Sunday, March 4, 2007

Rangdakshini 2007 Results : Its YUVA again!

History repeats! :)

Its yet another biig success to YUVA. Complete Wash-out or a "Yuva Wah-shout" as Raju always puts it.

YUVA's 'Pravas' won best play (among 19 entries), Best actor among many other first prizes in this competition. The success is not a surprise with Yuva displaying high degree of team work and professionalism.

Some more highlights of the event are,

* 19 teams performed over 4 days, 2 teams of children presented 2 Baal Naatyas.
* Contesting teams came from Sangli, Solapur, Latur, Goa, Waai and Bangalore.
* Vikram Gokhale, chief guest for the prize distribution ceremony.
* After a captivating "Gappa" session with Vikram Gokhle, he distributed prizes for the top 3 performers in each of the following categories:

1. Ekankika
2. Director
3. Actor
4. Actress
5. Sets
6. Music
7. Lights

* Bangalore teams outshone the visiting teams in most of the categories.
* Yuva, a Bangalore team, successfully defended the 'Winner' title it won last year.
* IISc, another Bangalore team, also gave an impressive performance on its debut
* Judges urged the visiting teams to come up with 'better' presentations as expatriate Maharashtrians in Bangalore expect something more from the resident Maharashtrians.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Awishkar's 20th Annual Theatre Festival

Awishkar's 20th annual theatre festival, the Arvind Deshpande Memorial Festival, concluded yesterday, celebrating 75th birthday of the man behind this group, Mr. Arun Kakade. Awishkar is doing theatre for more than 3 decades now and has always supported core marathi theatre and the passionate people behind them.

This event featured a lot of premier performances along with plays from established organizations and reknowned playwrights such as Satyadev Dubey. Here is the list of performances,
Sunday 7th January, 10.30 am
Awishkar- Chandrashala Presents
PANCHATANTRA (Marathi Play) (Silver jubilee Show)
A Ballet for kids

Written by : Madhav Sakahardande
Guide : Guru Parvati Kumar
Directed by : Ramesh purav
Co-Directed by : medha parab
Music : Shank-Neel
Production Incharge: Kshama Sakhardande
Produced By: Arun Kakde

Monday 8th January, 7.30 pm
Mumbai Marthi Sahitya Sangha - Amrut Natya Bharati Present
KUNDALI ANI KUNDALINI (Marathi Play) Premier Show
Original English Script : Mrunalini Kamat
Marathi Transalation and Direction : Rekha Sabnis

Tuesday 9th January, 7.30 pm
Academy Of Theatre Arts, Mumbai University Presents
OEDIPUS (Hindi Play) Premier Show
Orignal Play : Sophocles
Adaptation : Machindra More
Music Director : Aamod Bhatt
Director : Prof. Waman Kendre

Wednesday 10th January, 4.00 pm and 7.45 pm
Awishkar and Theatre Unit Present
FLIRT IN YOUR DREAMS (English play) Premier Show
Written and Directed by : Satyadev Dubey

Thursday 11th January, 7.30 pm
Awishkar Presents
DOGHI (Marathi play) Premier Show
Written by :Dr. Shirish Athawale
Directed by : Vijay Kenkre

Friday 12th January, 7.30 pm
Awishkar Presents
YAARI HAI IMAAN MERA (Hindi Play) Premier Show
Marathi Version : Chetan Datar
Hindi Adaptation : Charudatta Bhagwat & Aslam Parvez
Directed by : Kapil Bhopatkar

Saturday 13th January, 7.30 pm
Maharashtra Cultural Centre Pune, Presents
SOHAM KOHAM CHAY GOSHTI (Marathi play) Premier Show
Written by : Prof. Datta Dandge
Directed by : Anant Kanho

Sunday 14th January, 10.30 am
Awishkar - Chandrashala Present
A Ballet for kids

Written by : Madhav Sakahardande
Guide : Guru Parvati Kumar
Directed by : Ramesh purav
Co-Directed by : medha parab
Music : Shank-Neel
Production Incharge : Kshama Sakhardande
Produced By : Late Arwind Deshpane, Arun Kakde

Wednesday 17th January, 7.30 pm
Awishkar and Hunnar Present
CHAAR MOJAYCHA NAHI (Marathi Play) Premier Show
Written by : Vivek Sathe
Direced By : Pradeep Mulye

Thursday 18th January, 7.30 pm
Awishkar Presents
JATA NAHI JAAT (Marathi Play) Premier Show
Written by : Siddharth Tambe
Directed by : Girish Patke

Friday 19th January, 7.30 pm
Awishkar Presents
PAASWALA (Marathi Play) Premier Show
Written by : Jayant Pawar
Directed by : Chetan Datar

Monday, January 15, 2007

RangadakshiNi 2007 - Schedule

The schedule for RangadakshiNi 2007 is out.

The competition is spanned over 4 days around the long weekend of Republic Day and in total 21 ekankikas (one act plays) will be staged. There are 5 local groups and 2 of which (Chaitanya and IISc) are participating for the first time. The rest 17 ekankikas come from various locations including Sangli (total 9 entires, :O), Solapur (1), Latur (2, runner up last year), Wai (new entry) and Goa (3 entries). The group from Kolhapur who performed really well in last couple of years seems to be absent.

All in all, the stage is set for a great theatre festival !!

