Oldest theatre festival is back with a new line-up
Recognized as one of the oldest and most prestigious theatre festivals in Delhi, 'Old World Theatre Festival' brings the best of Indian plays to be staged at India Habitat Centre from October 20- 28.
The festival will stage 15 plays over a period of nine days, to bring the theatre enthusiast closer to stage. A pan Indian constellation of original scripts from Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Kerala are scheduled to create riveting experiences for Delhites.
Responding to significant strands of theatre practice from across the country, the line-up features productions with a unique voice and performance language that speaks to our times. It is a spectrum that mirrors the continuities in Indian Theatre from the earliest to the most contemporary.
Kutiyattam (from Kerala), one of the most stylized and earliest forms of Sanskrit theatre with roots extending to even the Tamil Koothu, which dates as far back as Sangam era opens the festival on Oct 20.
Kutiyattam has been recognized by UNESCO as a 'Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity'.
The fact that for the first time a National theatre live broadcast eased its way into the line-up is a clear indication of how the festival is extending its boundaries to accommodate various formats that have come to influence the theatre goer's imagination in recent times. Along with affordable reasonable ticket prices (Rs 500 being the highest denomination), there are free performances as well.
Announcing the festival Vidyun Singh, Director Programmes, Habitat World, India Habitat Centre, described the line up as a "watershed in the history of the festival". "I am so excited to bring the Gen Next of Indian theatre to the heart of India. The number of original scripts marked by unexpected take offs and performance styles does clearly point to a wave of theatre groups passionate to push the boundaries to tell the stories of today. And it is to their passion and talent, despite all the limitations of funding and performance infrastructure in the country, that we owe this refreshing edition that will move you out of your comfort zones," he says.
There are two scintillating all-women productions in the line-up (Beyond Borders exploring boundaries of nationality, caste, colour, ethnicity, gender, body and mind, and DekhBehen, a bittersweet comedy about daughters, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, wives, and getting through one big fat Indian wedding.
'Dastaan Live' is an immersive musical exploration of the Indian condition which combines live music with the visual arts, sound and light design that tells the story of New Delhi. It attempts to provide a forum for audiences to cast light on their own experiences living in the city. Inviting audiences to get lost in the culinary stories of our streets, Stand on the Street curates an unusual experience unearthing for us the labour and love behind street food. The performance allows for only 30 participants...Apart from these, there will be a workshop by leading light designer, Yael Crishna, for those with prior experience in handling theatre lights.