Change of Scene

The National School of Drama Repertory Company’s festival of plays will inagurate a new platform for theatre lovers.

Written by Parul | Published: May 4, 2012 12:13 am

The National School of Drama Repertory Company’s festival of plays will inagurate a new platform for theatre lovers.

Playwright and director Asif Ali of Rang Virasat is donning a new role these days — that of a host. Ali is bringing a festival of three plays to the city,which is being organised by The National School of Drama Repertory Company and will take place at Vivek High School. The event is special for many reasons. First,it’s after seven long years that the Company will be playing in Chandigarh,and second,that it’s a repertory that Ali was a part of for many years before he moved to the city five years back. More importantly,the festival will lead to a new venue for city’s theatre lovers.

The Vivek High School auditorium,which has a seating capacity of 800 and is equipped with state-of-the-art sound and light technology,will now be open for theatre performances. Chandigarh’s theatre scene has really shifted gears in the last couple of years,and apart from Tagore Theatre in Sector 18,feels Ali,the city needed a new stage and space for theatre. “This at a cost that a theatre person can afford,” remarked Ali,who has pitched in with the design,sound and light systems at the auditorium,making it fully equipped for a range of performances. “We hope that the NSD Repertory Festival will be a solid start to this initiative,” says Ali,who won the Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar for playwriting in 2007. The 38-year-old’s theatre group,Rang Virasat,is known for staging Hindi plays written by Ali,which reflect new idioms and contemporary issues,with socio-political themes dominating the subjects.

The two-day festivals will see three Hindi plays directed by Ranjeet Kapur,an NSD alumnus and Sangeet Natak Akademi winner. The NSD Repertory Company has started a new wing called Yayawar,which strives to bring theatre to audiences in smaller towns and rural areas. These days,Kapur and actors from the repertory are touring Haryana. “We invited them to play in Chandigarh and give audiences a new experience,” says Ali.

The festival opens on May 6 with Chekhov ki Duniya,which comprises six short stories by Chekhov,projecting different aspects of human relationships and emotions. These have been dramatised by Kapur.

The second day (May 7) will have two plays based on stories by famous Hindi writers — Vijaydan Detha and Phnishwar Nath Renu. Detha’s story,Adamzad,reflects various facets and colours of human life,and how greed,violence and anger dominate our lives. Detha is known mainly for his short stories that draw from traditional folklore of Rajasthan. Adamzad will have actors in traditional Rajasthani costumes,with live folk music.

Phnishwar Nath Renu’s famous Hindi story PanchLight,is a satire that draws from Indian society based on the caste system and how education and knowledge lifts darkness from people’s lives. Renu’s world is rural Bihar,and characters in his stories are landless and marginalised. “Renu’s energy comes from his ability to look deep into the human heart. The play will have Bhojpuri music and costumes,” says Ali reflecting how the festival will present a different range of plays to the audience.

The plays will be staged at 6 pm at Vivek High School auditorium,Sector 38.

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