemporary outlook to the play, could’ve been more situational. With more homework, the play’s intent would have matched its outcome. The play was staged at Green Park Hotel as part of the recent three-day Global Celebrations on Buddhist Heritage of Telangana 2017.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 11:25:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/the-way-across-a-native-spin/article17366847.ece

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