No fixed address: A play that goes beyond conventional venues

DNA, a play about the family of a soldier missing for 30 yrs after a war, will be held in a flat on March 19.

Written by Aashay Khandekar | Pune | Updated: March 3, 2016 4:44 am
DNA, NSD, IAPAR, play, theatre, Prasad Vanarase, Dr Shaymala Vanarase, pune news Dr Shaymala Vanarase translated the play from Greek to Marathi. Express

You’ve seen a play in an auditorium. You’ve seen it on the street. But what if it happened in your house?

In a break from the conventional practice that confines a play to a pre-determined venue, International Association of Performing Arts and Research (IAPAR) has come up with a play titled DNA that will take place at the residence of a citizen on March 19.

Written by Giorgos Neophytou, a playwright from Cyprus and directed by Prasad Vanarase, founder of IAPAR who is also an alumnus of National School of Drama (NSD), the play revolves around the family of a soldier who has gone missing after a war. It has been translated from Greek to Marathi by Dr Shaymala Vanarase.

“The soldier hasn’t returned after a war that took place 30 years ago, but his family still hopes he is alive. Each character has its motive and reason to believe that the soldier is alive,” says Vanarase.

The play was initially not intended to take place in residential space. However, when the group did the experiment, everyone liked it. “This is not a new idea. It was implemented by Madhuri Puranadare in her play called Abda Abda in 90’s. But it is very rare. In the Western theatre, I’ve not heard of a play that was performed inside the house,” Vanarase says.

In the play, the characters don’t interact with each other and there is no movement. “They (characters) are seated on the sofa throughout the play and while they interact with the audience, they also allow the people to apply their own thinking and interpret the play as per their understanding,” says Vanarase.
Talking about the script and its relevance with the social set-up in India, Vanarase says that apart from some geographical and political references, which have been removed during translation, the play has a universal appeal. “We respect the soldiers who’ve sacrificed their lives more than the ones who remain alive. But reaching martyrdom is not the ultimate job of a soldier. He is primarily responsible for maintaining peace. This play opens up that humane facet of a soldier’s life too,” he says.

Performing in a space where there is hardly anything to separate the audience from the artisans can be difficult at times as even the minutest variation in the expressions can be noticed in an instant. “Artistes like to experiment and explore space and since it is unconventional, there’s a lot of curiosity among the audiences too. It often helps. Anyone can host the play. All they’ve to do is contact us to fix the date,” says Vanarase. The cast of the play consists of Rutuja Soman, Nikhil Gadgil and Surabhi Natu.

DNA will take place at the residence of Amrut Samak on March 19.

Address: Amrut Samak, Sanskruti Sankalp, Flat No. 901, 40/A, Jadhav Nagar, Vadgaon Budruk, Sinhagad Road, Pune -41.

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