If you love that brush with the old world, and meeting with fellow art-lovers keeps you excited, then head straight to the Vinod Doshi Theatre Festival, starting on February 19. The five-day festival has something in it for everyone!
Initiated in the memory of eminent industrialist and a passionate arts-lover Vinod Doshi, the festival has, arguably, curated the most fascinating line-up in India for a decade. Hosted in Pune, the festival is now in its 10th year and this one promises to be the most stellar one yet.
The festival opens with Mahanirvan — a modern Indian theatre classic written by Satish Alekar and also being directed by him.
The second day will see the performance of Words have been uttered. It explores the expressions of dissent written by Sapan Saran and Irawati Karnik and directed by Sunil Shanbag. Purva Naresh’s Hindi musical Bandish 20-20000 Hz will be staged on day 3 of the festival. A unique performance arts piece Mahabharata will be showcased on day 4, which is created using puppets and live bodies by Delhi-based and internationally acclaimed artist Anurupa Roy. The festival will close with Yayati — again a modern Indian theatre classic written by Girish Karnad and directed by Arundhati Raja.
Said Dr Saryu Doshi of the Vinod and Saryu Doshi Foundation, “This is a platform for expression and performance that our team has worked tirelessly to create. With a lot of love, we bring to the people of Pune, five days of a celebration of not just theatre and the performing arts, but life itself!”
Ashok Kulkarni, festival director, added, “This has been an absolutely special decade. We are reviving two classical plays, one each in Marathi and Kannada, to bring them alive for a completely new audience. Yayati, Karnad’s classic from the ’60s, will be staged for the first time ever in Pune. My favourite part of the festival is the post-play informal interaction between the makers and the audience. It is this spirit of open communication and access to the arts that the Vinod Doshi Theatre Festival aspires to keep alive.”
Over the past decade, the festival has staged plays in Marathi, Hindi, English, Gujarati, Kannada and Punjabi languages. Works of great such as Vijay Tendulkar, Mohan Rakesh, Ismat Chughtai, Girish Karnad, Sai Paranjpye, Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Kumud Mishra, Raghubeer Yadav, Pallavi Arun, Sunil Shanbag and Irawati Karnik have found a place here. Of special mention are India premieres of prominent plays like Uney Purey Shahar Ek, Sindhu, Sudhakar, Rum Aani Itar that happened at the Vinod Doshi Theatre Festival.
Here’s this year’s schedule
Monday, Feb 19, 7.30 pm: Mahanirvan (Marathi)
Tuesday, Feb 20, 7.30 pm: Words have been uttered (Urdu/Hindi/Punjabi)
Wednesday, Feb 21, 7.30 pm: Bandish-20 to 20000 Hz. (Hindi)
Thursday, Feb 22, 7.30 pm: Mahabharata (Hindi/English)
Friday, Feb 23, 7.30 pm: Yayati (English)
Venue: Yashwantrao Chavan Natyarguha