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The principal source of the play named kleśāḥ is the story of the Ramayana. kleśāḥ attempts to reinterpret sage Valmiki's magnum opus through a purely contextualized theatrical composition, and as a form of a deconstructed literary work without any religious connotations attached. By doing so, this play aims to generate a new perspective to look at the story of the Ramayana. Elements of kleśāḥ, meaning five poisons (ignorance, ego, attachment, aversion and fear) in Hindu philosophy, lie at the philosophical ground of this play. The prominent characters of the Ramayana are re-characterized and contextualized in rural Nepali society during the socio-cultural milieu of panchayat system.
छ जना रङ्गकर्मी महिलाहरु, योनिका कथाहरुको रिहर्सलमा छन् । उनीहरुले हामीलाई हाम्रै घर–समाजका महिलाहरुको व्यथाहरु मनोवादका शैलीमा देखाउने तयारी गर्दैछन् । उनीहरु घरि–घरि आफ्नै नीजि गफ गर्दै आफ्ना डर, चिन्ता र आफूले भोग्नु परेको नमिठो यथार्थहरुलाई बिस्तारै दर्शकसामु लिएर आउँछन् । नाटकमा बाल्यकालदेखि घर, स्कुल, कलेज, विश्वविद्यालय अनि काम गर्ने स्थानमा हुने यौन दुव्र्यवहार, निर्मलाहरुको कथा, शक्तिको दुरुपयोग, अलग–अलग समुदायका महिलाहरुको भोगाईहरु मार्फत पितृसतात्मक सोचलाई चित्रण गर्न खोजिएको छ । नाटक हेरिरहँदा धेरै प्रश्न तथा जिज्ञासाहरु उत्पन्न हुनसक्छ । कसै–कसैलाई असजिलो पनि हुनसक्छ । त्यसलाई यतिकै मर्न नदिएकै राम्रो । नाटक सान्दर्भिक भएपनि पूर्ण छैन ।अब आउने दिनहरुमा पनि हामी यसलाई अझ धैरै समावेशी बनाउने कुरामा प्रतिवद्ध छौं ।
‘Jokhana’ is dramatization of a story by Biyash Rai from his story collection ‘Hiumajhi’.‘Jokhana’ is a story about a woman who lost her husband from the village during the 10 year world-war and how she had to face her destiny.
The play screams saying “Todos somos Ayotzinapa!” meaning, we are Ayotzinapa! Further voices like “We are not all...we miss 43!” and “They wanted to bury us but they didn't know we were seeds.” deals with the never-dying issue of enforced disappearance. It is also a hope hymn that is able to let red flowers grow from a stack of bloody clothes. It is a theatre performance of a touching civic engagement, created through the same innovative working method; converting interviews, facts, and information into poignant physical actions, images, and emotions for the audience.
Garbha Chhita is a tradition in Karnali where parents fix the marriage of children who are still in their mothers' wombs. Such marriages that happen without the consent of the bride and groom destroy many lives. This is one such story, where Pampha and Mansur are engaged to each other before they are born. Pampha is in love with her low-caste household help, but gets married to the son of her father's best friend Mansur. Her lover Chaure is unable to elope with her, burdened by social pressure of caste, family, tradition, etc. In the end, Pampha leaves her husband's home with her lover's child in her womb, and nowhere to go.
Kumbakarna and Lakshmana, brothers each to the two protagonists of the Ramayana, are connected by boons that dramatically alter their cycles of sleep and wakefulness.
‘Mokshada’ is a danceplay based on the life experiences of (Panchakanya)five virgins which is mentioned in the ‘Shastra’ (holy scriptures). (Panchakanya) five virgins means Ahilya, Draupadi, Kunti, Tara and Mandodari. All these five women are married but even after having physical contact with more than one man, they are called pure. According to ‘Shastra’ (holy scriptures), even taking their names will eliminate all the sins and lead to the way of salvation. ‘Mokshada’ is the disagreement of the characterization of these five women done in ‘Shastra’ (holy scriptures). This danceplay can be claimed as the voice of today’s women’s struggle to find their existence or can be the unheard voice of these five protagonists and their rights.
This play meets Manto, one of the most influential Indo-Pakistani writer who wrote mostly partition stories and essays. His life dwells around his childhood, family & friends, facing persecution, self-ridicule, depression, being broke, helplessness, drinking, Hindi cinema, satire, irony, hypocrisy, sadness, strife, and moral decay. The performance is based on his written articles that explores his life he spent and the society he lived in including the social changes he witnessed at the time of India’s Partition. Ashwath Bhatt plays Manto who engages with the audience in person, trying to answer the biggest question “Why I write what I write?”. The texts used in the play are Manto, Main Afsana Kyun Kar Likhta hoon, Khol Do, Kal Sawere Jo Meri Ankh Khuli and Deewaroon Pe Likhna. Begum Akhtar’s ghazals have been used at a few places to highlight the pathos of Manto’s life.
Head to Head, through a unique devised theatre performance, searches the answer of existential questions like Where does identity lie: head or body? Or both? that actor with large bodies who deal with this quandary on a daily basis. By using sections of the iconic Kannada play by Girish Karnad, it interrogates identity and archetypes, and the much-vaunted mind-body (dis)connection. It also examines the body of politics and politics of the body that characters themselves encounter during their own work as individuals and as a community. It explores prevailing archetypes in the theatre industry in the guise of actors working on a play, using humor to re-look at the fat body. A third strand of the performance explores the personal experience of being a plus-size body. This strand eschews traditional theatrical devices of narrative, character and dialogue and instead uses a heightened physicality to draw attention to the corporeal form, inviting the audience to directly engage with the bodies on stage. Lastly, as fat actors, the ‘main’ (read meaty) roles generally go to the thin other. Playing the main protagonists in an iconic play has its own thrill!