A week of play readings

July 27, 2022 12:55:35 IST
Avinash Kolhe

In March 2020, the Corona-19 hit the world like a bolt from the blue and life went into limbo. Now the world is limping back to normalcy and theatre is no exception. Come 3rd August and a unique initiative will be staged at the Prabodhan PrayongGhar, in Kurla (Eastern suburbs of Mumbai), a new intimate theatre inaugurated recently.

Bhalchandra Kubal, Mumbai-based senior theatre person, launched this idea on 30th June 2018, where the playwrights read their new, fresh plays to a live audience. The event is aptly titled Wacha Charcha Prayog Sandhya (An evening of reading, discussion and performance). The idea was so unique and well-executed that it soon caught on. It ran to packed houses and was about to become a regular feature of the theatre scene in Mumbai, before Covid struck.

Last year Kubal was back with a vengeance and now he is back with the latest offerings. This time he has scheduled a whole week which will be flagged off on 6th August and will wind up on 13th August. The shows will begin every day at 6 pm. All these shows will be performed at Prabodhan Prayoghar. This time Kubal has slightly modified the format by introducing a moderator who will manage the discussion between the playwright and the audience. Said he, "In the earlier format there was no moderator to monitor the discussion. Consequently, the discussion would go off-track. This time there will be a moderator who will chat with the playwright and manage the discussion in a loose, informal manner."

This edition will begin with the play reading by Sanjay Mone, to be moderated by Vijay Nikam. Then there will be play readings by Sambhaji Sawant, Warsha Dandale, Chaitanya Deshpande, Kalpita Rane, Pratibha Saraf and Dileep Jagtap.

Such events are welcomed by theatre lovers, the playwrights and more so, the producers who are constantly looking out for new scripts as there is always a dearth. Here scripts get tested by their public reading and response of the audiences. For the author, this presents a unique opportunity, a sort of test-marketing where s/he presents his/her script to the live audience, get their responses and listen to their comments. This helps the playwright to modify the script and fine-tune it for debut on the commercial or experimental stage. Take the case of Kavita Morwankar who had written UNKNOWN FACE, a play in which the issue of plastic surgery finds a mention. A practicing, experienced doctor was in audience when she read the script. He easily pointed out the technical defects in the script which she gladly rewrote.

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

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