The Script, August 2007. Issue 8.
Dear Drama lover,
Hello again! The theatre scene never had it so good with an array of plays performing on different themes, like Karode Main Ek, Ilhaam, A Special Bond and Cotton56, Polyester 84 in the month of August.
On the QTP front, we are proud to present our brand new play, To The Death of My Own Family which we are able to bring down from New York with the help of YES Bank. Also, we are back with more shows of The President is Coming and returning after a long hiatus, Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace. Apart from that, Thespo at Prithvi continues to bring you some more youthful talent. This month 'Moksh Theatre Group' presents an adaptation of Badal Sircar’s 'Juloos' preceded by a workshop on 'Protest Theatre' to be conducted by Salim Arif. Our regular event, 'Great Texts' will be in full swing on the last Monday of August. We hope to see you there.
In this month's edition of The Script, Dolly Thakore tells us of her experience on being a part of the selection panel of The Academy of Theatre Arts and Akanksha Gupta reviews the Jaimini Pathak's 'Arabian Night'.
On Behalf of Q Theatre Productions,
Editor, The Script.
The very first use of the word "theatre" in Western literature is found in Shakespeare's Richard II.
In fact, the theatre to which Shakespeare alludes was the very first London playhouse,
built in 1576 by the English actor and entrepreneur James Burbage, father of the great actor and friend of Shakespeare, Richard Burbage.
Corno-Q-pia: The President is Coming, Khatijabai, To The Death of My Own Family, Thespo at Prithvi & Great Texts
Point of View: Akanksha Gupta reviews Arabian Night.
4 Corners: Dolly Thakore gives us an account on her being a part of the selection panel of The Academy of Theatre Arts.
Up & Coming: All the exciting plays happening in the city!
Great Stuff: Auditions and much much more!
Curtain Call: Enid Bagnold tells us about the second name of theatre.
The horn of plenty of QTP events and happenings.
“Pal’s satire is refreshingly witty and sharp lends itself well to the
stage with an intelligent mix of action, pace and dialogues.”
“Playwright Anuvab Pal’s entertaining slapstick comedy draws the
entertaining piece of work that was one of the better productions to
emerge from January’s Writers’ Bloc festival”
“Very funny…had the
audience rolling in the aisles”
Unfortunately our other brand new play, is on a bit of a hiatus.
However the play written by
Ram Ganesh Kamatham and directed by Arghya Lahiri
will be back soon. Watch this space for more details!
To The Death of My Own Family: Q Theatre Productions and YES Bank are present TO THE DEATH OF MY OWN FAMILY, a stunning truth told through the eyes of Nadeema, an Afghan-American woman who returns with her immigrant family to Afghanistan to help her father escape the ravages of war, only to witness the carnage of her entire family. This compelling story is not one of war or an individual. It is about the pain and suffering one bears when one’s human rights are violated and one has nowhere to turn.
The play is written by David L. Meth, and directed by Broadway veteran Peter Ratray, this critically acclaimed show comes to India after enthralling audiences in the US for over two years.
New York-based actor, director and teaching artist, Farah Bala stars in this one-woman show which brings to the Indian stage the definition of a lost truth, and revives it through her heart-wrenching performance.
When the woman, Nadeema, was a little girl, her mother fled Kabul with her and her brother and sister (three children in all), leaving the father behind. They ended up in New York where they grew up without their father. Years later, they all travel back to Afghanistan to bring their father to America which is when a series of dire events result in the death of her entire family. What follows is the desecration of the human mind. Her spirit still intact, she returns “home” to the United States, where she suddenly interrogated as a suspect, detained, humiliated and forced to justify her journey east in order to reclaim her rightful US citizenship.
The play will be followed
by a discussion with the Writer and Director.
Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace: It
is back with a bang. Khatijabai, is a play about an orphan girl who
grows to become the matriarch of one of the more powerful families in
newly Independent India.
This one woman play is performed by Jayati Bhatia and is directed by Q.
