It was the late Arvind Deshpande's dream to launch fresh experimental productions under his banner Awishkar. His associates launched a theatre festival in his memory to continue his creative mission. As the Arvind Deshpande Smruti Mahotsav enters its 25thyear, the Marathi theatre festival presents a treat of eight new plays challenging creative boundaries, and inspiring new talent and techniques. Veteran producer and the central figure of the festival, Arun Kakade is gung-ho about the range of subjects the festival covers this year, as he enthuses, "The Arvind Deshpande Smruti Mahotsav is celebrated with two goals in mind. Firstly to remember our dear departed colleague, a tornado of talent and secondly to produce fresh plays with innovative themes."
The week-long festival from January 3 -10 2012, organized at the Sathaye College Auditorium at Vile Parle, gives vent to contemporary social pathos especially the rampant political corruption. "Like Anna Hazare's movement, this is an outburst of anguished creative minds. ANDHRATIL SWAGATE, the inaugural piece of the festival comprises 15-minute monologues by four noted playwrights," elaborates Kakade Kaka, as he is popularly known.
HUM AUR TUM SAB, the only Hindi play in the festival is noteworthy not only for its content but also for its players. It is a play about sex workers by sex workers and it is written and directed by the noted feminist and theatre person Sushama Deshpande. Another gem of a presentation that no theatre lover can afford to miss is Badal Sarkar's PAGLA GHODA, translated into Marathi by Amol Palekar.
In keeping with Awishkar's tradition of producing children's plays, two new plays - RAPCHIK CHHABUTAI BHINGE and ZALACH PAHIJE will also be staged. Add to that, Achyut Vaze's social farce SADU, SADUCHI BAYKO ANI URLELA JAG, Girish Pande's RAKTAPARJANYA and Vishwas Sohoni's GHAR BAAR - fare strong enough to keep theatre buffs happily engaged all through the week.