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All Plays Bengali Foreign Plays

MRITYU GHAR

Playwright: Atik Rahman
Director: Mukul Ahmed
Group: Mukul Ghetto Tigers, Bangladesh
Language: Bengali
Duration: 1 hr 5 mins

 

The Play

In this play an hour takes us inside the heads of Asha, Kalpana and Bina as they pit themselves against their torturer, Zafar, who has the power to decide their fate in the jail. Eventually Asha will be placed in a gas chamber. Asha’s resistance and ability to turn the tables on her torturer provide one of the most compelling stories. The central question of the play relates to what someone should sacrifice for their relationships, dignity and political affiliation. Asha’s story is a searing tale of survival as she, along with her fellow prisoners, struggles to hold onto her disintegrating sense of self.

 

Director’s Note

Mrityu Ghar is an adaptation of Dea Loher’s first play Olga’s Room (published in 1992). Dea Loher is one of the most celebrated playwrights of Germany today. Special thanks to Shameem Chawdhury for a fluid translation. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Atik Rahman for accepting the offer to adapt Olga’s Room into a new play.

 

The Director

Mukul Ahmed grew up in Bangladesh and was taught at home till the age of 10 by his mother. His early memory is filled with ritual festivals, open-air music concerts, chaotic street markets, tropical calamity and community living. The dual heritage and displacement help him being unreasonably optimistic and rationally helpless, someone with love for classics and modernism, rebellion and discipline. He likes to explore the role of arts and imagination in creating new connections between people and the community in order to strengthen participation in community life. In 2007 he completed the Birkbeck MFA Theatre Directing programme. He has since directed a series of classics, new writing and play readings. Mukul has Staff Directed at the National Theatre, England. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK.

 

The Playwright                                                                                                                            

Atik Rahman is a theatre practitioner (performer, script writer and light designer) based in Bangladesh. He completed B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. in Theatre from the Department of Theatre, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has participated in numerous national and international theatre festivals in Bangladesh, India and the UK as actor, designer and musician. He is currently working as a script writer, performer and light designer for Mukul and Ghetto Tigers (Bangladesh), and is also a freelance theatre worker and a performer for ‘theatreX’ in Bangladesh.

 

The Group

Mukul and Ghetto Tigers  is a UK and Bangladesh based theatre company that offers story, relationship and entertainment to the regular and non-theatre going audience. We take genuine interest in new writing and world classics. MGT is a platform for emerging talents. Our aim is to mentor and nurture the new comers and offer them the opportunity to excel in their respective fields. Our mantra is re-imagination, innovation and collaboration. We aim to develop a community-oriented, quality training service in a fun and safe environment by staff committed to continuously developing their skills. We also strive to create new audiences of performing arts from non-theatre going and disadvantaged communities.

 

Cast & Credits

Asha Usha Ganguli
Kalpana Lopamudra Guha Neogi
Beena Swagata Biswas
Zafar Biswajit Das
   
Light Designer Mirza Shahkhesep Sakib
Set Designer Sabiha Ambereen Haque
Sound Designer Tarun Jasani
Sound and Video Projection Operator Atik Rahman
Stage Manager Polash Rahman
Documentation Shishir Karim
Subtitles Shubhaluxmi Mukherjee
Production Manager Tahmina Shaily
Publicity Material Mong Mong Sho
Video Projection Material Shishir Karim, Shishir Imran
Video Performer Novera Yesmin
   
Playwright                                                      Atik Rahman
Director                                                          Mukul Ahmed

 

Contacts

Director, Mukul Ghetto Tigers

Shop No- 125, 253/254 Elephant Road

Emporium, Katabon, Dhara, Bangaladesh

M: +88-0172-0907957

E: mukul_tiger@yahoo.com

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All Plays Bengali Indian Plays

MAHABHARATA 2

Playwright: Shib Mukhopadhya
Director: Arna Mukhopadhyay
Group: Natadha, Howrah
Language: Bengali
Duration: 3 hrs

 

The Play

The period of fourteen years of exile is over for the Pandavas. It is the time for the law to take its rightful course; Duryodhana is supposed to hand-over the land of Indraprastha to his cousins. He denies returning the rightful share. Draupadi urges the Pandavas towards war. At this moment of crisis, the Pandavas seek Krishna’s advice. Krishna agrees to come to Hastinapur for discussion. He meets Bhishma Pitamaha, Karna, Shakuni and Gandhari and requests them not to wage a war. Duryodhana agrees to return the land but there is a mass upsurge against returning the land to the Pandavas. War becomes inevitable.

