A slice of life tale

Ambika Shaligram
Friday, 4 May 2018

Chatting up Kaushik Saha of Theatrewallas India who is bringing a new Hindi play, Sankraman, to the city

Since 2002, Theatrewallas has been trying to promote Hindi theatre and literature in Dubai-UAE. With a repertoire of one-act and full length productions based on the works of noted writers such as Saadat Hasan Manto, Munshi Premchand, Kamta Nath, the Theatrewallas now come to India.

The launch of Theatrewallas India, now operational from Pune, will see the staging of Sankraman. The Hindi play revolves around the concept of generation gap. Three monologues are woven together to seamlessly bring forth three individual viewpoints in every Indian household, that of an elderly couple and their middle-aged son.

Written by Kamta Nath, the cast includes Neeru Bhagat, Shoumendu Mukherjee and Kaushik Saha. Saha also directs the production. He shares details...

When and how did you come across this story by Kamta Nath?
As Theatrewallas, we conduct many reading sessions where every week we read one fine piece of Hindi literature. It was during one such reading sessions in Dubai that I happened to read Sankraman by Kamta Nath and was extremely floored by the simplicity in the way he expressed multiple emotions of characters.

How did you choose your cast for Sankraman?
This being our pilot show in Pune, we were sure of doing it this time specifically with local talent. With Pune being a cultural hub, we were sure of finding the right cast. Auditions were held in the month of January, from where we were then able to select the characters for the play.

You have been doing Hindi plays in Dubai. What’s the audience there like?
The audience has always been great everywhere. We have always been greeted with the support of the Indian community at large as well as the nationals. We were also privileged enough to be invited to present Sankraman at the Indian Embassy where we were greeted with a lot of compliments from dignitaries and other important guests present.

Why Hindi plays?
Theatrewallas was formed with individuals from different walks of life coming together to share one common passion — their love for Hindi literature and arts. Plus it was integral to ensure that the love and respect for our national language always remains prime and we would do our best to promote the same moving ahead.

In Pune there is one theatre group doing Hindi plays. Do you think you will find your audience here?
Firstly, I appreciate the efforts Swatantra theatre has been putting in to promote Hindi theatre in Pune. Having done multiple shows in the city, I am sure they are known for what they do.

Sankraman is a play that revolves around the topic of generation gap and is a beautifully woven slice of life tale everyone can relate to. Being our first show, all I can say is that the city is a haven of lovers for the art of theatre. It has always supported and promoted genuine efforts and I strongly believe that it will keep doing so.

Is Theatrewallas India a different entity from the group in Dubai?
Theatrewallas India is being initiated under the complete guidance of Theatrewallas UAE. We have received their moral support at every step of our journey here so far and are sure that they will keep doing so going ahead. Simply put, we are two bodies but just one soul.

Would you also be travelling to different cities in India with this play?
We would love to. But currently we are interested in passionate individuals joining the group so that the group gets stronger.

To begin with we are open to explore multiple opportunities to stage the play in the city itself. Those interested to host a show of Sankraman can connect with us through our Facebook page ‘TheatrewallasIndia’.

Hindi play, Sankraman is a Theatrewallas India presentation. It will be staged at Mahatma Phule Sanskrutik Bhavan, Wanowrie on Saturday, May 5. Show begins at 9 pm

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