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HomekarnatakaRanga Shankara fete kicks off on October 27 in Bengaluru

Ranga Shankara fete kicks off on October 27 in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: The Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival will bring new and thought-provoking plays to Bengaluru, starting October 27. The six-day event will be held at two venues.

The festival has been previously curated on themes ranging from ‘Political’ to ‘Classical’ and ‘Shakespeare’ to ‘Indian playwrights’. This year’s theme is ‘Narrative & Narrative’. Arundhati Nag, managing trustee of Ranga Shankara, J P Nagar, reasons, “The theme gave us more freedom to showcase a variety of works.”

The organising team has consciously picked “meaningful plays” and not the “rib-tickling content” people often come looking for, she adds. The festival will feature plays in Kannada, Tamil, English, Hindi, Urdu and Persian.

The first performance will be a reading of ‘Slices Of The Moon Swept by The Wind’, a novella written in Kannada by Arundhati’s colleague Surendranath S, an alumnus of the National School of Drama. Pratibha Nandakumar has translated it into English. Arundhati will read the English version at the festival. It tells the story of a dystopic family seen through the eyes of a young boy.

On October 28, Mumbai-based theatre group Aranya will stage ‘Jo Dooba So Paar’. It traces the history of Sufism and Indo-Persian Sufi singer Amir Khusrau through qawwali. It will be performed in a mix of Hindi, Persian, and Urdu.

Puducherry-based theatre group Adishakti will take the stage with an English play titled ‘Urmila’ on October 29. “The group is known to question mythology using a tongue-in-cheek approach. Mythological characters are depicted as human beings and not as gods in their plays,” explains Arundhati.

Over the subsequent days, Thinainilavaasigal from Chennai will perform a “fun and raunchy” play called ‘Patigalum’. Here, men will be seen essaying the female characters and speaking to each other through proverbs in Tamil. Pune’s Aasakta Kalamanch are bringing their Marathi play ‘Ghanta Ghanta Ghanta Ghanta Ghanta’. “It reflects the current socio-political status and how it affects relationships,” Arundhati shares. The play will have subtitles in English projected on screens on the sides. ‘Mahilabharatha’, staged by Bengaluru-based group Dhrushya Rangatanda, swings between “the memories of the past and the realities of the present”.

The winner of the Shankar Nag Theatre Award, a young theatre artiste (under 40 years of age), will be announced on October 27.

Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival from October 27 to November 1, 7.30 pm, at Ranga Shankara, J P Nagar. Four plays will be restaged at Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield between October 29 and November 1, 7.30 pm. Tickets available online and at the Ranga Shankara box office.

Journalist, activist, and author Aakar Patel will open the festival with a talk The Narrator. “I will explore the idea that the stage belongs to the narrator and that the audience is just receiving what he/she has to share.” He will also dwell on “what is happening in the political space, in our country, and the world today”.

The festival will conclude with a talk by Kannada scholar Nataraj Budal. He will talk about the literary origins of Tattva Pada, songs that are composed to convey moral or religious concepts in a lucid manner.

(Published 24 October 2023, 20:49 IST)

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