 

Director’s Note

Man desires everything for himself. He wishes to possess not only that which is his but also that what is not. In this greed he forgets that he too has a past, he too has kin and kinsmen. Slowly and steadily man moves towards decadence where everything is denuded and only the ‘me’ remains, isolated in the abyss of time. We have tried to understand the pulse of the modern times in the mirror of the mythology. We have tried to convey the stereotypes of human reality in the characters of Duryodhana, Krishna, Draupadi, Arjuna etc. We delved deep to understand the changing facade of modern urban civilization and were amazed to find that Mahabharata is so contemporary!

 

The Director

Arna Mukhopadhyay is an actor and director with an M. Phil in Dramatic Arts. He started directing plays in the year 2007. Some of the plays directed by him are Ebong Socrates, Caesar-O-Cleopatra, Eka Tughlaq, Bishkaal, Shesh Rakshya, Aleekbabu, Athhoi, and Mahabharat 2. He has also acted in all the plays directed by him, as well as in many plays produced by other popular groups of Kolkata. He has been an actor-trainer imparting theatre training to the youth.

 

The Playwright

Shib Mukhopadhyay has written more than sixty plays. He has adapted the plays of Tennessee Williams, Bertolt Brecht, Jean Paul Sartre, Anton Chekhov and William Shakespeare. The first part of Mahabharata written by him ended with the Pandavas going to exile. This presentation is a sequel to the same.

 

The Group

Natadha was established in 1974, and besides performances and training, the group conducts social activities, festivals and publications on theatre. Natadha runs a regular theatre centre at Howrah, West Bengal. It publishes Natyamukhapatra, the only Bengali theatre newspaper which has been published every Thursday for 23 years. The group has staged Raktakarabi for almost forty years.

 

Cast & Credits

Gandhari Sadhana Mukhopadhyay
Dhritarashtra Koushik Chattopadhyay
Uttora Upabela Pal
Arjuna Arpan Ghoshal
Abhimanyu Rishav Basu
Draupadi Sohini Sarkar
Draupadi’s attendant Anurupa Sen
Nakula Milan Kundu
Sahadeva Sarthak Ash
Bheema Sumit Panja
Yudhishthhira Joydev Ghosh
Kunti Saptadwipa Chattopadhyay
Krishna Rudrarup Mukhopadhyay
Dushshasana Sourav Samanta
Duryodhana Arna Mukhopadhyay
Bidura Subir Goswami
Shakuni Ritam Sarkar
Bheeshma Saumen Bandopadhyay
Drona Susanta Chakraborty
Bhanumoti Swagata Rit
The father Subrata Chattopadhyay
Ambassador of Virata Tufan Singharoy
Sanjaya Sayam Das
Karna Anujoy Chattopadhyay
Bohitra (Attendant to Dhritarashtra) Saheb Dutta
Budhhika (Attendant to Gandhari) Tanuja Dey
Young Duryodhana Tathagata Pal
The Warrior Arup Chakraborty

 

The People                                                        Madhuparna Hatua, Shrabanti Saha, Shrutakirti Rooj, Anupurba Goswami, Amit Das, Pushpendu Sardar, Souvik Mohanta, Sourodeep Mukherjee.

 

Set  Milan Kundu
Assisted by Sarthak Ash
Set Making Subol Maiti
Lights Jayanta Ghosh (Kalyan)
Music operation Bandan Misra
Costume making Bimal Maiti
Paintings Susanta Chakraborty
Make-up Joydev Ghosh
Dance Movements Sumit Panja
Publicity material Sourav Samanta
Teaser Saikat Chattaraj
Logo Design Subrata Chattopadhyay
Production control Sadhana Mukhopadhyay
Playwright                                                      Shib Mukhopadhyay              
Music & Direction                                          Arna Mukhopadhyay

                       

 

Contacts

Director, Natadha

7/2 Nabakumar Nandi Lane,

Howrah, West Bengal- 711101

M: +91 8240280700, 9674943774

E: natadha74@gmail.com

 

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All Plays Bengali Indian Plays

LAHARIR RAJHANSHO

Playwright: Mohan Rakesh
Director: Sekhar Samaddar
Group: Abhaash Dakshin Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 2 hrs

 

The Play

The palace of Raja Nanda is preparing for the celebration of the lust festival under the supervision of Rani Sundari.  However, the festival gets ruined as a few princes plan not to attend it. The next day, Sundari wakes up and tells Nanda to help her with her make-up. Meanwhile, Buddha, along with his monks, arrives at the palace gates for alms but leaves when he doesn’t get any response. A regretful Nanda wants to go to him and ask for forgiveness. Sundari allows him asking him to get back soon and help her.  Nanda returns in the dark hours of the night with his head shaved off. Will she accept him now?