“The show started and what a show! One actress, Jayati Bhatia, a show stealer of the silver screen, kept the whole hall enraptured with her movements and dialogues. My heart went out to her. I wished so hard that I too could some day act like her. For one hour and fifteen minutes, we were mesmerized by Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace, a Q Theatre Production. And after the show, we all stood there and applauded for a whole 5 minutes, while Jayati just smiled back at us thanking us profusely with folded hands.”
– The Assam Tribune
“Portrayed brilliantly…deserves applause”
– NGAGE, Mumbai.
“Brilliantly layered…wonderful portrayal”
– West Side Plus, Mumbai.
– Time Out Mumbai.
“One of the most memorable acts in recent times…standing ovation…brilliant performance..”
– The New Indian Express, Bangalore.
Khatijabai will be playing at the Prithvi Theatre (26149546) on the
21st and 22nd of August at 9pm.
For more information or to book tickets over the phone, call 26392688 or email us on email@example.com
Great Texts: On the last Monday of each month people meet in Q's drawing room to read a play they may have heard of but not necessarily have read. Writer's come to see how the greats wrote, actors come to play multiple parts and theatre lovers come because it keeps them in touch with the art form. It is open all and everyone takes turns in playing characters from the play. Discussions ensue after over tea and biscuits.
Last month, we read
play Believe What You Will - The play
tells the story of a Middle-Eastern ruler who comes out of hiding in order
to try and reunite his people. His efforts are undermined, however, by the
all-pervasive Roman Empire, with threatens sanctions to any state which
offers him or his followers sanctuary."
Cyrano de Bergerac, written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand based on the life of the real Cyrano de Bergerac. The first four acts are set in 1640, while the fifth is set in 1655. An immediate triumph upon its release, the play is one of the most popular in the French language and has been filmed several times and even made into an opera. The play has been translated and performed many times, and is responsible for introducing the word "panache" into the English language.
We will be reading it on the 27th of August at 7:30pm at 18 Anukool, Sq. Ldr. Harminder Singh Marg, 7 Bungalows. Next to Daljit Gym. All are welcome. If you need directions call Himanshu on 26392688 or 9820356150.
Point of View:
This month Akanksha Gupta reviews Jaimini Pathak's 'Arabian Night'. The views expressed in this article are those of the author. You are welcome to agree, disagree or comment by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tale of an 'ARABIAN NIGHT'
If J.K Rowling’s Hogwart is where a child’s fantasy unfolds, equally magical and intimidating is the world of Roland Schimmelfennig’s ‘Arabian Night’. It is where curses and twisted realities of five individuals get concocted into an ‘erotic urban fantasy’. Part fairy tale, part noir thriller and part nightmarish adventure, it tells the story of two lovers, a beautiful insomniac, a voyeur and the building’s caretaker whose lives become intertwined on a hot summer night when their building’s water supply mysteriously disappears and they are drawn to an apartment to meet their fate. The play has been popular in theatres in several countries and was recently designed and staged by theatre actor-director Jaimini Pathak in Mumbai for a second time, only this time he was directing it. German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig, who earlier worked as a journalist in Istanbul, is regarded as one of the most prolific and heralded young dramatists today. He has a total of 16 plays to his credit, which include ‘Push up’ ‘The Woman Before’ and many others.
In this play Schimmelfennig moving away from the common trend of narrating ‘one story at a time’, allows all the five individual stories to unfold simultaneously. Franziska Dehke around whom the play essentially revolves is a narcoleptic sleeper, who once fast asleep can never remember the day’s events. It is later revealed that this is due to a curse laid upon her a long time ago. Fatima Mansur, Franziska’s Arab roommate, Kalil Fatima’s Arab boyfriend, Karpati the ambitious voyeur and Hans Lomeire the caretaker are the other four characters caught in a vortex of their individual lives and nightmarish coincidences. The structure of Arabian Night is essentially a series of deftly intercut monologues written in a style more like prose or poetry than dialogue. Each character speaks directly to the audience describing what they are doing, what they are feeling and what is their intended future action, never really speaking directly to one another. However within multiple realities and a convoluted plot the audience never really looses track, all thanks to the director’s nifty stage design, movement and an overall simple approach.
