The Vinod Doshi Smruti Natya Mahotsav...

April 8, 2009 5:31:52 PM IST
MTG editorial

A rare combination of technical brain and aesthetic instincts, Vinod Doshi was an eminent industrialist and Chairman of The Premier Automobiles Ltd., now known as Premier Ltd. He was closely associated with and headed many national business bodies such as CII, IMTMA, SIAM, ARAI, MEDC etc. educational institutions and many other Government and Semi-Government organisations. Vinod Doshi played a pivotal role in contributing to the industrial and economic growth of the country. He had a deep passion for amateur theatre and experimental cinema. His wife, Dr. Saryu Doshi is a noted art historian and always complemented her passions with her husband’s interests. Vinod Doshi was deeply involved in all its aspects of theatre - sound effects, lighting, rehearsals, play readings (many of which were held at their home), translation, acting, and, of course, post – show parties. His close interaction with playwrights, actors, directors and technicians invigorated him. However, with increasing corporate responsibilities, his involvement in theatre gradually lessened over time. To celebrate his passion for theatre, Premier Ltd. has commissioned an annual, five day theatre festival in his memory, called the Vinod Doshi Smruti Natya Mahotsav-2009.

The festival will be held in Mumbai at the Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi, Mumbai from 6th to 10th April, 2009 and in Pune at the Yeshwantrao Chavan Natya Sabhagruha, Kothrud, Pune from 7th to 11th April, 2009.

The festival will host 5 highly appreciated plays of established as well as young people. The plays are as follows:

BIKHRE BIMB (A heap of Broken Images)
Playwright & Director - Girish Karnad
Produced by - Ranga Sharada, Bangalore

The twenty-first century is the age of the electronic image. From every corner of our world, electronic images fling themselves at us, entertaining, educating and enticing us to immerse ourselves into a virtual world of global dimensions. The very notion of a private self seems threatened by this onslaught from outside. But suppose the most vociferous of these images were one’s own? Manjula Nayak is a little-known face in Karnataka as a short-story writer….. Suddenly she becomes wealthy and internationally famous by writing a best-seller in English. The question haunting Manjula is whether in thus opting for the global audience she has betrayed her own
language and identity. And, without warning, it’s her own image that decides to play confessor, psychologist and inquisitor.

Playwright - Govind Ballal Deval
Director - Ravindra Khare (9422310639)
Produced by - Bharat Natya Mandir, Pune

This play is a revival of a century old musical which has been a favourite with Marathi audiences over the years. Written in 1899, the playwright Govind Ballal Deval uses the medium of theatre to protest against the widely prevalent practice of “geri—pediatric” marriages wherein young teenage girls were married to senile old men. The impact of the play can be gauged from the fact that when the law laying down the age of consent for marriage was passed, it was called the Sharada Act - after the play. While the theme continues to remain relevant today in the larger context of oppression of women in the male dominated society, its appeal lies in its nostalgic and evocative treatment of a theatrical performance from a bygone era.

Playwright & Director - Manav Kaul
Produced by - aRANYA, Mumbai

Any park, just about anywhere . With three regular benches. And three men…. just any men... squabble about the choicest of seats. Because each one’s claim is the greatest, and the most fundamental. And in... just about anywhere, there is never enough room for everyone.

MI MAJHYA-SHI (Dialogues with self)
Concept, Script & Direction - Atul Pethe (9422319717)
Based on the works of Shankar Kashinath Garge aka Divakar
Produced by - Vasantrao Achrekar Sanskrutik Pratishthan, Kankawali

Atul Pethe has compiled a delightful selection of works by the celebrated avant-garde Marathi litterateur Shankar Kashinath Garge who wrote under the pen name of Divakar. Famous for his plays, short stories, dialogues and research works, Divakar employed new metaphors and allegories to explore the meaning of life. Through satire Divakar has highlighted psychological restlessness and social turmoil. In the text of this play, Malvani dialect is blended with Mrathi language. Also woven into the performance are certain distinctive features of Konkani Folk theatre. The play exhorts people to understand the complexities of today’s life and face challenges sensibly.

MAHANIRVAN (The Dread Departure)
Playwright & Director - Satish Alekar (9822069284)
Produced by - Theatre Academy, Pune

The play revolves around the story of a dead man who insisted upon being cremated
according to certain specific rites. He lives on in his rapidly decomposing corpse while his son battles civic rules in order to honor his father’s last wishes. His widow, in the meanwhile, gets enamored to her ghostly lover. With irreverence, the text plays with the traditional Marathi musical mode of the mourning kirtan and the theme of death. The play is laced with black humor and reveals how a community comes to terms with death.

Mumbai Schedule:-

Opening at the hands of Girish Karnad, Mrs. Saryu Doshi, Alyque Padamsee, Pandit Satyadeo Dubey, Ashok Kulkarni, Satish Alekar on 6th April at 6.45 PM at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi, Mumbai

*Mumbai Theatre Guide takes no responsibility for change in schedule.

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