Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vayala Vasudevan Pillai, KD Tripati & Shreeram Lagoo honoured by Sangeet Natak Akademi.


The Sangeet Natak Akademi has announced this year’s awards and fellowships. And I am very glad to see the name of Vayala Vasudevan Pillai in the list of awardees, who has been working in theatre for more than 35 years. Vayala is always a good friend of me and Lokadharmi, has associated with us in many ways, and is almost a usual presence in most of our functions, seminars and workshops of Lokadharmi; he is a source of encouragement and inspiration for us to work relentlessly.

The two fellowships are awarded to veteran actor director Shreeram Lagoo and the Sanskrit scholar and academician Dr. KD Tripathi.

It is interesting to note that most of the awardees this time work in films, TV besides theatre. Some of them is more into Films and TV than theatre, after their initial stint live theatre. Is it an indicator of the presence era that theatre activity alone is not that much rewarding and the ground reality is that you have to migrate or change foots to the more attractive/popular media of film and TV for sustenance?

The Akademi Fellow (Akademi Ratna) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) have been conferred since 1952, which not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements on a national basis, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution to the practice and appreciation of the arts through performance, teaching and scholarship. The honour of Akademi Fellow carries purse money of Rs 3,00,000/- (Rupees three lacs) and Akademi Awards carry Rs 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lac), besides Tamrapatra and Angavastram.

Dr. Shreeram Lagoo

Shriram_Lagoo_300 (1) Dr. Shreeram Lagoo the veteran theatre and film and actor, both in Hindi and Marathi, is honoured as the fellow of Sangeet Natak academy.

Dr. Shreeram Lagoo has acted in more than 40 Marathi, Hindi and Guajarati plays and is noted for his excellent portrayal of characters who has also directed over 20 Marathi plays. He has also been very vocal and active in furthering progressive and rational social causes. He was very active in the theatre scenario of Pune and Maharashtra and was very passionate to theatre, and was helpful and helpful to emerging trends and directors in the scene.

He started acting in plays from his student days and continued through the avant garde group "Progressive Dramatic Association" which he started with like-minded friends like Bhalaba Kelkar and later through "Rangaayan" in Mumbai. Meanwhile he trained as an ENT surgeon in Mumbai in the early fifties and practiced in Pune for 6 years before going to Canada and England for additional training.

In 1969 he left his medical profession and became a full time actor on Marathi stage, debuting in the play "Ithe Oshalala Mrityu" written by Vasant Kanetkar. He was the first protagonist of the famous Marathi play Natasamrat written by Kusumagraj and is best remembered for that role.

Kamalesh Dutt Tripathi

 Sanskritist Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi delivering Sankardev Lecture at Tezpur University. 

FOR CAMPUS Eminent Sanskrit scholar, theatre personality and professor emeritus of Banaras Hindu University Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi was also selected as the fellow by SNA this year.

The name of Tripathi is synonymous with the Sanskrit theatre tradition and aesthetics of India. His interest and expertise spreads from Kutiyattam tradition to Ankiya Nat of Assam, aesthetics, practice and tradition.

He has given immense contribution to the contemporary practice of classical Sanskrit texts in his tenure as the Chairman of Kalidasa Academy Ujjain. He was equally instrumental in understanding and performing the plays by Kalidasa and Bhasa. His writings and translations into Hindi of plays like Balacharita was important in understanding the dramaturgy of Bhasa in the modern context.

Prof Kamalesh Dutta Tripathi is regarded to be an authority on Natya Shastra, the famous Indian treatise on theatre, in terms of its philosophy, aesthetics and techniques and its application in the present context.

Playwrights Vayala Vasudevan Pillai and Shanna Navre

Playwrights Vayala Vasudevan Pillai (Malayalam) and Shankar Narayan Navre (Marathi) and has been selected for the Kendra Sangeet Nataka Akademi’s award.

vayala Vayala is the fourth person to bring home the honour for Malayalam, the others being N.Krishna Pillai, G.Sankara Pillai and K.T. Mohammed. He has been actively involved in all aspects of the Malayalam theatre from writing and direction to teaching, research and organising for the last four decades. He has given his contribution to introduce and relate the newer tendencies in the western theatre and also to re-link theatre with Kerala's ancient traditions of ritual theatre and performance tradition He is a friend and philosopher who guides and promotes the new theatre of Kerala by his presence and interactions with plays and performances.

