Thespo 16 is all set to enthrall and entertain all theatre lovers once again!!by The Daily Eye Team December 10 2014, 5:21 pm Estimated Reading Time: 6 mins, 39 secs
Thespo 16 all set to wow theatre lovers once again
– From 15th to 21st December 2014, now in two venues, Prithvi Theatre & Sitara Studio –
– 6 Plays, 6 Platform Performances, 7 Fringe Performances including film screening and play readings, 15 workshops and 4 live music acts! –
~ Thespo to host two international performances ~
Mumbai, November 2014: Get ready to fall in love with theatre all over again as the 16th edition of Thespo, the annual drama festival for theatre-wallahs below the age of 25, is back with a dramatic bang. Taking place from 15th to 21st December 2014, the festival is centered on the theme ‘Plug-In to the Tamasha’.
This year, Thespo has scoured through a record total of 186 entries from across India, Sri Lanka and Canada, to curate a fresh bouquet of 6 full-length plays, 6 platform performances and 7 fringe performances. Organized by QTP, under the aegis of Theatre Group Bombay, it will be taking place in two venues this year: the iconic Prithvi Theatre, which has been the home of Thespo since 2008, and Sitara Studio, the city’s latest indie cultural space that used to stage Marathi plays back in the 1970s.
With its mission to attract the youngest, freshest talent from the theatre world, Thespo 16 is all set to excite, entertain and enthrall with its full-length plays. This year, all the five final plays of this year’s competition are of regional languages including Bengali, Hindi and Marathi. Covering themes ranging from social injustice, urbanization and mental disorders, the festival’s plays stay true to its tradition of creating an eclectic, diverse viewing experience.
Stay at the edge of your seats with Mumbai- bred Khushboo Upadhyay’s direction of ‘Normal’, Anthony Neilson’s gripping account of German serial killer Peter Kurten who was convicted in 1931 for the murders of eight people (16th December 2014, 9 PM, Prithvi Theatre). Or if you prefer a light-hearted comedy, ‘Tambola’, written and directed by Kolkata’s Akshay Kapoor, follows three ordinary men who carry out an extraordinary crime of robbing a bank while fate plays a nasty game with them (20th December 2014, 6 PM & 9 PM, Prithvi Theatre). Apart from those, another one to look forward to is the guest piece ‘Falls 2-11’, the brainchild of Clerke & Joy, a creative duo from Bristol, UK, created in collaboration with Thespo 16, that inspires us to think about the idea of falling and giving in to gravity (21st December 2014, 5 PM and 8 PM, Prithvi Theatre).
THE PLATFORM PERFORMANCES
At Thespo 16, you can watch the magic of theatre come alive on the spot with its spontaneous platform performances. Look out for ‘Happy Ending’, written and directed by Pune’s Dhananjay Mhasawade and Jayesh Newgi respectivey, where the protagonist takes matters in his own hands, literally, as things go awry, to ensure he gets his happy ending (18th December 2014, 8 PM, Prithvi Theatre). Also, there is Bangalore’s Jatin Gupta & Tanya Arora with ‘TRP Ka Zamana Hai’, a critique of the Indian media, the fourth pillar of democracy, which to them is in the business of making rather than breaking news (19th December, 8 PM, Prithvi Theatre), and Delhi’s Aniket Jaiswal, with his street play titled ‘Hum Ghum Ho Gaye’, that gives voice to the marginalized nomadic and de-notified tribes of India (20th December 2014, 8 PM, Prithvi Theatre).
THE FRINGE PERFORMANCES
With its effort to demonstrate the purity and simplicity of theatre without the frills, Thespo 16’s fringe performances are sure to impress. Of noteworthy mention is the ‘Violence Against Women Project’, conceptualized by Gillian Clark, an interdisciplinary Theatre Artist hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia. It will mark two years since the Delhi Gang Rape with a cross-cultural discussion on the meaning of sexual violence against women in urban India and Canada (16th December 2014, 7 PM, Prithvi House).