The set which resembles the figure five on a dice is minimal yet effectively representational, demarcating each individual character’s existence and importance at any given point in the script. However the set which comprises of a few levels and some cloth panels towards the end is all over the place and gets reduced to an array of clutter.
Performances by individual actors add to the clarity and implication of what the play is all about. Amongst a few dwarfed performances, Kalil (Girish) and Franziska Dehke (Pooja Sarup) clearly stole the show and had the audience rooting them every now and then. However the play begged for better and detailed characterization both externally and internally. While the voyeur played by Anshul looked more like a local tapori in his half folded pants, Fatima played by Ayesha could certainly use a little more personality. Keeping in tune with Schimmelfennig’s muse to create a world of Arabian fantasy studded with curses, sheikhs and harems much like those found in one of Scheherazade's 1001 tales, Pathak introduces two dancers in the play, though they hardly come across as scintillating Arabian beauties and their lopsided movements make them look clumsy.
The high and the low points in the play arguably are its music and lights respectively. The music which is a perfect mix of trance and surreal sets the mood for the play while the lights kill it. Inadequate lights often find the actors in darkness while they are performing however this could be a due to the slim logistics of the Godrej Theatre. The play which is a 65 minute laugh riot with all its goofiness essentially travels from grungy realities to mythic aberrations, only to reveal terse comments on contemporary relationships in its underbelly. Short and effective the play is a beautiful story conjured from the rich imagination of a contemporary German writer.
Dolly Thakore gives us an account on her being a part of the selection panel of The Academy of Theatre Arts.
Academy of Theatre Arts Student Selection (2007-2009)
IT NEVER FAILS TO SURPRISE ME of the talent and its potential all around us.
Recently I was privileged to be on the selection panel of the Academy of Theatre Arts,for Mumbai University in Kalina, that has been headed by that stalwart of Marathi theatre Waman Kendre. The advantage is that Waman taps talent from all over the world to run the two-year course which is in its fifth year. This kind of exposure and experience would be beyond the reach of theatre enthusiasts from Jalna and Jalgaon, Beed and Bihar! Lee James from Australia visited the University twice to conduct a course in “Spiritualism in Acting”; John Hegle – a standup comedienne from UK taught them “Innovative Writing and Acting”; and a name that many in Mumbai may be familiar with -- Imogen Butler-Cole who not very long ago staged an inventive production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at the Sassoon Dock Library using unusual spaces – taught them “Shakespeareane Acting”. They even had two directors from Croatia.
Out of some hundreds of applicants, some 75 are asked to appear before the Selection Panel, and only 25 are chosen. And according to Government norms almost 50 % has to be from the Schedule Caste, Native tribe, and Other Backward Class categories. In the three years that I have been on this panel, what has delighted me is we have never had to jettison anyone to accommodate the 50 % directive…which is an indication of the talent and the awareness in the remotest parts of Maharashtra. The only stipulation required is that the candidate has to be a Graduate….and sadly one very good applicant did not qualify because her ATKT attempt would be after the last date of admission.
Amongst the people we interviewed between the ages of 19 to 36 were practicing doctors, engineers, lawyers and some pursuing that line of study. Another consideration was accommodation in this sprawling city of Mumbai and their capacity to pay the course fees of almost Rs. 30,000, and the security of travel to home after grueling longs hours sometimes beyond midnight. It gladdened one’s heart to be reassured repeatedly that they had saved up, made alternative accommodation arrangements, and would be provided for by their encouraging parents who were working in various jobs like making brooms, Municipality, or the GPO.
With each candidate our smiles got wider…They were judged on an overall presentation of given texts to prepare, recitation of poetry, rhythm and dance, and singing…and finally affordability… in a language of their choice Hindi, English, Marathi. A majority of them were fluent in Hindi and Marathi. There were applicants from Bihar, a 19-year-old Hritik Roshan-clone from Kashmir, and a 31-year-old Bharat Natyam dancer from Delhi. The influence of Bollywood was strongly identifiable in their body language and rhythm... but their regional flavours scored in their dramatic presentations. The confidence displayed in their flashing eyes, their sun-burnt copper complexions, their flashing smiles, their agile bodies, their range in voice reflected the hardships many may have endured to rise above the challenges to compete with city-slick competition. Their energy and cheerfulness, their range of emotions, their sincerity, their passion for theatre, their dedication soon dispelled all inhibitions when grilled by a formidable panel of judges which included Satish Alekar, Shafaat Hussain, Reema Lagoo.