Vayala was groomed by the Kalari theatre movement started by Sankara Pillai. Vayala joined the School of Drama as assistant director and head of the department in 1984, after leaving his Mar Ivanios College, Thiruvananthapuram, where he was professor of English. Later, he succeeded Sankara Pillai as director of the School of Drama, when Sankara Pillai left the institution.

In 1980-81, Dr. Vayala was awarded the Italian Government's theatre fellowship that enabled him to study theatre at the University of Rome. In 1989-90, he was awarded the post-doctoral Fulbright fellowship of the United States and it helped him do research under the guidance of Richard Schechner at the New York University. He was also a visiting professor of theatre in Meiji University, Tokyo, under the Japan Foundation fellowship and at Paris University.

He has written many plays that includes `Viswadarsanam' (1977), `Thulaseevaram' (1979), `Agni' (1982), `Rangabhasha' (1984), `Varavelpu' (1985), `Kuchelagadha' (1988), `The death of Nestling' (1992), `Suthradhara, Ethile...Ethile?' (1993), `Kunji Chirakukal' (1994), `Swarnakokkukal' (1999) etc.

Vayala Vasudevan Pillai is now the Director, Centre for Performing and Visual Arts of the University of Kerala.

Shankar Narayan Navre (popularly known as Shanna) is one of the important playwrights in Marathi who is the author of path breaking plays Divasendivasa, Parimita, etc. He is also writing for other visual media including TV and film.

Actors Sudha Shivpuri and Neeta Mohindra

Sudha Shivpuri is a popular TV actor fondly remembered for her role as 'Baa' in the Hindi TV serial Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.

sudha-shivpuri Sudha Shivpuri started her career early in theatre acting in plays , when she was in the eighth standard in school; Her father had died, and her mother had fallen ill, thus the ones of earning a living for the family came on to her, and so she started acting in plays.

Later she joined All India Radio, Jaipur as a radio artist; and then both joined National School of Drama, New Delhi, and continued in the repertory of NSD as actor

She married Om Shivpuri in 1968, and together they formed their own theatre company, 'Dishantar', which produced several important plays including, ‘Aadhe Adhurey’, Thuglaq, and Vijay Tendulkar's Khamosh! Adalat Jari Hai’ in which she played the lead role, all directed by Om Shivpuri.

In 1974, both she shifted to Mumbai, and active in Hindi films and later in serials.

Neeta Mohindra of Amritsar has found herself made for theatre world after having tried diverse fields like painting, acting and direction. And, as a theatre artist, she is making a difference in the Punjabi world for two decades. She is acting in theatre, film and serial actor who had been regularly working with directors like MK Raina and Harpal Tiwana.

chd4neeta Neeta, took to stage at a time when opting a career in stage performances invited many raised eyebrows. "When I joined theatre at the age of 14 or 15, girls were forbidden to act. And, the advantage I had was that I always did lead roles. Now, if I look back, I don't think I was a very good artist. I learned the ropes on my own," says Neeta Mohindra.

She has worked upon a number of gender-related themes, street plays on foeticide which were quite captivating and well received.

"At that time, I took theatre merely as a hobby and had never thought of making a career out of it...Theatre left a great impact on me. Even the government uses our street and stage plays to spread mass awareness. The Punjab government organized a series of shows called `Trimat' to spread awareness on female foeticide," says Neeta.

She says that she has been to the United Kingdom and performed the play ‘Land of Five Rivers’ at about 50 locations all over England including London, Manchester & Birmingham.

She is also a very accomplished artist and painter. “I am a workaholic. I teach, I act and paint, and 24 hours in a day seem good enough for all these activities. She also finds time and space to act in films too.


Joy Michael is a senior outstanding theatre personality. Originally joym trained in theatre at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, The Royal Academy of Music and The British Drama League, she has made an enormous contribution to theatre in Delhi. She is the founder of YATRIK THEATRE- a bilingual repertory company with the objective of projecting the arts as a dynamic living force in our times by providing regular performances. One of her aims had been to promote theatre in education by holding workshops in schools and colleges and staging performances in educational institutions, which we still continue to do so. She has been director of the group for over 40 years and has directed over 250 plays in her lifetime.

