WITH every change of the season, Theatre For Theatre in Chandigarh organises a theatre festival that encourages participation from new actors and audiences. “It is with the support of the audience that our group and its artistes have had an opportunity to grow and learn. We have also had the privilege of inviting theatre directors and groups from across the country to be part of Chandigarh’s artistic landscape. The theatre festivals are a testimony to our commitment towards meaningful and quality theatre,” says Sudesh Sharma, founder of TFT, theatre director and actor.
This weekend, in collaboration with the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi and Haryana Kala Parishad, TFT is presenting Sawan Theatre Festival 2019. On from July 27 to 29, the festival opens with Court Martial, written by Swadesh Deepak and directed by Sudesh Sharma. It has had more than 100 shows across India. The play, says Sharma, is relevant for all times, highlighting how caste differences weaken our system and institutions. “The powerful narrative brings on stage the demeaning treatment meted out to soldiers with no respect coming their way. The inequality between the soldiers and officers is stark and shameful,” says Sharma, adding that over the years he has given the play a new design and look.
The play Sandhya Chhaya, written by Jaywant Dalvi and translated into Hindi by Kusum Kumar, presents another aspect of society, related to the state of senior citizens. Sandhya Chhaya is a story about an ageing couple who have spent their entire lives to give their children the best education and life, dedicating their time and energy for their welfare. “And in the twilight of their lives, they are the ones who live alone and long for love and affection from their children. In a sensitive and touching manner, the play points to the reality we see all around us these days and how loneliness is now an epidemic,” adds Sharma.
The three-day festival closes with acclaimed playwright Shankar Shesh’s satire Cherey. The play tackles issues such as corruption, debauchery, revenge and greed. “It depicts how respected citizens wear masks and carry on with a charade of morality, as they continue to compromise on the very principles they claim to stand by,” says Sharma.
The festival is on at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, Chandigarh, 6.30 pm onwards. Entry is free.