Written by Simran Sadana
Aiming at initiating creative interactions with Jammu and Kashmir and giving its theatre professionals a platform to reach out to an wider audience, the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), in collaboration with the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Chandigarh, is going to organise a theatre festival dedicated to the state for the first time in the city from Wednesday to Friday.
The three-day Jammu and Kashmir Theatre Festival 2018 will feature three plays by different theatre groups and directors from the state. According to Prof. Saubhagya Vardhan, Director, NZCC, the aim of the theatre festival devoted to Jammu and Kashmir is to bring an exchange of artistic ideas. All the three plays will be staged in Dogri.
The festival will open with musical Gagan Damama Bajyo, written by Piyush Mishra and to be performed by Natraj Natya Kunj, Jammu. The play is based on the life and ideology of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Directed by Abhishek Bharti, the play traces the relevance of Bhagat Singh’s ideology in the contemporary scenario. The play raises a question, “Is this the India of Bhagat Singh’s dream?” The director has portrayed a prototype of the socio-political scene of modern India against the background of Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom.
The second play, Ek Aur Birbal, written by Rakesh Roshan Bhat, will be performed by Vomedh Rangmanch. A tribute to Kashmiri Pandit leader Birbal Dhar, the play highlights how the invasion of foreign mercenaries to spread Islam in Kashmir changed its socio-cultural landscape forever. Dhar was helped by local Kashmiri Muslims in the fight against Afghan rulers and the production traces how he got Maharaja Ranjit Singh to end the reign of terror in Kashmir. The play also touches upon six earlier migrations of the Pandits.
The festival will close with Final Solutions, written by Mahesh Dattani, and to be performed by Samooh Theatre. Adapted and directed by Ravinder Sharma, the attempt is to execute the play in a format that goes well with theoretical idioms produced on a proscenium layout. The production is intermittently infused with some of the elementary incidents connected to both the regions of Jammu and Kashmir. According to Sharma, his efforts through Dattani’s Final Solutions, adapted into Hindustani, is packed with challenges on various fronts. The play is sufficiently a progression of the theological development of the outlook of Hindus and Muslims towards their respective religions.
The plays will be staged at Tagore Theatre, 6.30 pm onwards. Entry is free. Apart from the theatre festival, which will also be organised in other states, the NZCC is working on an international film festival to be held in Srinagar this month.