An educationist by profession, she is an artist in every sense of the word. Theatre has been her life, her drive, her passion, her obsession. She has been a recipient of many awards for her outstanding contribution to theatre, including the Rockefeller Award in New York, the Delhi Natya Sangh Award, Sahitya Kala Parishad award, the Raja Rammohan Nation Education Award and the Chamanlal Memorial Society Award for a lifetime of contribution to theatre.

She believes in the actor’s creativity and possibility of creatice improvisation all her plays were prepared on a shoestring budget.

She has lectured on, and directed, Indian plays at universities: at the University of Virginia; Russell Saga College in New York; Sweet Briar College; Punjab University, Chandigarh. She has written and directed scripts for television and radio. She has been Vice Chair of the National Progressive Schools Conference and Governor of numerous schools in Delhi and regional centres. She was principle of St Thomas School for many years. She continues to work with young students in schools.

Dinesh Takur is the director/actor of theatre and films with many Dinesh Thakur important roles in his credit. He is the founder director of Ank theatre Mumbai (established in 1976) who has directed plays like Hai Mera Dil. – an adaption of Broadway play by Norman Barasch and Carroll Moore - that has completed more than 1000 shows, a rare record in the hstory of Indian theatre. He is also an actor in theatre and films in Mumbai.

Hai Mera Dill is a simple, domestic comedy, it deals with a hypochondriac businessman who misunderstands his family doctor’s telephonic conversation with a heart specialist and comes to the conclusion that he has only a few days to live.

Dinesh Takur and Ank theatre kept on updating it, making references to contemporary, real life people like Osama bin Laden, Laloo Prasad Yadav’ and recent movies to make it contemporary and alive. Besides producing and directing Dinesh Takur has also set up a unique record having played the male lead in all the shows, more than 1000. Around 50 actors had so far played the half a dozen roles in the play, but no one had ever replaced Takur.

Ank had produced around 70 plays, 5,500 shows with an amazing variety of socially relevant plays, farce, comedy, adaptations, and historical and topical satire. For example the play Jis Lahore Nahin Dekhaya (by Asghar Wajahat) that dealt with the trauma of Partition and the resolve of an old Hindu woman not to leave her beloved Lahore and migrate to India.

The other plays produced by Ank and Dinesh Takur include Thuglaq (Girish Karnad); Baqi Itihas and Pagla Ghoda, (Badal Sircar); Suno Janmejaya (Shri Ranga); Jaat Hi Poochho Sadhu Ki,(Vijay Tendulkar); Khamosh! Adalat Jari Hai (Vijay Tendulkar); Kamala,( Vijay Tendulkar); Aadhe Adhurey, (Mohan Rakesh); Rakt-Beej,( Shankar Shesh); Mahabhoj, (Manu Bhandari); Atamkatha, (Mahesh Elkunchwar); Gaganbhedi, ; ( Vasant Kanetkar); Hangamakhez, (Agha Hashra Kashmiri); Sheh Ye Maat (B.M. Shah) etc.


kamal arora Kamal Arora plays all his roles to perfection, be it acting, make-up, set making ,costume designing, or lighting; He is a complete theatre person, now is the vice-chairman of the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi. In his long career he has acted in more than 100 plays, directed 100 plays and make up production of 50 productions.

Kamal feel that each and every aspect of theatre is equally important; for example a few lines of make-up on the face of an actor can depict a lot, can take you back in years, provided it’s done to perfection. ‘’You have to understand the character well, to do a real job, and it’s vital to be in sync with the theme of the play when you are designing costumes and doing make-up,’’ Having worked with people like Kumar Verma, Anjala Maharishi, and Manohar Singh excelled his skills on backstage

Arora produced the first light and sound full-length play, Anarkali, in the ‘80s and was a novel concept, one that was received well too.

Born in Pakistan, raised in UP but Kamal Arora has given the best of his aesthetic potential to Abhinet, the oldest theatre ensemble of the Chandigarh.

KULDEEP SINGH – Music Director

kuldipsingh A veteran of the Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA), Kuldip Singh is known for his sensitive and melodious treatment of his compositions for films like Saath Saath and Ankush. He has been associated with IPTA Mumbai for the last 32 years and he is currently the President of the Mumbai chapter. A versatile music director, he has composed music for numerous plays, teleserials, music albums and films.