Enquiring about students who had already graduated, Waman proudly regaled us with stories of their success in running local groups back in their regions, teaching assignments, and a few being seduced with offers from films and serials. But his pride was in his first-batch graduate who has gone abroad to do a course in Theatre Management. It was the most exhilarating two week ends I have spent amongst the young hopefuls. I can already see the enrichment of regional theatre in Maharashtra.
Dolly Thakore is a theatre actor and television personality.
The following is a list of shows you should watch out for this month. The code to it's deciphering is as follows:
in blue are QTP events.
Those with an (R) next to them means that we have reviewed it, and if you require a review simply email us at email@example.com asking for it.
Those with an (PP) next to them means that it is a platform performance, entry free!
|1, Wed||9 pm||Sa Hi Besura||
Directed by Makrand Deshpande.
|2, Thu||9pm||Sakharam Ke Khoj Main Hawaldar||An Ansh Presentation.||Prithvi|
|3, Fri||9pm||Sakharam Ke Khoj Main Hawaldar||A Policeman is on the search for Sakharam Binder from Tendulkar's Classic.||Prithvi|
|4, Sat||6 & 9pm||Karode Mein Ek||With Makrand Deshpande, Yashpal Sharma, Kishore Kadam and Others.||Prithvi|
|7 pm||Mr Wizard & Ms Kool||
A story of a Man and a Woman who start interrogating each other
|7:30pm||To The Death of My Own Family||The plays talks of an Afghan-American woman who returns with her immigrant family to Afghanistan to help her father escape the ravages of war, only to witness the carnage of her entire family.||Ranga Shankara, Bangalore|
|5, Sun||11am||Nabo Nabo Rupe Esho||A play in Gujarati.||Prithvi|
|6 & 9pm||Karode Main Ek||A patriarch has gone insane after losing his wealth.|
|6:30 pm||Mr Wizard & Ms Kool||
With Divya Jagdale and Shiv Subrahmanyam.
|7pm||Buddha Ae Mari Sixer||Written by Imtiaz Patel. Directed by Vipul Mehta.||Tata Theatre|
|3:30 & 7:30pm||To The Death of My Own Family||This compelling story is not one of war or an individual. It is about the pain and suffering one bears when one’s human rights are violated and one has nowhere to turn.||Ranga Shankara, Bangalore|
|3pm||'Protest Theatre' Workshop||Limited Seats Only. For more details call 98204 80583 / firstname.lastname@example.org||Prithvi House|
|8pm||Toba Tek Singh(PP)||Based on Sadat Hassan Manto's story about an inmate of a mental asylum looking for his roots during partition.||Prithvi|
|9pm||Juloos||The play is about the puzzlement and frustration that a person endures during an identity crisis.|
|7pm||To The Death of My Own Family||
Theatre Productions Venture.
A one woman play performed by Farah Bala.
|'Protest Theatre' Workshop||Conducted by Salim Arif.||Prithvi House|
|8pm||Toba Tek Singh(PP)||
Directed by Sananda Mukhopadhyaya.
|9pm||Juloos||Written by Badal Sircar. Directed by Khushboo Shroff|
|9, Thu||6:30pm||To The Death of My Own Family||This is the story of an Afghan-American woman who grew up in America, and recently went back to Kabul to bring back her father.||NCPA Little Theatre|
|6 & 9pm||Of Mice and Men||Directed by Vijay Kumar.||Prithvi|
|6 & 9pm||Hum Bihar Se Chunaav Lad Rahe Hai||It tells the story of what would happen if Lord Krishna would contest the election from Bihar.||Prithvi|
Written and directed by Om Katare.
