Rakt Kalyan, 2018-19
Hindi Translation of Girish Karnad’s Taledanda
Directed by Sunil Shanbag
Translated by Ram Gopal Bajaj
Written in 1989 in the backdrop of mandir-mandal conflict, this play draws parallels in the socio-religious, political and economic conditions between southern India in the 12th century A.D. during Bhakti Movement and current times as we see them today. Eight hundred years ago in the city of Kalyan a man called Basavanna assembled a congregation of poets, mystics, social revolutionaries and philosophers – unmatched in their creativity and social commitment. They opposed idolatry, rejected temple worship, upheld equality of sexes, and condemned the caste system. Events take a violent turn when they act on their beliefs and an upper caste Brahmin girl is married to a non-Brahmin boy. Rakt Kalyan (Tale-Danda) is a story spanning a few weeks that shows how a vibrant, prosperous society is plunged into anarchy and terror.
About Girish Karnad:
Girish Raghunath Karnad (Born 19 May 1938) is an Indian actor, film director, Kannada writer, playwright and a Rhodes Scholar, who predominantly works in South Indian cinema and Bollywood. His rise as a playwright in the 1960s, marked the coming of age of modern Indian playwriting in Kannada, just as Badal Sarkar did in Bengali, Vijay Tendulkar in Marathi, and Mohan Rakesh in Hindi. He is a recipient of the 1998 Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour conferred in India.
For four decades Karnad has composed plays, often using history and mythology to tackle contemporary issues. He has translated his plays into English and has received acclaim. His plays have been translated into some Indian languages and directed by directors like Ebrahim Alkazi, B. V. Karanth, Alyque Padamsee, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur, Satyadev Dubey, Vijaya Mehta, Shyamanand Jalan, Amal Allana and Zafer Mohiuddin. He is active in the world of Indian cinema working as an actor, director and screenwriter, in Hindi and Kannada cinema, and has earned awards. He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India and won four Filmfare Awards, of which three are Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada and the fourth a Filmfare Best Screenplay Award.
About the director – Sunil Shanbag
Sunil Shanbag is a Mumbai based theatre director and producer. He is the co-founder and artistic director of Theatre Arpana, and Tamaasha Theatre.
Over the past 35 years, Sunil’s work across various genres of theatre practice has focussed on the complex nature of contemporary India, on stage as well as in various alternative spaces. His work spans across themes and issues that concern modern Indian society, across class, caste, gender and other inequalities. Major productions include Cotton 56, Polyester 84, S*x, M*rality, and Cens*rship, Stories in a Song, Loretta, and most recently, a re-imagining of the 1945 iconic play by Prithviraj Kapoor, Deewar.
His work is seen at major theatre festivals across the country, and has also been presented over two seasons at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre in London. He has been associated with Theater Freiburg in Germany.
Sunil Shanbag has recently been awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for theatre direction, 2017.
In a new Hindi translation of the Spanish play Yerma written by Federico Garcia Lorca | Translated by Neha Sharma | Additional Scenes and lyrics by Abhinav Grover | Music Direction by Amod Bhatt
Yerma is a story of a woman, who is barren and unable to have a child in a society that only values women for their ability to reproduce. She spends her life desperately trying to fulfill her desire for motherhood eventually driving her to a horrific act, that is the climax of the play.
About the director – Mahesh Dattani
Mahesh Dattani is one of the most successful playwrights of Indian theatre and a prolific director. He is the only Indian-english playwright to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for his work. His notable plays include Final Solutions, Dance Like a Man, Night Queen, Tara to name a few. He has also ventured in film direction and has won the award for Best Artistic Contribution at the Cairo Film Festival for his work. He was one of the 21 playwrights chosen by the BBC to write plays to commemorate Chaucer’s 600th anniversary. Currently Mahesh is working on an original script by writer Shanta Gokhale titled, Menghaobi – the fair one. The script is based on activist Irom Sharmila and is being directed by Mahesh and produced by Mahesh’s theatre company, Playpen Performing Arts Trust.
About Federico Garcia Lorca
Federico Garcia Lorca is an eminent Spanish playwright, poet and director. He is credited with revitalising the basic strains of Spanish poetry and theatre by introducing elements of symbolism, futurism and surrealism to his works . In his career spanning 19 years he has produced several notable works, the three most famous being: Blood Wedding, the House of Bernada Alba and Verma all considered to be masterpieces of playwriting.
The Mule’s Foal, 2016-17
Adapted by Alan Becher from the novel by Fontini Epanomitis | In a new Hindi Translation by Neha Sharma
The Mule’s Foal concerns three families throughout 100 years of Greek family life. In the village Theodosios abandons his wife and gorilla child, then spends a lifetime trying to get them back. There’s Meta, who is neither male nor female. And Yiorgos the Apeface, who is both man and beast. Young Agape of the Glowing Face, who can stop men’s hearts with a look. From the centre of superstition and gossip, rumour and chaos, Mirella the ancient whore finds a calm place to tell her tantalising tale.
