Though majority of Pune students who wish to make a career in theatre either head to Mumbai or explore the possibilities in Pune itself once they pass out of the college, however, a group of students of Pune decided to take an uncharted and unconventional route. Theatre Flamingo, made of nine young artists from the city who are in their early 20s and have passed out from Lalit Kala Kendra, is travelling with four plays to different parts of Maharashtra.
Speaking about their theatrical journey, Keatan Jadhav, one of the group members, said, “The journey is in search of theatre and to implement our theatre education in a different manner. The journey is to bring theatre to the audience. We feel it’s a must to keep alive the art of theatre. The four plays will be performed in front of various audience, on various stages, in various villages.”
The journey kickstarted on May 23 at Sudarshan Rangmanch in Pune. All the nine artists are travelling for about 14 days starting till June 5 wherein they are covering Kolhapur, Ichalkaranji, Sindhudurg, Nanded, Amravati, Kanakavli and Goa to showcase their plays.
The four Marathi plays are – Mu. Po. Devache Gothane, Dr. Nhai, Chitra-kathi and Vasansi Jirnani. Jadhav’s solo play is titled Dr Nhai. The character of Dr. Nhai is based on the original play Dinuchya Sasubai Radhabai, penned by Baban Prabhu. The play sees the protagonist struggling for existence. Mu. Po. Devache Gothane talks about the sufferings in the society that are caused by caste and religion. While Vasansi Jirnani deals “meaninglessness” of the Indian family system and one’s existence, Chitra-Kathi presents human emotions and desires in a humorous way.
Revealing more about the inception of Flamingo’s project, Vinayak Kolwankar, another member, says that after passing out from Lalit Kala Kendra, the members realised that while staging a play is a difficult task, staging an experimental play is even more difficult. He says other mediums of entertainment such as television, cellphones and internet, are some of the reasons for the same.
“However, we also strongly believe in what Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘The future of India lies in its villages’. If we are not able to spread the concept of theatre in the rural areas, then the future generation of villages will remain unaware about the plays,” he explains.