His work with IPTA includes plays like Sufaid Kundali, Bakri, Dulari Bai, Moteram, Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein and others. Kuldip Singh has also composed music for almost all the notable Hindi theatre groups in Mumbai, including Nadira Babar’s Ekjute and Dinesh Thakur's Ank among others. Today he is undoubtedly the most sought after Music director in the Hindi theatre circles of Mumbai.

Kaifi aur mem by IPTA Mumbai is one of his recent productions.

MOINUL HAQUE – mime artist

moin_img1 Moinul Haque, who virtually single handily popularised mime in the North East region, has been named as one of the recipients of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for the year 2009

Moinul, who has been practicing mime for the past 30 years without a guru and now the director Mime Academy in Gowhatty which aims to take mime to the grass root level.

In the early 1970 he started as a mono-actor but soon formed a group called "Sound and Comedy". His works has a vision and themes that highlights champion the marginalized moments of crises in diverse characters; For Moinul Haque mime is a versatile and sensitive art form that can convey important and relevant issues of society. Thousands of performances he have throughout the country has proved that he had mastered the universal language of mime that can transcend the barriers of caste, creed and colour. His accurate display of emotion, facial expressions and body language succeeds in conveying silent messages to the audiences beyond words.

He also works with the children from the Deaf and Dumb School at Guwahati; gives he has given a number of lecture -demonstrations at the various places in India and is a regular visiting expert for various acting institutions in the North-East of India.

For their contribution to Other Traditional/Folk/ Tribal Music/ Dance/ Theatre catogery, Musafir Ram Bhardwaj (Folk Dance - Himachal Pradesh); Vilayat Khan Ragi (Dhadhi Folk Music - Punjab); U K Kunjirama Panicker (Theyyam - Kerala); Jaganath Behera (Pala -Orissa); Shanti Jain (Folk Music - Bihar); Vithal Gangaram Umap (Folk Theatre - Maharashtra) and Bhikhudan Govindbhai Gadhvi (Folk Music - Gujarat) have been awarded.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Plays that looks into Morality, Sex, Relations, Traditions and Revolt…; Interesting mix in Meta 2010.

It is February and is time for Meta to announce the 10 shortlisted plays for the covetable awards for this year. And there is an interesting mix of plays which vary in content, form, and treatment and is a showcase of the contemporary Indian theatre. This time more plays are included from North East; and a wide representation of regional language that include Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, non-verbal (a mime play), Hindi, Malayalam, and Garo.

Many of the plays looks into morality, relationships, sex, revolt, social moorings, rituals etc. The form ranges from traditional folk theatre, culture, to realism to narration, to the usage of multimedia; but it seems that all the plays are attempting for direct communication with the audience.

The Festival will take place at Delhi on the first week of march where all the selected plays will compete for the best play awards as well as for individual awards as per nominations. The jury include DHRITIMAN CHATERJI, MS SATHYU, NAYANTARA SAHGAL, RANJIT KAPOOR, SEEMA BISWAS, and VIJAYA MEHTA.

The covetable award for the best play has been bagged in the former years by, SARHAD PAAR MANTO –Hindi- USHA GANGULI, Rangakarmee Kolkota (2006); COTTON 56, POLYESTER 84 (Hindi) - SUNIL SHANBAGI - Arpana Mumbai (2007); KARNNABHARAM (The Anguish Of Karna) – Malayalam - CHANDRADASAN– Lokadharmi Kochi, Kerala (2008); and  HAMLET – THE CLOWN PRINCE – English & Gibberish- RAJAT KAPOOR – The Company Theatre Mumbai (2009) and this year... Let us wait for the result.

I am personally thrilled to see the productions of my friends Deepan Sivaraman, Manish Mitra, Mohit Takalkar, and Pabitra Rabha, included in the list.

Spacing Theatre wishes all the plays and artists with the best of luck.