About Alan Becher:
Alan Becher co-founded the Perth Theatre Company in 1994 and was the Artistic Director until his death in 2008. His writing credits include stage adaptations of Paul Radley’s My Blue Checker Corker and Me, Tom Hungerford’s Stories from Suburban Road, Elizabeth Jolley’s The Newspaper of Claremont Street, Mudrooroo’s Wild Cat Falling and Fotini Epanomitis’ The Mule’s Foal. He also co-wrote Shadow of the Eagle and conceived Welcome to Dullsville, to which he contributed material, together with 14 members of Perth Theatre Company’s Writers’ Lab.
About the director – Puja Sarup
MA (Theatre Arts) Mumbai University | Helikos International School of Theatre Creation, Italy
Puja has been a theatre actor in Mumbai since 2003 and has acted in several productions such as Hamlet – The Clown Prince, Sex, morality and Censorship, All about my Mother, Grey Elephants in Denmark, Hair and many others. She has also been associated with Footsbarn travelling theatre company (France) and Buchinger’s Boots ( France). She has been awarded the META award for her role in Hamlet – The Clown Prince and is the recipient of the Vinod Doshi Fellowship (2010).
Puja is lead-faculty for Devising and Theatre Making at the Drama School, Mumbai. She is also co- founder of The Patchworks Ensemble. She has been active in theatre since 2003. Her stage credits include Hamlet – The Clown Prince (for which she won the META award), S*x, M*rality & Cens*rship, All About My Mother & Grey Elephants in Denmark. She has been associated with the French theatre companies, Footsbarn and Buchinger’s Boots. In 2010, she was awarded the Vinod Doshi Fellowship, and the J N Tata Scholarship in 2011 that funded a 3-year movement theatre course (based on the Lecoq pedagogy) in Helikos in Florence, Italy.
About the director – Sheena Khalid
Sheena is co-founder of The Patchworks Ensemble. Their first production Ila opened in 2014. She has recently devised and performed the show The Gentlemen’s Club AKA Tape. Other works include the site-specific projects Importance of Being Earnest and The Weird and the Wonderful . Most recently she is performing in What’s Done is Done directed by Rajat Kapoor. Sheena teaches drama workshops for both adults and children.
Sheena is co-founder of The Patchworks Ensemble. Their first production Ila opened in 2014. She has completed a full time 2-year course in theatre at the London International School of Performing Arts. She has recently devised and performed the show The Gentlemen’s Club AKA Tape. Other works include the site-specific projects Importance of Being Earnest and The Weird and the Wonderful . Most recently she is performing in What’s Done is Done directed by Rajat Kapoor. Sheena teaches drama workshops for both adults and children.
Juliet aur uska Romeo, 2015-16
Translated by Amitabh Srivastava | Directed by Aniruddha Khutwad
Shakespeare’s tragic love story Romeo and Juliet is often dismissed as a frivolous tale of rich teenagers, too stubborn to know better. But the DSM’s 2015-16 student production wasn’t the glamorized tale of star-crossed lovers that has been the inspiration of generations of suicide pacts. Millenials are accused everyday of frippery in the larger socio-cultural contexts. Thus, telling the tale of a young woman – who chose love at every turn, who refused to let anger and impulsiveness change her mind, who knew what she wanted and went for it with all her might – is laying bare the true grit of our present generation. And it is a lesson we could all do well to heed.
About Aniruddha Khutwad
National School of Drama, Delhi
Prolific director and drama facilitator, Anruddha Khutwad is visiting faculty at NSD, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), and teaches at the Centre For Performing Arts, Pune University, FLAME University (Pune), and the Goa Kala Academy, apart from facilitating theatre workshops across the country.
He has directed numerous plays in Marathi and in Hindi for prominent institutions and theatre groups across India. Aniruddha also works in film and has been involved with the Hindi film Haasil, the Marathi film Valu and with the telefilms Najarana, Fursat Mein, Ek Shaam Ki Mulakaat, Anekon Hitler and Musafir. He has also been the casting director for films such as Gandhi, my Father, Haasil, Valu and Doha.
The Dragon, 2014-15
Written by Evgeny Shvarts | Directed by Tushar Pandey | Translated by Harsh Khurana
Who do we blame for the state of a nation? The rulers? The people? Nobody? Everybody? This debate has rung loud from various corners of the globe as regimes, dictatorships and democracies have risen and fallen. And as always, it is the artists of a culture who bring the argument to boil with radical pieces of art. Such was the case with Russian playwright Evgeny Shvarts’ biting satire – The Dragon – a play with the notable distinction of having been unofficially banned by Stalin’s government for having subversive intent.