Thanks to preeti for putting together this list,

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Rangadakshini 2007 - Marathi drama competition in Bangalore

Maharashtra MandaL bengalooru has announced Rangadakshini 2007 and it is scheduled on the long weekend of Republic Day, from 25th to 28th of January. This competition features marathi one act plays from various theatre groups and it has been a great entertainment to its audience for past many many years. Even though the competition has been taking place for many years, in the recent past it is generating tremendous amount of traction in the community of marathi theatre enthusiasts.

In its initial form, marathi theatre groups in south india (outside maharashtra) were invited. The response in those days was okay and occasionally bad as not many outside entries used to come. In those days, local entries dominated this competition. Maharashtra MandaL trust then reworked the concept and opened the competition to more location. They chose few organizations which have good reputation from the south maharashtra and invited them for the first time, 2 years ago. Since then, the response has been tremendous. Year over year, the number of groups interested in this competition is increasing and the existing groups are putting up more number of plays compared to their previous year.

Last year, total 16 groups performed at rangadakshiNi and this year the number of entries has increased to 26. MandaL eventually decided to reject some of them and finally this year will feature 20 ekaankikas (one act plays) at the competition. This is huge. Number of entries from places like latur, sangali, kolhapur has increased in number. The energy these teams bring in to the competition is really fascinating. The competition has given these teams a great opportunity to display their talent outside their town and it has created a great platform to bring theatre enthusiasts together with the best of innovative ideas. I think this is an immense drive for people to put up something against a good competition.

I belong to a local group in bengalooru, called YUVA, who is defending the title this year. Unfortunately, I am going to miss this action and really feeling bad about it. :(

I wish 'All the Best' to all the participant groups and the organizers and I am sure that the event will take place in the best of spirits.

Finally, I think, no matter who wins the competition, the rangadakshini concept is already a big winner!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Why don't indians watch theatre?

I participated in a discussion on the same topic at Orkut's 'Indian theatre' community. The concern is also valid to a certain degree to countries other than india who does have interest in theatre.

The discussion brings up some good points which I would like to mention here, in addition to my own thoughts.

In general, I think, everyone would agree that many people dont watch theatre. The obvious main reason is lack of awareness. There is a tiny set of people in this country who has developed an interest in theatre, the rest just dont know about it.

Like films, Everybody and anybody would not go for theatre; only the people who are directly or indirectly connected to this form would go. That is because they appreciate it. They appreciate the thought behind a certain play, they understand the efforts behind it, they also understand the challenge to keep every mind in the audience engaged. Thats why I feel there is a need to connect everyone to theatre. I myself got interested by watching people around me doing it, thats the natural way of learning and am sure many theatre enthusiasts share the same story.

This connection to theatre is a key to improving awareness and it can be most effective if it is targeted at school/college students. Creating such awareness at this age can be effective because it will invoke thinking at an early age and also it will be easier for students to work together within the school/college community model. A friend of mine is doing a great job of running a Performing Arts Institute for children between age group of 8 to 14 years. This group, Chaitanya, is now active for past 3 years.

Another factor behind lack of theatre awareness is the prejudice of traditional performing arts on previous generations. Working with a local dance or theatre group was never considered a gracious way of living, in the past. Today, the urban parts of india has definitely overcome this; in fact theatre people today are considered to be very much sophisticated, but the bias is strong enough in rural parts to kill small groups.

Also, The entertainment business does not consider theatre as high as films or television. This is good in a way because this has saved theatre from being commercialized, but in return every production has faced financial challenges due to this lack of (or limited) financial support. Making money has never been the primary focus on the contrarian minds behind such activities, which is indirectly affecting penetration of this art in the society.

I was visiting Norway last November and got introdued to work of a great playwright, Henrik Ibsen. From whatever little I studied him, theatre even in his times or now is facing the same concern, I feel. Same story in the US.

With the discussion, I also realized that there are plenty of groups that are doing some great work but are not connected to each other. e.g. Pune has a great culture of marathi plays, but has limited exposure to other families like bengali/hindi plays. It is very important that such groups come together and work closely on connecting people to theatre.

This will not only increase theatre awareness but will also empower the minds to create a better place for living!!

moved my cheese...

About 8 years ago, I got my first ever email id and that was with yahoo. That was my first interaction with the Internet world.

Yahoo has been a really great portal because throughout this period, I have used many of their services. There are about 20 groups that I am part of and have been owning and moderating quite a few of them. The messenger has been a great tool and over these years, the list of friends as grown tremendously. I even have the calendar populated with birthdays and anniversaries, my stock potfolios live with yahoo. When I started blogging, I created my 360 page. I always felt comfortable going to one place where I get an integrated view of everything I need, my_yahoo is just the right answer for that.

But, this only until one fine day, I see a mail from Yahoo saying my password has been changed; I immediately went to yahoo to reaize that I can't login with my password. My account was hacked and I could not recover that through the secret questions. I raised this yahoo and did not receive anything useful. I realized that I wont be able to login to my id ever again.

So, I am slowly migrating to google for obvious reasons. One I dont trust Yahoo anymore and second is google's success. Recently, I moved all my blogs from to blogspot. I was able to keep the original dates of my previous blogs and overall this sounds very impressive blogging tool.

With this first blog straight of blogspot in the new year 2007, I am all set for the next chapter with google and hopefully you will enjoy reading the stuff here!