BHARAT KATHA - (Bengali-Multilingual) - Manish Mitra – Kasba Arghya Kolkota

bharath kadha Native, rich and dynamic energy of folk music dance and theatre forms like Pandavani, Jhumur and chhau, Manish Mitra narrates narrate an episode from the epic, The Mahabharata. In his play Bharat Katha Apart from the core cast, a group of Chau dancers from Purulia also features in this production. The action of the play revolves around the incidents of the battle of Kurukshetra, when Abhimanyu boldly ventures to penetrate the dangerous, enigmatic chakravyuh, and is tragically killed inside it.

Nominations –Direction & Choreography (Manish Mitra)-Costume design (Sima Ghosh) –Lighting design (Sudip Sanyal) and for best Ensemble

GARBO - (Marathi) – Mohit Takalkar- Aasaktha Pune

Garbo written by Mahesh Elkunchwar in 1970 is about the class of ‘young people’ living aimlessly with frustration of shattered dreams, the diffusion of mediocrity, and the burden of inhibitions, the generation which breaks out into defiance of living out their own lives with non-conformism for a credo. As the play engages in the inner battles of these people, sexuality becomes the major concern.

garbo01 Contextualized against the lives of Intuc, the frustrated intellectual, Pansy, the potential homosexual, Shrimant, the affluent but weak patron and Garbo, their mother/mistress/sex-goddess, the drama ends in the climax of her death. The play grows out of a claustrophobic real-life situation pushed to the limits of endurance, burgeoning into a surreal holy dream that proves too unreal and brittle to stands the test and inevitably leads to near melodrama, with the animosities and tensions becoming sharper till they culminate in Shrimant stabbing Garbo to death

Nominations – Actor (Nachiket Poornapatre);  Actor in Supporting Role Male (Sarang Sathaye)

GUTI PHULOR GAMUSA - Assamese – Bidyawati Phukan - UTSA Assam

“Guti Phulor Gamusa” from Assam directed by Bidyawati Phukan, is a love story and is produced by the extension activities of National school of Drama.

Bidyawati Phukan, an NSD alumnus validates the use of folk traditions in her productions. Her theatre relates her personal as well as social moorings. She says “Where I come from is a hotbed of insurgency. But the truth is people live with halla. There is violence but there is dance as well.”

Nominations are for Direction; Choreography, and Stage Design (Bidyawati Phukan), Supporting actor Male (Sailen Duwari), Supporting actor in female role (Manju Rajkonwar), Costume design (Manju Rajkonwar, Nidedita Phukan, & Sumi Borgohain), Lighting Design (Anil Gohain & Khirud Gogoi), Sound Design (Anil Gohain ) and for best Ensemble.

MIREL MASINGKHA – Mime - Yumnam Sadananda Singh - The Kanglei Mime Theatre Repertory, Imphal, Manipur.

Mirel Masingkha (The Will of Soul),is a mime play based on the indefinite hunger strike of Irom Chanu Sharmila, portrays her gritty campaign against human rights violation and war against injustice “The play is a medium by which we can tell the story of a strong yet silent symbol of Manipur’s firmament of struggle’, says the director. “Through our play we want to give the message to stop all kinds of killings, both by militants and security forces, to stop abuse of power and get rid of black laws like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958,”

Nominations Direction (Yumnam Sadanand Singh), Female actor in supporting role (Shanta Singh), Sound Design (Shri Inaocha), and for best Ensemble

ROOP AROOP – Hindi - Tripurari Sharma - Shabdaakar, Delhi

Roop Aroop is a Play written and directed by Tripurari Sharma who initially chose theatre as a means of expression to shrug off middle-class conventions and to seek an identity. It was an intimate way of revealing and connecting with the lives of women audiences and sharing their perspective with the world.

She says: “Theatre has an ancient but male-centric history in India’. She is an NSD product with Diploma in Direction

Nomination is for Best Actor, Male (Happy Ranajit)

SEX, MORALITY AND CENSORSHIP – Hindi - Sunil Shanbag - Theatre Arpana, Mumbai

Sex Morality and Censorship is exploring one of the most controversial issues of our time, morality and censorship. The play flashes back to the early‘70s when Vijay Tendulkar’s classic, Sakharam Binder, set off a storm of controversy in the theatre scene and was attacked by the state, and by sections of our society. Using an exciting mix of theatre, illusion, memory, music, dance, and film this play provokes, challenges, and creates a new theatre idiom, both in terms of content and form, entertaining and provocative; and asks the questions – who says NO! ? And why?

sex morality In terms of form he draws from the rich folk tradition of Maharashtra and techniques of modern theatrical art, including multimedia, in a direct, intricate and vivid manner.

