A play that was once banned, a performance in which a story is recounted using body movements instead of words and a presentation by a community of artistes from a small village of Karnataka who aim to promote their native language through arts — are some of the highlights of the International Association for Performing Arts and Research (IAPAR)’s International Theatre Festival, beginning November 1.
The 12-day theatre festival is in its second edition and will feature 14 productions by artistes from Argentina, Bangladesh, Germany, Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey and India; each act as unique as the country it comes from.
From the National School of Drama (NSD) repertory comes a wide variety of plays, including Waman Kendre’s Ghazab Teri Adaa, a farcical drama on the role of women in war and peace, the iconic Marathi play Ghasiram Kotwal by Vijay Tendulkar and a contemporary presentation Taj Mahal ka Tender, which explores the possibility of emperor Shah Jahan ordering the construction of the Taj Mahal in this era and getting stuck in red tape.
Ninasam Thirugatta, a cultural organisation from a village in Karnataka, which has been familiarising its locals with classics, including the works of Shakespeare and Kalidasa, will also be performing at the festival.
Dr Ajay Joshi, one of the organisers, said, “The aim is to create an audience for a kind of theatre, which includes a huge array of performances from various disciplines, and move away from the usual scripted plays that have become a norm.”
The venues for the festival are Namdev Sabhagruha at Savitribai Phule Pune University and Jyotsna Bhole Sabhagruha at the MCC.
In addition to perfromances by Indian theatre groups and artistes, international artistes of the Theatrical Company ENSEMBLE from Korea, Internationales Berliner Drama Theatre and Inter Act Art from Sri Lanka, among others, will also be perform.
At least 10 workshops, covering diverse aspects of theatre — body balance, the Laban Voice Technique, physical acting and the Hungarian Lecoq Technique — and master-classes by eminent theatre personalities from 10 countries will also be held as part of the festival. According to Joshi, “In keeping with its ‘research’ tag, IAPAR has planned a student exchange programme in association with three national universities, wherein these students would be invited to be a part of, and study, performances during the festival.”