National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai presents the 8th edition of its annual Marathi theatre festival, Pratibimb Marathi Natya Utsav, from 5th – 9th August 2017. The five-day festival will present Marathi plays across various genres and themes with respect to societal bearings and traditional footings played by eminent names from Marathi theatre.
Pratibimb, meaning reflection, holds up a mirror to the best of Marathi theatre. The festival aims to bring into focus the aura of Marathi Theatre and its understanding. This comes with a simple intent to showcase engaging performances followed by a discussion with the cast and crew of the plays.
NCPA spokesperson said, “Marathi theatre advocates simplicity, with works highlighting beautiful stories from our day to day life. Entering the 8th edition, we are excited to showcase a variety of plays, that we believe have a great reach and connect with the audience and are excited to engage with cutting- edge stories that reflect our society at its best.”
This year the festival will commence with Mumbaiche Kawale, a satirical drama based on a present day situation written 40 years back by Prof. Shafaat Khan. The play is a village set up, based on two volunteers who are asked to bring crows (Kawale) to perform the rituals of their dead relatives.
The same day, the festival will also stage Sangeet Bari, an abhinaya, song and dance based play focussing on the dying heritage of Lavani which will involve a direct interaction between the artistes and the audience. Sangeet Bari will combine multiple narratives and will include live performances of old traditional Lavanis which are either unknown or forgotten.
The second day of the festival will present two plays- Hey Ram and Party. Hey Ram based on the story named Patra of Sadanand Deshmukh’s famous novel Gabhulgabha represents the culture of “Bohada Festival” which is held in Nashik during the festival of Ramnavami. The play will highlight the conflict between two generations showcasing the current situation amongst the youth not wanting to continue their ongoing village tradition as they call themselves “Modern”.
Party, on the other hand delves into the lives of the characters attending a party backed by a purpose by the protagonists. The incomplete, hollow and pretentious lives of these ‘culture vultures’ is unveiled when the party goes haywire. It is at this point when the tension between the main characters come to the foreground.
The third day of the festival will open with MH12J16 a promising play full of humour written by renowned playwright Dr. Vivek Bele. Directed by Subodh Pande, the play focusses on the role of the audience in contemporary commercial theatre productions.
The plot is based on an interesting journey of a young playwright who goes from “no support” to “full support” of the audience representative. It underlines the necessity of the audience changing their acceptance level for the new narratives rather than accepting the classics. The play is a recipient of various awards in Maharashtra and embarks on the freshness of the subject.
Next is, Ek Shoonya Teen which will be staged on the second last day of the festival. Revolving around four characters and their curiously exciting worlds, the play unfolds revelations that run parallel to a murder mystery. Adding to anti-social elements propagating regressive and redundant ideologies, Ek Shoonya Teen will put light on immediate concerns that we as citizens need to address.
On the final day of the festival, Samajswasthya a two-act play will be staged on the life of Prof. R.D.Karve. Prof Karve is an eminent name known for his fundamental work in the field of birth-control in India. The play is based on Samajswasthya’, a magazine run by Prof. R.D.Karve that propagated mental and physical health, for twenty-seven years.
This iconic piece of history will come alive on stage broadly highlighting the war between the orthodox and progressive, emphasizing on freedom of thought, freedom of expression and sexual freedom making it simultaneously disturbing and thought-provoking.