Structurally, “Sex, Morality & Censorship” is a play-within-the play with alternation of dramatic action from one space to another, indicating different time planes. Down stage characters like Lavani dancer, a scholar, a commentator and the director who dared to stage “Sakharam Binder” in the face of strong protests by Hindu fundamentalists and Censor Board are at play. The centre stage is used to enact scenes from four plays with special focus on “Sakharam Binder”, which was censured one time, and upstage footage from films and video are projected to demonstrate the narrow mindedness of Censor Board, which initially stopped the screening of these films.

Nominations are for Direction, Sound design (Sunil Shanbag), Script (Shanta Gokhale& Irawati Karnik), Best actor Male(Nagesh Bhonsle), Best Actor Female (Ketaki Thatte), Supporting Actor Female(Rajashree Wad Sawant), Choreography (Maya Jadhav& Mayur Vaidya), Stage Design (Nayantara Kotian, Prashant Prakash & Vivek Jadhav), and for Costume design (Kalyani Kulkarni).

SPINAL CORD – Malayalam- Deepan Sivaraman - Oxygen Theatre Company, Trissur, Kerala.

This production is part of the research project on ‘Spatial Identities and Visual Language in Indian Theatre.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold has inspired this play which narrates the story of a murder revisited 27 years after its occurrence. On the wedding might of Angela and San Roman, roman discovers that his wife is not a virgin. Then her brothers started a revenge to kill the violator. The play looks at the tragedy of the killing and the manner in which it had unfolded 27 years ago as developed on the narration of Santiago’s 80-year old mother who keeps oscillating between the past and the present.

The performance uses direct narration and interaction with the audience, projection of images to accentuate the feel and gravity of incidents, and has a special space design, but is marked by the excellent portrayal of the 80 year old mother by Gopalan Atattu. In the inner level the play showcases the idiosyncrasies of the church, rituals, religion and morality.

spinalcord1 Nominations are for Best Ensemble, Script, Choreography, & Stage design (Deepan Sivaraman), Supporting Actor in male role (Anil P & James Elia)

WHITE LILY & NIGHT RIDER – Marathi – Rasika Joshi & Milind Phatak - Aangika

“White Lily & Night Rider” is the contemporary play - a black comedy - of a man & a woman in their 40’s. They are very close Chat Friends involved even in erotic chat. At one point of time they desperately want to meet each other to transform that virtual reality in to reality and may take the decision of marriage. But when they meet person to person the showdown begins and transpires is both hilarious and poignant. Has the Internet made us afraid of real life issues? Any known system of man – woman relationship is unacceptable to them.

white The play raises innumerable questions and confusions about the fundamentals of the relationship & companionship. Does this confusion end with self realization? Are they afraid of reality? Is the virtual reality more comfortable??

Milind Phatak and Rasika Joshi, who have also written, directed the play and coordinated the sets and lights have explored such facets.

Nominations are for Script (Rasika Joshi & Milind Phatak, and for Actor in Female  Role (Rasika Joshi)

BLACKBIRD – Hindi - Akarsh Khurana - Akvarious Productions, Mumbai

Blackbird_01 Written by David Harrower, Blackbird is a brilliant, unnerving and controversial play that taunts us with the limits of our own language, our taboos and our conceptions of love, abuse and closure.

Una, a confident young woman, confronts Ray, an aging middling executive, and forces him to revisit the past. Twenty years ago, they had an affair. Till one night, Ray disappeared. Now she's back to seek some answers, and to possibly remind the man, who is now leading a respectable life, about his past. And just when you have dismissed the play saying that you know too well what will happen next, the script hits you with a rock that shatters all your preconceptions about the subject. Nobody thinks that it is possible for a thirteen year old to be in love and more so, for a forty year old man to be in love with her. Turns out, it is possible.

With veterans Akarsh Khurana and Shernaz Patel playing the leads. The play is set in an office space. And the idea of getting people to walk around outside the office gave a complete feel of the location.

Performed by an expert cast of Akash Khurana and Shernaz Patel, this 80-minute play by David Harrower deals with that infinite world of grey. It powerfully shows that there are no easy blacks and whites.