 

Director’s Note

I came across Mohan Rakesh when I went to see his play Aadhe Adhure directed by Shymananda Jalan. While teaching at Rabindra Bharati University, I translated two plays of Mohan Rakesh with the help of my Student, Sravasti Roy; Lehron Ke Rajhans and Paer Tale Ki Zameen. After many years, I decided to perform Lehron Ke Rajhans in Bengali. The play shows Kapilavastu, capital of Magadh Empire during 240-300 AD. Prince Siddharth is now Gautam Buddha. In the palace, the young wife of King Nanda is preparing to celebrate the lust festival to keep the citizens of the kingdom, and her husband, the step-brother of Buddha, trapped in materialistic life. The stage design uses deep red colour in the palace chamber symbolizing lust and desire. The rest of the stage is kept neutral. The costumes, jewellery and drinking vessels have the semblance of that age. Stage lights and shadows have been arranged to convey the meaning of the play.

 

The Director

Sekhar Samaddar is an actor, playwright and director who is working as a senior professor in Jadavpur University. Founder and director of Abhaash, Dakshin Kolkata, editor of Samay Natyabhaash, and co-editor of Paschimbanga Natya Akademi Patrika, he has written 47 full-length and short plays adapted from literature. He started his theatre career with Bohurupee in 1976 and started writing articles for leading journals of Bengal and worked as a theatre critic in Desh. His first book was published on Tagore`s Visarjan named Visarjan- Rupe, Rupantare in 1992. His first original Play Thirthoyatra was published in Sas Annual Theatre Journal in 1996 which was highly acclaimed. His original plays are Apurbo Golap, Ramanimohan, Sundar Bibir Pala, Bhalo Chhele, and Rupkatha Chupkatha. He directed his own plays and received Akademi and other awards for Apurbo Golap and Ramanimohan. Bratya Basu`s Chatushkon and Mohan Rakesh’s Laharir Rajhansho are his recent successful theatre works.

 

The Playwright

Mohan Rakesh alias Madan Mohan Guglani was a Hindi short story writer, novelist and playwright. He wrote four full length plays i.e. Ashad Ka Ek Din, Adhe Adhure, Leheron ke Raajhans, and Paer Tale ki Zamin. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for his first play Ashad Ka Ek Din.

 

The Group

Abhaash, Dakshin Kolkata was established in August 2003. It imparts training to students in all aspects of theatre including acting, research, scriptwriting, editing and publishing. It publishes Samay Natyabhaash an annual theatre journal. Abhaash also brought to stage an erstwhile famous actor Chapal Bhadury of Bengali Jatra. It aims is to make its repertory as a repository of theatre and culture, and create the aesthetics of theatre by including technical components in its training. Its focus is to highlight both Indian and Bengali tradition, culture and literature.

 

Cast & Credits

Raja Nanda Sekhar Samaddar
Rani Sundari Bindiya Ghosh
Aloka Soumita Biswas
Niharika Karabi Sardar
Gourango Arup Ratan Ganguly
Shyamango Raja Bardhan
Maitreyo Swapan Roy Choudhury
Ananda Hiranmoy Nath
Sasanka Sourav Mondal

 

Set Design Soumik Piali
Set Making Madan Haldar
Music Swapan Banerjee
Light Design Sudip Sanyal
Choreography Nandita Banerjee
Make-up Md. Ali
Back Stage Kalyan De Sarkar, Falguni Sinha Mahapatra
   
Playwright                  Mohan Rakesh
Director                      Sekhar Samaddar

 

 

Contacts

Director

Abhaash Dakshin Kolkata

A/52, Ramkrishna Nagar, Laskarpur (Garia)

Kolkata- 700153

M: +91 9830276085, 9831175781

E: natya.abhaash@gmail.com

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All Plays Bengali Indian Plays

