Theatre enthusiasts across NCR region are in for a week-long treat with some of the classic plays from the Indian stage set to be performed at the upcoming 15th edition of Old World Theatre Festival. Organised by Old World Culture, the festival that is scheduled to begin on October 8, will host a spectacular assemblage of the finest theatre in the country with plays that not only entertain but also pose a challenge to some of the pressing issues in the current times.
Ten thought-provoking plays that question and span a gamut of issues from relationships, freedom and gender stereotypes, religion and faith, eroding ecosystems and assaults on sustainable agriculture and rural livelihood, will be performed at two venues - India Habitat Centre (IHC) here and Epicentre in Gurgaon.
“By creatively adapting the complex concerns of human race, the plays are certainly going to be unsettling in a deeply satisfying way, capturing humanity at the cross roads, often struggling to break out of the backbreaking conservative content of both ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’,” says Vidyun Singh, who has curated the festival.
The festival will open at IHC with Jaibala Vaidya’s iconic one-woman contemporary rendition of the Indian epic “Ramayana” as a tribute to her husband and theatre doyen Gopal Sharman, who passed away earlier this year.
At Epicentre, Barff featuring veteran actor-director Saurabh Shukla and theatre artist Sadia Siddiqui, will raise the curtains on the festival. Plays dealing with family dynamics and issues of gender disparity include Ila Arun’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s timeless classic Doll’s House with Ira Dubey of M Cream fame in the lead and Purva Naresh’s Ladies Sangeet.
“The discreet lives of drag kings, a subculture that is not too well known will play out in The Gentlemen’s Club AKA Tape. Kaizad Kotwal’s widely debated Agnes of God and Tadpole Repertory’s Tees on the collapse of traditional agriculture are notable selections that give a whole new dimension to the festival’s scope,” says Singh. The directorial debut of light designer Argya Lahiri titled, Wild Track, the much-anticipated solo White Rabbit Red Rabbit and Anish Victor’s choreographed solo Koogu will also be part of the festival.
A series of theatre workshops titled, “Cycloroma 2016” will run parallel to the festival with some of the greatest faces form the field conducting classes. Session leaders will include artistes like Anurupa Roy, Anahita Uberoi, Sudhanva Deshpande, Puja Sarup, Sheena Khalid, Arghya Lahiri, Jaimini Pathak, Purva Naresh, Gopal Dutt and Neel Chaudhuri among others.
“Theatre lovers and students have much to gain from these workshops with sessions ranging from acting to light design, scripting, playing with material to the use of music and song, children’s theatre. Participants have the option to attend either specific sessions or go for the complete workshop calendar, and the full day sessions include a ticket to the evening plays!” Singh said.