A modern morality play with foreground of an appalling case of child sexual abuse, but a complex love story looms in the background.

Nominations are for Direction (Akarsh Khurana), Best male Actor (Akash Khurana), Best actor Female (Shernaz Patel) and for light design (Hidaayat Sami).

A -CHIK A- SONG - Garo Language – Pabitra Rabha - Dapon Garo Hills, Meghalaya

achik a song A-chik A song, means –land of the Garoes -the first ever play in Garo language depicts the culture, traditions, folk tales, traditional costumes, music, and customs of the Garos and dealt with the Garo community’s socio-political history - the history of Garo Hills during 1870-1872 with special reference to the glorious first and the last arms struggle of the Garoes against the British. Though the British Army with their superior of arms could easily overpowered the ill equipped Garo freedom fighters –Toggan Ningminza Sangma the young hero is remembered by the Garoes with great honour as the 1st National hero and as the martyr of the Garoes.

Nominations are for Choreography, & Stage design (Pabitra Rabha), Best ensemble, and Costume design (Tarun Faikia)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Workshop @Lokadharmi with David Studwell and Kathleen Mulligan

A one day Theatre workshop is to be oraganised at Lokadharmi on Sunday, the14th February 2010. The resource persons are Mr. David Studwell, an actor from USA, and Ms. Kathleen Mulligen, an actor trainer, and assistant professor of voice and speech at Ithaca college, USA.

The workshop will focus on the Meisner technique of actor training, and also on Voice and Speech for an actor in a play. Informal discussion and exchange on the contemporary theatre scenario of USA and India will also be a part of the workshop.

Meisner technique is based on a series of progressively complex exercises to develop an ability to improvise, to access an emotional life, and finally to bring the spontaneity of improvisation and the richness of personal response to text. The technique develops the behavioural strand of Stanislavski's 'system'. The technique asserts that by emphasizing "moment-to-moment" spontaneity through communion with other actors, behaviour that is truthful under imaginary circumstances may be generated.

The workshop will take place from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm with a noon break at Changampuzha park edappalli, Kochi, Kerala. Admission is restricted to 20 actors, on first come first serve basis. For reserving seats and other details, contact Harikrishnan, the workshop coordinator (mobile 09995197238) or Chandradasan, the artistic director of Lokadharmi (mobile 09447414200).

191 Kathleen Mulligan is an Assistant Professor of Voice and Speech at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. From 1992-95 she was a Resident Professional Theatre Associate at Cornell University. She spent the past 10 years on the west coast, where she served as a Resident Actor/Teacher at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a Resident Artist at PCPA Theatrefest in Santa Maria, California, where she taught Voice and Speech for the Stage. She spent a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Voice and Acting at The University of Illinois, and taught voice and Shakespeare at The Iolani School on Oahu, Hawaii. While teaching young people at Iolani, she became interested in how non-actors could benefit from the voice training and exercises used by people in the performing arts. She is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) and received her BFA in Acting from Boston University and her MFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University.

071_small David Studwell is a member of Actors Equity Association the union for professional stage actors in and the Screen Actors Guild the US. Representational professional credits: Off Broadway; New York City Center’s Encores! production of Applause with Tony award winning director Kathleen Marshall and staring Tony award winning actress Christine Ebersol. Regional theatre: Falsettos (Mendel) at The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta; As You Like It (Oliver), Romeo and Juliet (Benvolio), Pal Joey (Joey) at The Goodman Theatre; Chess (Anatoly), South Pacific (Emile) at The Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre, Chicago; Sweeney Todd (Sweeney), Fiddler on the Roof (Tevya), My Fair Lady (Henry Higgens )at PCPA Theatrefest, Santa Maria, CA. Resident Equity Actor/Teacher – The Oregon Shakespeare Festival 98’-00’, PCPA Theatrefest 00’-07’. Awards/Honors: Four Joseph Jefferson nominations, Chicago; two Indy Awards, Santa Barbara; Irene Ryan Award – national winner. BFA –SUNY Fredonia; MFA – Purdue University. David lives in Ithaca, NY with his wife Kathleen, a recent Fulbright recipient, an equity actress and Assistant Professor of Voice and Speech at Ithaca College.