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Words of Play

Bringing to life a forgotten concept in the field of theatre,wherein plays are not enacted via emotions and facial expressions but by the pitch of the actor's voice,Dishari...

Written by Rohan Swamy | Published: February 16, 2009 2:42 am

The first ever Sruti Natyotsav organised by Dishari promises to revive this lost art and take theater lovers on a new trip down memory lane

Bringing to life a forgotten concept in the field of theatre,wherein plays are not enacted via emotions and facial expressions but by the pitch of the actor’s voice,Dishari,a cultural organisation organised the first ever Sruti Natyotsav on February 14 and 15 that proved to be a treat for theatre lovers. Explaining the concept of these type of plays Debashish Sarkar,director of one of the plays screened on Saturday says,’Sruti Nataks’ are akin to the plays we hear on the radio.

The plays that have been staged at the Nehru Memorial Hall cover a wide range of topics like love,ethics and morals.

Explaining the concept further he says,”While watching a play the primary means communicating an emotion is through the eyes,for both-the actor and the audience,however here it is the ears and the voice which promotes and conveys the emotions.”

Speaking about his own play Samudra (Sea),performed by the Punya Nagari Banga Samaj,he says,”The play speaks about the conversation between a newly wed couple and an elderly gentleman,who explains to them the concept of the sea and its vastness,and how a person can achieve infinite peace when he or she can imbibe this vastness in his or her own life. The play deals with promoting the real life ideas of tolerance,inner peace and the struggle that one has to go through to achieve them.”

Dishari,was founded in the year 1988,to promote Bengali music,art and theatre amongst enthusiasts in the city and it has been organising regular theatre festivals for the last 15 years. This however is their maiden foray into the field of ‘Sruti Natak’. Instead of showcasing only Bengali plays the organisation has now also added Marathi and Hindi plays to diversify their base and reach out to a larger audience.

Speaking about the other plays staged at the festival,Dolonchampa Sarkar,one of the actors,says,”The plays being enacted here depict a myriad array of human emotions like love,peace,hatred,salvation and even redemption. For instance the play,Priyabandhu,in which I acted,tells the story of two young friends who separate after schooling and keep in touch through letters,and express their deepest emotions,their feelings and love for each other using that medium. Ironically the girl eventually moves away to Dhaka in search of her family whilst the boy stays back in Kolkata hoping that she will return. The story is a typical portrait of the subtleties of the human emotion called love.”

Other interesting plays that have been staged during the festival include Achalayatan (The Petrified Place),a play by Rabindranath Tagore that has been adapted into Marathi,and presented by the Progressive Dramatic Association,Haar-Jeet (Trounce and Triumph),by the Bandhav group from Nagpur,Ekti Gharer Attokatha (Chronicle of a Home) by Dishari,Gargi Eka (Gargi Alone) by Poona Banga Sanmilani and Ekti Abaastab Galpo (An incredible Story)

“We hope to increase the popularity of this form of theatre amongst theatre lovers by staging similar such festivals on a regular basis. For a start we have showcased seven plays over a period of two days,which has garnered a good audience,” says Surya Sengupta one of the founder members of Dishari.

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