After showcasing plays from across the country in a variety of theme-based festivals over the last 18 years, from Shakespeare to Karnad, political to company theatre, from metros to not-the-metros, this year Ranga Shankara has decided to zero in on plays that shed light on this year’s theme JUST Theatre.
That fragile fantastic thing we fondly call theatre- has always seemed to us to be the last place on earth where our stories can be truthfully and boldly told. And when that happens, just theatre transforms to “JUST Theatre“. Theatre is judged by society more stringently when compared to other arts because of its immediate contact with the public and its greater power to convince. This year’s festival explores various connotations and meanings of the word “JUST”, as we have understood it and are re-understanding it today.
Arundhati Nag, artiste and artistic advisor is all excited about the line-up for this year’s Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival, 2022 that has “JUST Theatre” as its theme. “Sometimes it seems like a dream! Ranga Shankara is 18 years old and this is the 19th Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival! Wow! this is that time of the year when we make this big effort to show theatre lovers in Bangalore some of the best artists from around the country presenting some of the most instigating ideas. The theme this year is JUST Theatre. It asks the audience to think, this festival is not about just passive consumption of whatever is thrown at you- reminding our audiences, society and ourselves that the JUST choice is yours to make. Go ahead…say it!”
This year, we open the festival on Kannada Rajyotsava with Idhu Keluva Samaya – It’s Time to Listen, curated by Mamta Sagar & Prathibha Nandakumar- both eminent Kannada poets, followed by a Ranga Shankara Workshop Showcase and close the days celebrations with the play Dakla Katha Devi Kavya by Jangama Collective, a play that delves into the populist narrative of the puranas and mythology that takes us on a journey of discovery.
The Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival will take place over six days from Tuesday, November 1 to Sunday, November 6, 2022 at 7:30 pm.
Here is the line-up of plays for this year’s festival:
1 Nov | Dakla Katha Devi Kavya by Jangama Collective
Kannada | Written and directed by Lakshmana KP
Adapted from several texts of KB Siddaiah, for several years stories, metaphors of our country have always been about few puranas, poems, stories, while the fact is that our culture is more diverse than we perceive it to be. K B Siddhaiah’s text opens us to the reality of an entirely new purana or mythology which is in complete contrast to the popular culture and makes us see how they all can coexist and hence make our country immensely diverse.
2 Nov | There is Something in The Water by Akvarious Productions
English | Written by Henrik Ibsen and directed by Akarsh Khurana
How do you save a world that doesn’t want to be saved? A doctor makes a scientific discovery which leads him on a dangerous path to many more discoveries about human nature and a rather toxic state of affairs. Based on An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen.
3 Nov | Taking Sides by The Company Theatre
English | Written by Ronald Harwood and directed by Atul Kumar
How does one person’s truth become the others? Taking Sides, written by the British playwright Ronald Harwood, plucks these chords, one by one, creating a melody of chaotic human brains and behavior caught in the middle of the denazification commission.
4 Nov | Idakini Kathaiaratham by Manalmagudi Theatre Land
Tamil | Written and directed by S Murugaboopathy
In the past, the greatest shift in human evolution, the migration of mankind, continues to this day despite the destruction of numerous human beings throughout history as a result of the migration. Idakini Kathaiaratham is the story of what happens when a body is disconnected from the land. It will become powerless, unhomely and easy to destroy by anyone.
5 Nov | 1984 by Unicorn Actors’ Studio
Hindi | Written by George Orwell and directed by Happy Ranajit
A novel by George Orwell, 1984 unleashes a unique plot where no one is safe or free. No place is safe to run or even hide from a dominating party leader, Big Brother, who is considered equal to God. In Big Brother`s bad world, where war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength, who will win: love or the totalitarian government?
6 Nov | Apne Ghar Jaisa by Ranga Shankara
Hindi | Written and directed by Anmol Vellani
A woman is getting ready to welcome an unknown man who has rented a room in her house. She feels uneasy about admitting a stranger into her home. Who is he? Where is he from? Her fear and aversion of the ‘other’ bubble to the surface. She lets her imagination run wild. When the man arrives, hoping to be welcomed into her home, there is something unusual about him, something surprising, something, perhaps, eye-opening.
Apart from these plays, we have other unique offerings where we explore the theme ‘JUST’ beyond just theatre:
Participating colleges are Surana College/Christ, deemed to be University/Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology/The Valley School/Jyothi Nivas College
- Idhu Keluva Samaya/ It’s Time to Listen – Kannada Kavya Vaacha: We’re opening the festival with a session of poetry curated by Mamta Sagar & Prathibha Nandakumar. The session will feature poets reading their poetry around themes extrapolated from the central theme of JUST as in Justice, the presence or the lack of it in our everyday lives.
Venue: Ranga Shankara Foyer
When: Tuesday 1, November
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Tickets: Non ticketed event
- OTHER-VOICES: Parables for the Present – An intimate reading by Ratna Patakh Shah, where texts of the suppressed will be explored and presented with a new voice for the audience to draw inferences to the times, we live in.
When: Friday 4th & Saturday 5th, November
Time: 3:30 – 4:30 pm & 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Tickets: 500 INR (limited audience)
- VOICES OF YOUTH: College is the melting pot for youngsters where everything happens, where a person emerges, choices emerge, more freedom is given and life decisions take place. How do these youngsters, the next generation, understand justice and equity? We want to give the word ‘justice’ to young performers at various colleges and understand their thoughts through 20-minute short plays/street plays. The pieces will be performed in the Ranga Shankara foyer at 6 pm. The event will take place over six days from Tuesday, November 1 to Sunday, November 6, 2022.
Venue: Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar, Bangalore
Dates: November 1st – 6th, 2022
Time: Main Plays – 7.30 PM
Other events – 4 PM onwards
Tickets are priced at 250 INR per person. (Tickets are available on BookMyShow and at the box office)