women directors theatre festival in tagore theater chandigarh

24 May
Three thespians bring on stage the changing dynamics of theatre through the Women Directors Theatre Festival

The stage is set for a play of emotions, dance, drama and comedy. Varied themes, distinct styles, approaches and treatments is what the Chandigarh audience will view when Tripurari Sharma, Bharti Sharma and Maya Krishna Rao bring to the stage three of their acclaimed productions as part of the Women Directors Theatre Festival. Organised by the Tagore Theatre Society, Department of Cultural Affairs, the three-day festival that will begin on May 30, aims at showcasing the work of women directorswho have experimented with themes, forms and spaces to create new languages and idioms in Indian theatre.
The opening act of the festival is Roop Aroop, a Hindi play, written and directed by the National School of Drama alumnus, playwright, translator and director Tripurari Sharma. It traces the tussle between an accomplished male performer who has been enacting a woman’s role for years and the woman who has just stepped on stage for the role which was denied to her till then. Sharma addresses the internal conflict of an actor of nautanki, who is replaced by someone more biologically fitting. Ranjit Sahoo, Sharma’s student, plays Roopmati, an actor caught in this internal strife.
Bringing comic relief is Episode in the Life of an Author in Hindi, directed by Bharti, who has acted in nearly 50 plays, and worked with directors like Satyadev Dubey, Ratan Thiyam and Ram Gopal Bajaj. Based on French dramatist Jean Anouilh’s play by the same name, it revolves around the day of an author who is being interviewed on his experiences as a writer. The interview never reaches a conclusion, as there are frequent interruptions which create a laugh riot.

Renowned actor, director, writer, Kathakali dancer and activist, Rao plays a significant role in contemporary Indian theatre. At the festival, she will brings her solo theatre performance Quality Street. Based on a short story of the same name by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rao narrates Quality Street through the persona of Mrs Njoku, a woman dealing with a daughter she doesn’t recognise. The comedy follows Njoku’s character, a housewife, whose US-returned daughter, Sochienne, harbours a distaste for her mother’s “bourgeois” ways, and wants to marry a Kenyan. Njoku, on the other hand, is not too happy to see this and goes through a series of emotions.
Rao, who thoroughly enjoyed playing the vibrant and spirited character, feels the story has a universal connect.

The passes are available at Tagore Theatre Sector 18, Tourist Information Centre Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi. The festival is on from May 30 to June 1, 7 pm onwards, at Tagore Theatre.

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