Monday, October 26, 2009

Five plays dedicated to five years

Five plays dedicated to five years
By: Natasha Hoban Date: 2009-10-23 Place: Bangalore

On Tuesday, October 27, Ranga Shankara, India's most affordable theatre space will be revving up its performances in celebration of its fifth birthday

Ranga Shankara has hosted over 2,000 plays since its inception, which makes it atleast one or more performance every day. The company holds an annual themed festival to celebrate Ranga Shankara's wide range of shows. Performances vary in language, theatre styles and meaning. As well as being a venue, the theatre also produces plays, which are staged here, post which they travel pan-India. A host of plays are lined up for the fifth year celebrations.

Stills from the plays (top) Madhav Bagh, (second) Arundhati Nag and (third) Gumma to be staged at Ranga Shankara

MiD DAY spoke to Arundhati Nag, the founder member and the leading force behind the whole initiative, who believes the company to be potentially, "a platform for theatre not just for Bangalore, but India and the rest of the world."

Ranga Shankara has its own home productions. "For our fifth birthday we will be showcasing five plays we are proud of. These plays will run from October 27 until November 1, in various languages (Hindi, Kannada and English). Three of the plays will be performed by children of different ages and there will also be two solos," says Nag.

The aim for the future of Ranga Shankara is to increase audience in Bangalore, before considering expansion. Nag says she wants, "The sixth year of existence to be dedicated to doubling up audience who want to experience something different. The theatre for children AHA!, which unites children from a range of backgrounds has already doubled up in number recently as they have come directly from school. Workshops are held to produce plays but Ranga's primary motive now is to increase the numbers of mature audience."

Nag reiterates, "Every performance needs an audience. In today's time just making it out of your home or office and making it in time is quite demanding." She believes that audience want theatre to be fashionable, and if it does not have that West End or Bollywood type of glamour attached to it, just like more daring and experimental theatre has, there might be fewer audience. Because Ranga Shankara is not for religion, politics or money, "I would like to salute anyone who dares to spend his or her spare time getting involved whether it be in music, dance, painting or simply being a good audience," says Nag.

In celebrating their fifth birthday Nag says, "We are saluting the people who have performed in these last five years. We are celebrating Bangalore for making Ranga so unique and the people who have made it work. We have seen so many enterprises closing in two years, but we're still smiling and going strong. It is time to say thank you to people, performers and audience. All we do is provide the space."

Zapperdockel and the Wock
A story of the beginning of a friendship between two creatures that couldn't be more different from each other.
On October 27, 7.30 pm
Call 2649 3982

Hakki Harutide Nodidira
A story of a woman discovering her inner beauty through the eyes of a stranger.
On October 28, 7.30 pm

The First Leaf
The story of the joys and challenges of a middle class family residing in the Gurukripa Society.
On October 29, 7.30 pm
Call 2649 3982

Bikhre Bimb
A solo Hindi play about Manjula Nayak, a professor of English literature and an unsuccessful writer who finds international acclaim when she writes a novel in English, which becomes a bestseller.
On October 30, 7.30 pm
Call 2649 3982

An English dramatic monologue that questions duty and its complex relationship with human desire.
On October 31, 7.30 pm
Call 2649 3982

At: Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar 2nd Phase
Wallet factor: Ticket prices start at Rs 50 and never go above Rs 200 even for renowned plays.


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