About Tushar Pandey
Tushar is an actor, director and teacher, practising performance since 2003. He was Inlaks Shivdasani International Scholar and specilizes in Lecoq’s Pedagogy. Tushar has presented his work in at the Edinburgh Fringe as well as in England, Greece, Dubai, China, and India. His film credits include several Hindi films including the critically acclaimed Pink, and Beyond Blue which premiered at Marche du Film (Cannes Film Festival, 2015). He received a special mention as Best Actor at a festival in Rome; December 2015. Tushar is also guest faculty at National School of Drama, Delhi.
Molière’s Tartuffe – a two-faced comedy, A new hindi adaptation, 2013-14
Directed by Daniel Goldman
Our love-hate relationship with godmen and women has been the subject of many a book, documentary, film and theatrework. And Molière’s classical bedroom farce presented the perfect opportunity to tell a tale of India’s most infamous con-artists – the dhongi baba.
Tartuffe, a mysterious godman, ingratiates himself into the household of the wealthy Orgon and his mother Madame Pernelle. He quickly becomes an integral part of Orgon’s household, sucking them dry in the process. A mysterious godman, spoilt daughters, secret documents, sexy stepmothers, Shakespeare, filmy lovers and a maid with a real mouth on her, all collide in this besharam rendition of Molière’s most enduring work of comedic genious.
The performance was part of the DSM inaugural double bill, performed by the students of the first One Year Certificate Course.
About Daniel Goldman
Daniel Goldman is an award-winning director, translator, teacher and playwright. Directing credits include Thebes Land (Off West End Award – Best Production), You’re not like the Other Girls Chrissy (co-directed with Omar Elerian – Olivier Award Nomination), Wanawake Wa Heri Wa Windsa (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre & International tour), Oedipus at Colonus (The Cambridge Greek Play & Songs of Friendship: A storytelling trilogy with James Rowland (Three Weeks Editors Award). Daniel has been the artistic director of Tangram Theatre Company since 2006 and he was the artistic director of CASA Latin American Theatre Festival from 2007 until 2019. His current projects include Frankenstein at Inside Out Theatre, Beijing in December 2019 & Stupid F**king Bird at The Pleasance, Islington in February 2020.
The Curious Climb of Cutter Chee, 2013-14
Directed by Ben Samuels
Bertolt Brecht’s THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI is an infamous parable about Hitler rise to power, writter right under the Great Dictator’s nose. The DSM was inspired by it to create Cutter Chee at a significant time in India’s contemporary political history. The general elections were round the corner and the country’s artistic community was divided between the need for development and the future of individual freedom.
The Curious Climb of Cutter Chee traces the entirely avoidable ascension of a small time gangster who rises through the ranks of the dons and bhais of Mumbai’s thug landscape. Cutter is a chintu clown of a man, yet his tactics of opportunism, coercion and manipulation eventually make him the terrifying leader of the city’s underbelly. The student ensemble worked with British director Ben Samuels to present Cutter Chee in the world the world of 1970s Bollywood gangster films highlighting the nexus between construction magnates, politicians and the mafia.
The performance was part of the DSM inaugural double bill, performed by the students of the first One Year Certificate Course.
About Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels is an award-winning director, writer and performer. He studied theatre and cultural history at Brown University (USA), and received his MFA at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA), where he was supported by a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship for Theatre Arts. As the Artistic Director of Limbik, he wrote and performed in the company’s first two shows The Harbour and Ghost Town, directed their next two projects, The Messenger and The Forecast.
His solo show, Fatherland, explores the intersection of real-time motion capture and immersive virtual reality technology with live theatre. It was one of five national projects supported by the UK’s Digital Catapult Creative XR programme. Other Directing work includes: Gael Le Cornec’s “The Other” and “Kitchen”; “The Curious Climb of Cutter Chee” (Drama School Mumbai, India); The Science Gallery London’s interactive “Blood Bikers;” and Assistant Director to Andrew Dawson for Redcape’s “The Idiot Colony.”
As an Associate Director at the Cumbria Institute of the Arts, he created ten productions with Performing Arts students, often focusing on re-writing and re-imagining classic texts. He currently regularly directs Music Theatre productions for the London College of Music.
Ben performed nationally and internationally with theatre companies such as Fix&Foxy, Likely Story, Barnstorm, Nutkhut, Theatre of Europe, Decollage, and Lemonade and Laughing Gas, and played mandolin for a decade with the UK’s hardest working klezmer-balkan-gypsy band, She’koyokh.