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Seasonal act

Seasonal act
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First Published: Tue, Nov 15 2011. 01 15 AM IST

A rehearsal scene from the play Lysistrata
A rehearsal scene from the play Lysistrata
Updated: Tue, Nov 15 2011. 10 03 AM IST
In its first theatre season, starting December, Bangalore’s Jagriti theatre will stage six plays over six months—a different play each month, with 18 shows of each.
“The concept of a season of plays is a novel one in India. Such an initiative, in the long run, will help nurture a community of theatre practitioners and audiences where the performers, designers and technicians can look forward to a sustained run to help hone their craft as well as ensure a modicum of financial support,” says Jagdish Raja, co-founder of Jagriti theatre.
A rehearsal scene from the play Lysistrata
The season will begin on 2 December with Lysistrata, an Indian adaptation of the Greek play written by Aristophanes. In this account of a woman’s effort to end the Peloponnesian War, director Jeff Teare has removed most of the fifth-century Greek references and set it in modern-day Bangalore. “After all, it’s about sex, war and the war of the sexes, all subjects that India knows a good deal about,” says Teare, adding that the specific cultural references have been provided by the cast who are all locally based. The adaptation follows the original structure, including chorus scenes. Lysistrata will show over two-and-a-half weeks.
In January, The Golden Dragon, a play that ran to full houses at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, will take over. Written by Roland Schimmelpfennig and directed by Ramin Gray, the play be followed by director Akarsh Khurana’s The Interview in February. The Dreams of Tipu Sultan, written by Girish Karnad and directed by Arundhati Raja, will show in March.
There will be no performances in April.
A rehearsal scene from the play Lysistrata
A Twist of Lime written by Anita Nair will be staged in May. The season will end in June with an ensemble play Shipwrecked, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Donald Margulies.
The idea of buying tickets for a six-month season at one go, however, is yet to catch on among Bangalore audiences, notes Arundhati Raja, co-founder of Jagriti theatre. “Buying and planning for six months seems to be too much to think about for the young,” she says, adding that spot tickets will also be available closer to the date of the shows. Keeping their fingers crossed, the founders explain that they planned very detailed budgets for the six months because long runs mean accommodation and logistics for actors and crew for long periods. “If people buy full-season passes, it means we will come through. If not, it is going to be tough,” she says. “We didn’t want to be a rental space where we didn’t have any control on the quality of plays. This way, we get to establish a regular production standard,” says Arundhati Raja.
subscriptions to “the jagriti season 2011-2012“ are available now. prices for the six-play season: 8pm shows on tuesdays, wednesdays and thursdays, rs 2,500; 8pm shows on fridays and saturdays, rs 4,200; 3pm and 6.30pm shows on sundays, rs 3,500. spot tickets for individual shows are also available from the end of the month. for details, call the jagriti box office on 7829450191.
pavitra.j@livemint.com
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First Published: Tue, Nov 15 2011. 01 15 AM IST