Local theater production features stories from veteran playwrights – News
I will begin with the words of a contemporary storyteller, Margaret Atwood. “In the end, we will all become stories. Isn’t that so true of our lives? We need more stories in the world, and what could be better than seeing those stories come to life on stage? An evening celebrating four of the greatest master storytellers was hosted by a local theater group, EnAct. Entitled Chaturang, which means something that has four parts, this evening of theater is happening this weekend. We chat with the cast to find out more before the curtains open.
The Proposal by Anton Chekhov (Russian playwright)
Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s Proposal was adapted by theater veteran Mahua Chauhan in Prastaav. In this interpretation, the play takes place in a village in Haryana, where a marriage proposal between two neighbors leads to unexpected reactions and meaningless arguments. The play highlights the love and hate relationships shared by former neighbors, leading to comedic circumstances. Director Soni Chhabra says: “Anton Chekhov’s stories are mostly comedic satires that emphasize human nonsense. He masterfully handles prose, while keeping his sensitivity towards the characters, the atmospheres and the sets. He weaves humor with pathos to magnify the irrelevant details of people’s lives. He developed a technique for ending stories with so-called “zero ends” or anti-climate conclusions. Although the author sketches his characters with a compassionate good humor, he never refrains from pointing out their flaws, eccentricities and human weaknesses.
On the scene: Amitt Kummar, Shilpi Verma, Ashish Kalkar, Charu Madan, Sonni Chhabra, Apoorva Mehra, Kamiya Rautela
Execution language: Hindi
Emotions on display: From happiness to confusion and from fear to anger. The idea is to generate rasa in the audience.
Beemar by Saadat Hasan Manto (Pakistani playwright)
Saadat Hasan Manto’s Beemar play deals with how unsolicited advice from well-meaning friends in poor health can be counterproductive and lead to humorous interactions between people. “Manto’s boldness in both writing style and the subjects he chose to write about is what attracts me to his work,” says director Rashmi Kotriwala. “His work is impactful and creates strong visual images. However, she explains how Beemar is slightly different from the writings he’s best known for. “It is a satirical account of the cosmopolitan urban figures of the time. The characters belong to different religions and communities and still coexist in a representative neighborhood of New India. So, during the play, we will observe how all the characters have a little aversion to each other but are connected through their mutual friend and care deeply about Kumar, and want to be able to relieve him of his health problem. “Kumar’s character is somewhat neutral and unpretentious. It’s also a slice of life story that in today’s world has been replaced by WhatsApp senders advising us on how to deal with the smallest of health issues, ”Rashmi adds.
Who is on stage? Saif Khan, Subrata Ravinder Singh, Rajinder Thakur, Raj Rudrabhairav, Pranav Dalvi, Darsh Ramesh Jhamnani, Rohit Prakash, Prashant Pee Dee
Execution language: urdu
Emotions on display: From helplessness to frustration and from love to opportunism. Overall, the humor has been amplified in the story.
Pygmalion by G. B Shaw (Anglo-Irish playwright)
GB Shaw’s Pygmalion is adapted as Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi, which depicts the transformational story of a wild flower girl and a sophisticated teacher entwined in a struggle of ego and humility. According to director Dr Tabassum Inamdar, who also adapted the play, “GB Shaw’s writing is witty, engaging and relevant to all eras. He had the gift of approaching social problems with ease, subtlety and intelligent humor. Whether it was class differences or the lack of purpose of society, he always portrayed it with a touch of comedy to grab the attention of the audience. Its characters always engage with each other in intellectual debates and stimulating dialogues. At the risk of being labeled as a feminist, a fascinating part of her brilliant writing was the use of strong, empowering female roles. The end as we will see on stage will be different. According to Saleem Surani, the play’s male protagonist, “The sense of self-esteem and self-actualization makes a big twist to the original plot.”
On stage: Saleem Surani, Tasmiya Syed, Tabassum Inamdar, Dhanashree Utturkar, Malik Azaz
Execution language: Urdu, with a bit of Hindi
Emotions on display: Compassion and self-esteem. Plus, a sense of awakening and new thinking surrounded by witty humor.
O Henry’s While the Auto Waits (American playwright)
The work of O Henry While the Auto Waits has been adapted into Gaadi Taiyar Hai. In this interpretation, the play is set in the 1950s in Calcutta, where two strangers meet in a park and the conversation reveals human behavior, their dreams, their aspirations, their expectations of realities. It explores identities, social stratification and the difference between the haves and have-nots. Director Rashmi Kotriwala, who also adapted the play, says: “What I love about O Henry’s writing is that the plays are usually a mixture of comedy and tragedy. It highlights social issues and interpersonal relationships using very believable characters. The dialogues and the characters are funny, but very real. Surprise endings work well for short pieces and this is what is most appealing to readers / audiences. The play highlights this social divide in a slight way, at a time in India when the country was on the verge of finding its footing as an independent nation and places like Calcutta, being the hub of the British Raj, have had a strong influence of Western Culture.
On stage: Zille Rehman, Meghna Gupta, Nalini Dutta, Pranav Dalvi
Execution language: Hinglish, with bengali
Emotions on display: Irony, for sure