KOTHAKAR CHARITRA KOTHAY REKHECHHO

Playwright: Luigi Pirandello
Director: Debesh Chattopadhyay

Group: Sansriti, Kolkata
Language: Bengali & English
Duration: 2 hrs 05 mins

 

The Play

A group of actors are preparing to rehearse for a Pirandello play. They are interrupted by the arrival of six characters. The lead character, the father, informs the manager that they are looking for an author. He explains that the author who created them did not finish their story, and that they are therefore unrealized characters who are not fully brought to life. The manager who tries to throw them out, becomes intrigued when they start to relate their story. The father is an intellectual who married a peasant woman (the mother). Things go well until she falls in love with her husband’s male secretary. Having become bored with her over the years, the father encourages her to leave him. What ensues is an intimate and tragic chain of events.

 

Director’s Note

Pirandellian themes like the relativity of truth, the constantly changing nature of personal identity, or the difficulty of distinguishing between reality and illusion or between sanity and madness all have a common thread – they all point to uncertainty as a significant part of human experience. In Six Characters in Search of an Author uncertainty begins with the introduction of the “characters.”

Pirandello has encouraged the audience to adopt their customary willingness to suspend disbelief and accept the stage illusion as reality. Therefore, if the audience has taken these initial characters for real, what must they do with a group that claims they are even more real than the actors in the Producer’s troupe? And the “characters” persist in their claim with such vehemence that their claim becomes compelling.

Contemporary jurisprudence demonstrates a similar phenomenon. No matter how certain a defendant’s guilty conduct seems to be, if the person charged with a crime persists in claiming innocence an air of uncertainty eventually envelops the proceedings and significant numbers believe the defendant innocent.

An even more obvious contribution to the audience’s sense of uncertainty is that Pirandello allows different versions of events to be presented but never suggests which might be more near the “truth.”

 

The Director

Chattopadhyay is associated with theatre for last 33 years. As a Founding Director of Sansriti, he has directed over 40 plays, amongst which Tughlaq has been a path breaking Bengali production. He is a theatre academic, playwright and scenographer, and has worked on a Senior Fellowship, On Cognitive Neuroscience and Theatre, and has also written books on theatre. He has been felicitated by The Week as one of the 50 emerging stars of India and honoured by the Paschim Banga Natya Akademi as the best director twice. Debesh directed his first feature film, Natoker Moto: like a play in 2015 which participated in International Film Festival of India, Goa; Indian Panorama and international competition sections 2015. Debesh has been recognised and honoured by Film Critic Circle of India as the best debut director for the film. Currently he is working on Natyashastra and on a new film called The Others.

 

The Playwright

Italian playwright, novelist, short-story writer Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1934. His creation of theatre-within-theatre in the play Six Characters in Search of an Author made him an innovator of ‘surreal’ modern drama overnight.

 

The Group

Sansriti was formed in February 1993. It was the only group in Kolkata that introduced scenography which meant that the play is not only performed through dialogues but also with proper use of space and time, and with a non-linear narrative that includes mise en scène as characters. The acceptance of this search convinced the group to include Debesh Chattopadhyay’s research on cognitive science and theatre with productions like Brain.

 

Cast & Credits

The Father Ashim Roychowdhury
Mother Priyanka Guha
Step Daughter Monalisa Chattopadhyay
The Son Korak Samanta
The Boy Udayshankar Samanta
The Child Mrittika Chakroborty
Miss Laal Papiya Banerjee
The Manager Abhra Mukherjee
Leading Lady Sudakshina Sarkar
Leading Man Shouvik Majumdar
Group Members Arnab Sengupta, Chandan Ghosh, Jyotirmoy Chakroborty, Biswajit Bhattacharya, Pratik Das, Iman Pahari, Debojyoti Goswami, Mayurchhanda Ghosh, Sanchaita Das, Biplab Adhikary.
Light Design Sudip Sanyal
Light Operator Snehasish Karmakar (Bappa)
Sound Design Anindya Nandy
Make-up Md. Ali
Scenography
& Set Design Debesh Chattopadhyay
Playwright                  Luigi Pirandello
Director                      Debesh Chattopadhyay

                   

 

