message of love Theatre

Love in the time of gang war

A still from the play

A still from the play   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

KissaGo’s theatre production will be staged today to mark Independence Day

Love is the hero of Jab Sheher Hamara Sota Hai, the play to be staged by KissaGo Theatre to mark Independence Day. With a cast and crew of 40 people (25 actors), the play, written by actor and music director Piyush Mishra and designed and directed by Jay Jha is inspired by crime drama West Side Story.

The play opens with two tolas (communities) living on either side of a residential colony fighting for their tola, a part of land. “Their fight is for the stretch that connects these two areas; They want control of this part, a main reason for their gang war,” shares Jay. The fight gets bigger when youngsters join their elders. “Youngsters blindly follow because they think it is right. They feel, ‘Hamaara zameen hai’ and we should fight for it. They are not aware of actual reason, which is the result of a poor administration,” he adds. Love blossoms amid this fight when Tarana (Shailja Chaturvedi) and Abhas (Sreehari Ajith) from these communities fall in love. Will the gang wars escalate or will love wins hearts? “Love is the only emotion that binds us,” says Jay. The play begins with Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous speech ‘At the stroke of midnight...’ and ends with the same speech.

Phoenix Arena has been the venue for rehearsals and the team meets at 7 am everyday. Shailja, an Infosys employee who plays Tarana, calls it a challenging experience. “It is a well-etched character with many emotions. There are ups and downs and as the story unfolds and when it becomes a tragedy, she breaks down,” she says adding the rehearsals are taking place in open air despite rain. “Even when there were incessant rains, we had to somehow manage as there are not many venues to rehearse for theatre artistes.”

The actors are a mix of theatre artistes and also employees taking time out to pursue their passion. Interestingly KissaGo had staged a musical for Republic Day which had a mammoth cast and crew of 80 people. “This time we don’t have budget so we have created a basic set. It is difficult to stage in open space as traffic, wind and lights can disturb the artistes.”

(Jab Sheher Hamara Sota Hai will be staged at Phoenix Arena on August 15 at 8 pm; Tickets: ₹ 300)

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 7:54:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/will-gang-wars-escalate-or-love-wins-hearts-in-the-play-jab-sheher-hamara-sota-hai/article29100640.ece

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