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Youth takes the stage

And the winner is Theatre

And the winner is Theatre  

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A clutch of plays directed by young directors is one of the themes of this edition of the Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival that opens today.

Last year, as Ranga Shankara celebrated its tenth anniversary, it instituted an award in Shankar Nag’s name to honour another young rangakarmi – somebody who was shaping Indian theatre.

Abhishek Majumdar, the inaugural recipient opens this year’s festival with Dweepa.

“I was extremely gratified to receive the award last year, after having worked for the last decade in theatre. It’s a holistic award. It meant more since it came from Ranga Shankara, where almost all my plays have premiered,” says Majumdar, director and writer of the some of the most acclaimed original writing in Indian theatre in recent years.

With Dweepa, he channels some of his other inspirations, from Girish Kasarvalli to Ramachandra Guha and Felix Guattari. Originally in Bengali, he translated it to Kannada for the fest. Majumdar adds, “Ranga Shankara asked me if I will like to direct a Kannada play for the fest. I mentioned that I am working on this production and they gave the go ahead. I wrote the final scene and got it ready for the stage with help from Anmol Vellani.”

The trend of young directors is an overlying theme of the fest this year with plays by Puja Swarup and Sheena Khalid, Sharanya Ramprakash, Neel Chaudhuri, QT Padamsee and Mohit Takalkar. “Today's theatre practitioners are redefining the boundaries of theatre, both in form and content,” says S Surendranath, artistic director of Ranga Shankara and curator of the festival. Surendranath adds, “Theatre should live today, be relevant at all times. The Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival 2015 brings some of the best young directors on one platform.”

With ten plays in three languages from 30 October to 8 November, the theatre space aims to do just that. Kasumal Sapno, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream joins forces with sci-fi drama Charge, an exploration of human relations and technology’s role in them. Akshayaambara and Ila both take on concepts from the Mahabharata while other productions like Still and Still Moving and a look at contemporary life. Meanwhile, The Wave, A Peasant of El Salvador and Main Huun Yusuf Aur Yeh Hai Mera Bhai examine history on foreign shores.

Sadanand Menon’s curated Theatre and Arts Appreciation Course and Anmol Vellani’s Directors’ Table and various performances and monologues will also be held. The festival will conclude with the presentation of the second Shankar Nag award for excellence in theatre. Ever since I received the award, I’ve been able to go out and continue making plays, training other people, doing the work I want to do. It’s been a huge encouragement for me and I’m honoured to have received it,” concludes Majumdar.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 1:07:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/youth-takes-the-stage/article7818516.ece

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