|6 & 9pm||Katha Collage Part 2||7 Short stories from Hindustani masters adapted for the stage.||Prithvi|
|6:30pm||To The Death of My Own Family||
The play deals with Nadeema, who returns “home” to the United States, where she suddenly interrogated as a suspect, detained, humiliated and forced to justify her journey east in order to reclaim her rightful US citizenship.
|12, Sun||11am||To The Death of My Own Family||The play is written by David L. Meth, and directed by Broadway veteran Peter Ratray, this critically acclaimed show comes to India after enthralling audiences in the US for over two years.||Prithvi|
|6 & 9pm||Beewion Ki Madarsaa||A farcical comedy about the difficulties of finding the right woman.|
|6:30 pm||Mummy Please!||
With Priyanka Basu, Aniruddha Nag, Paromit Chatterjee amd others.
|6:30pm||Anything But Love!||With Mandira Bedi and Samir Soni.||Tata Theatre|
|14, Tue||6 & 9pm||Kanyadaan||Directed by Dinesh Thakur.||Prithvi|
|7:30pm||Nati Binodini||Based on the actress autobiography Aamar Katha.||Nehru Centre|
|15, Wed||11am||A Special Bond||
Based on various children's stories by Ruskin Bond.
|6 & 9 pm||Jis Lahore Nahin Dekhiya||Partition. 1947. A story of humanity & love in the time of rampant hate.|
Directed by Amal Allana.
|6:30pm||Class of 84||A roller-coaster ride about friendship, filled with pathos and humour.||Tata Theatre|
|16, Thu||6 & 9 pm||
A satirical comedy about a lone woman's quest for love.
|6 & 9pm||Ilhaam||A man eager to leap into his childhood, fearing losing his past & present.||Prithvi|
|18, Sat||6 & 9pm||Ilhaam||Directed by Manav Kaul.||Prithvi|
Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai
|Enacted by Anupam Kher.||Tata Theatre|
|7pm||Dear Liar||Adapted from the correspondence between George Bernard Shaw and Mrs. Patrick Campbell.||NCPA Exp.|
|19, Sun||6 & 9pm||Ilhaam||With Abhay Joshi, Ayesha Raza and Kumud Mishra||Prithvi|
Improvised and enacted by Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak-Shah.
Written by Vijay Tendulkar. Directed by Lillete Dubey.
Mari Bairine Koi Leso?
A Parsi Gujarati play. Directed by Sam Kerawalla.
|21, Tue||9 pm||
Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace
The story of one woman who rises to become the matriarch of a powerful family in Bombay. An orphan who wraps all around her in "the web of her providing". Starring Jayati Bhatia.
|22, Wed||9 pm||
Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace
Follow the exploits of a Khoja matriarch as she vies for the attention of
her in laws, her battles with her sister in law & the betrayal of her
|23, Thu||6 & 9 pm||The President is Coming||
A comedy of 8 people who will
stop a nothing to meet the President of America.
"..high dose of entertainment…succeeds in making the audience have a great time.” - Mumbai Mirror
“The cast is terrific…Enjoyable watch” - Times of India
|25, Sat||6 & 9 pm||Munshiji Ki Gudgudiyaan||A compilation of stories by the renowned Hindi writer Premchand.||Prithvi|
|7pm||Lift Kara De||
Directed by Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and Kaizaad Navroze Kotwal.
|26, Sun||6 & 9 pm||Daudaa Daudaa Bhaaga Bhagga||
The play is based on the hilarious American comedy, Three Men and a Horse.
|6:30pm||Double Deal - How Far Would You Go?||
Directed by Mahesh Dattani. With Mahesh Manjrekar and Sandhya Mridul.
|6:30pm||Shirley Valentine||Shirley airs her views on men, marriage, children and about self-discovery.||NCPA Exp.|
Great Text Reading
An informal reading of Edmond
Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac.
|28, Tue||6 & 9pm||Hello Spring||A Vijeta Theatre Presentation.||Prithvi|
|29, Wed||6 & 9pm||
With Suzanne Bernert & Akhil Mishra.
|30, Thu||6 & 9 pm||Garam Kamra & Marhoom Ki Yaad Main||Written by Ramu Ramanathan. Directed by Sunil Shanbag.||Prithvi|
|31, Fri||6 & 9 pm||
Cotton 56, Polyester 84
A political musical about the fate of the mill workers and their land.