Contacts

Director

Laketown Sreebhumi Sansriti

AB 8/51, Indradhanu Apartment,

Deshbandhu Nagar, Baguihati,

Kolkata- 700059, West Bengal

M: +91 9830039335, 9830464424

E: debesh.sansriti@gmail.com

Kolkata Bohuswar_Bhanga bhanga chhobi_21 BRM
All Plays Bengali Indian Plays

BHANGA BHANGA CHHOBI

Playwright: Girish Karnad
Translator: Srotoswini Dey
Director: Tulika Das
Group: Kolkata Bohuswar, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 1 hr 10 mins

 

The Play

The play opens with Manjula Ray in a television studio, giving one of her countless interviews. Manjula is a successful Bengali writer whose first novel in English has got favourable reviews from the West. She talks about her life and her darling husband Pramod, and fondly reminisces about Malini, her wheel-chair bound sister. After the interview, Manjula is ready to leave the studio but is confronted by an image. Gradually Manjula starts unfolding her life showing two facets of the same character. The conversations between the character on stage and the chhaya-murti go on and Manjula peels layer after layer, revealing raw emotions and complexities of the relationship between Manjula, Promod and Malini. We can relate to both Manjula and Malini… all of us being flawed in some way or the other, and that’s what makes us human.

 

Director’s Note

I wanted to explore the text of Girish Karnad’s Broken Images with my own understanding of Manjula, the lady portraying two facets of the same character. Despite all her shortcomings and flaws, she did not degenerate into a stereotypical vamp. Although she had made unforgivable mistakes, wasn’t there enough reason for her to exercise duplicity and betrayal? I found myself asking this question and wanting to see the larger picture through another prism. It has taken years for the Bengali stage to come up with an adaptation of the 2004 play. The Bengali translation by Srotoswini Dey Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi helped me to stage it. Theatre, I feel, should not be just entertainment. It should encourage a bit of soul searching too. I am thankful to Mr. Karnad, Srotoswini and the team of Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi of Kolkata Bohuswar to help me do just that.

 

The Director

Tulika Das is an actor and director of Kolkata Bohuswar. After her M.A. in Theatre, she joined Bohurupee and acted in several plays under the direction of Kumar Roy and also directed four plays, which received a lot of appreciation. In Kolkata Bohuswar, she directed Choturthir Jor, Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi, Agnipaak and Anandamath. Tulika is working with under privileged children and young adults, using theatre as a tool to build their capacity to overcome the barriers around them. She is actively involved in Human Rights movement of people with disabilities.

 

The Translator

Srotoswini Dey, M.A., MPhil, is an Assistant Professor of English Language in a college of West Bengal. She is a theatre lover and is trying her best to enrich the Bengali theatre through the translation of scripts of famous playwrights who have written in other Indian languages. She has also published a book Re-reading of Vijay Tendulkar’s Ghasiram Kotwal: a Critical Study of Vijay Tendulkar.

 

The Group

Kolkata Bohuswar was established in January 2017 in order to create and promote innovative theatre. The word ‘Bohuswar’ means a collective of different kinds of voices. True to its name, Bohuswar is home to individuals of different ages, genders, religious identities and places of residence. The group has produced the play Choturthir Jor, based on a story by Ismat Chugtai (selected for 8th Theatre Olympic), Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi, based on Girish Karnad’s Broken Images (selected for 21st BRM), and Agnipaak, based on a play by Mahesh Dattani. The group had organised a November theatre festival (2018) along with a theatre workshop for young theatre workers with Ruchika theatre group, Delhi. The group facilitates inclusive theatre workshops for the under-privileged children in the rural areas of West Bengal.

 

Cast & Credits

On stage Sukriti Lahori Sinha, Piyali Guha Roy, Tulika Das
   
Off stage Mayukh Dutta, Monomita Chaudhury, Rashmi Natua, Sampreeti Chakraborty
  Sumita Basu, Biswajit Roy, Arka Ranjan Bhattacharya, Tanmoy Das, Bobby
  Kar, Arko Roy, Tapas Roy, Indrajit Mukhoty
Music Kalyan Sen Barat
Set & Light Gagandeep
Make-up Piali Samanta
Playwright                              Girish Karnad
Translator                              Srotoswini Dey
Director                                  Tulika Das

 

 

Contacts

Kolkata Bohuswar

18, Deodar Street, Kolkata- 700019

West Bengal

M: +91 9830262165, 9830872209

E: bohuswar.kolkata@gmail.com

sukritilahori@gmail.com