You can also check the following websites for
Prithvi Theatre: http://www.prithvitheatre.org/
Nehru Theatre: www.nehrucentremumbai.com/newsletter.htm
Mumbai Theatre Guide: http://www.mumbaitheatreguide.com/
Best of Bombay: www.bestofbombay.com/calendar.php
for Actors, Singers, Musicians, Composers, actors-who-can-sing, singers-who-can-
act, for their upcoming MUSICAL production of Sahitya Akademi Award-winning
playwright Chandrashekhar Kambar’s
in English) to be directed by Jaimini Pathak.
Interested performers contact 98700 61161 / 98200 77429
Industrial Theatre Company:
is looking to cast its new production, "INTO
the Indian Premiere of Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award winning 1987 musical.
We intend to rehearse for 1 month [September 15 - October 16] in South Mumbai [at the NCPA Rehearsal Rooms], and then run the show for 10 consecutive nights [October 17-25] at the Experimental Theatre. We are looking for a bunch of brilliantly talented actor-singers, capable of effortlessly conveying both the profound emotions and the giddy humour of this extraordinary piece. Or, failing that, for actors who "can-also-sing-a-little", and singers who "might-want-to-try-some-acting
DATE - Sunday, August 5, 2007. VENUE – 'SUNNYVILLE', 22 Carmichael Road, Mumbai 400 026. [Just off Peddar Road]
Timings - 10am-2pm & 4:30pm-6:30pm
If you are interested, please call Advait at 98207 93687 To register and receive a time-slot.
Maaria Sayed is looing for actors to cast in her play called 'NUTS',
hoping to be staged for Thespo 9 so the main criteria is everyone must be 25
years or below as on 1st January 2007. She is looking to cast
for the role of :
3- mother(slightly plump)
all must be mature looking and preferably bigger built.
All those who are interested contact Maaria on 98201 51693 or email at email@example.com
We performing a musical version of
Vaikom Mohammed Basheer's novella "Me Grandad 'ad an Elephant" this November as
part of the Prithvi Theatre festival. The story revolves around the life of a
Kerala Muslim family in the 1940s. (Synopsis attached). The performance is in
English. We are now looking for a strong cast which can SING to bring the play
to life. If you are interested or know of people who are, do get in touch with
me. Please send this mail out to people you think might want be part of this.
We're looking for:
You can get in touch with Shivani on 9820009500 or this email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aatish Academy of X-Treme Arts :
Academy is conducting an Advance Action based workshop for Stage Artist's from
1st of August 2007 to the 31st of October 2007.
Days: Monday, Wednesday and Friday ; Time: 6 to 9 p.m.
For more details Contact : 98338 31241 / 98332 21208 or visit www.AAtishGroup.com / email@example.com
Diploma in Acting Course : Nehru Centre in affiliation with Kavikulguru Kalida Sanskrit University Ramtek, Nagpur presents NATYADISHA, a weekend diploma course in Dramatics (1 year) at The Nehru Centre.
For enquires, contact Ms Pallavi Gurjar : 98207 25551 or Mr. Prakash Pawar : 24964676/77/78/79/80 Ext 119
Acting Theatre Workshop : Kalaghar is conducting and an Acting Workshop at Sahayoy Mandir, Thane for age groups 4-14 and 15 & above.
Those interested can contact Ramnath Tharwal : 98213 30963.
Children's Theatre Workshops: Academy of Creative Expression announces workshops for children from 3-14years old at 16 centres all over Bombay. Call 22871851 for details.
is a gross art, built in sweeps and over-emphasis. Compromise is its second name."
- Enid Bagnold.
Contact QTP: 18 Anukool, 5th Floor, Sq. Ldr. Harminder Singh Road, 7 Bungalows, Andheri, Mumbai - 400 061. Telefax: 2639 2688. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org