As Thespo has established itself as the haven of all art forms, it will also include a film screening in association with Alliance Francaise Bombay of ‘Ariane Mnouchknine- L’ Aventure du Theatre du Soleil’ (1974), where director Catherine Vilpoux recounts director Mnouchkine’s iconic artistic journey and reveals a never-seen-before portrait of her avant-garde stage ensemble Theatre du Soleil (17th December 2014, 7 PM, Prithvi House). There will also be a dramatized play reading in association the Goethe Institute where Daniel D’Souza, a young director, will create a short performance from plays of Roland Schimmelpfennig under the mentorship of Ramu Ramanathan (19th December 2014, 7 PM, Prithvi House).
Along with providing a stage for today’s young theatre wallahs, the festival also believes in nurturing their craft and expanding their knowledge through its numerous workshops. ‘The Actor’s Tool Box’, an acting workshop by Glenn Hayden (hailing from Australia with 28 years of working with and creating theatre for youth) and Kyla D’ Souza (from the legendary Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute), is designed for actors to discover, explore and maintain their ‘box’ of acting tools (20th December 2014, 10 AM
– 5 PM, Sitara Studio). Aspirants can also look out for ‘An Actor’s Foundation’, which offers a peek into an actor’s inner emotional life and how to effective wield the instrument of body movement under the guidance of Jeffery Goldberg, faculty member at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, The School of Visual Arts, and Fordham University (21st December 2014, 10 AM – 1 PM, Sitara Studio).
Just in case you thought the workshops were limited to acting, Thespo 16 has also lined up workshops like ‘Magic Hour’, a theatre lighting workshop by Arghya Lahiri (15th December 2014, 10 AM to 8 PM, Prithvi Theatre), and ‘Creating a Make-Believe World’, a set design workshop by Vivek Jadhav (20th – 21st December 2014, 10 AM – 5 PM, Prithvi House). You can also catch the legendary lok shahir Shambhaji Bhagat in his workshop ‘A Musical Rebellion’, as he talks about the bond between music and theatre and recounts the history of protest theatre in India (20th December 2014, 2 PM- 5 PM, Prithvi House). With such an all-rounded medley of workshops, Thespo 16 is no less than a week-long crash course in Theatre School.
Talking about Thespo 16 and the Indian theatre scene, Saatvika Kantamneni, Festival Director- Thespo 16, said, “With Thespo 16, we have uncovered some of the most promising theatre wallahs not just from the corners of India, but also Sri Lanka and Canada. With such an assorted range of performances and workshops, it will be a treat not just for theatre aspirants, but also audiences and enthusiasts.”
Continuing its support of all forms of artistic talent, Thespo 16 will intersperse its theatre performances with a host of live music shows. You can sway to the acoustic folk and soft rock sounds of Shubhangi Joshi, a Mumbai-based singer-songwriter and guitarist (16th December 2014, 6 PM, Prithvi Theatre), or enjoy as Pune’s Meera Shenoy croons her favorite folk/ jazz/ blues numbers (17th December 2014, 6 PM, Prithvi Theatre). If classic rock is more up your alley, tap your feet to the tunes of bass guitarist Vivek Date who is influenced by bands like the Beatles, the Who and Cream (18th December 2014, 6 PM, Prithvi Theatre). You can also watch out for Indo Gypsies, one of the most prolific folk/ fusion/ world music bands from India, who seamlessly blend folk with many genres and captivate audiences in their vibrant attire (19th December 2014, 6 PM, Prithvi Theatre).
Having started out in 1999 as a one-act play festival, Thespo has surely come a long way. Surpassing boundaries of nationality, languages and art forms, its 16th edition promises to be an occasion where all come together for the pure and simple love of theatre. As actors, dancers, musicians, writers, directors, enthusiasts and even first-timers meet on this dynamic platform, once can be assured of an invigorating, memorable experience like no other.
For information on the complete schedule of events, ticket prices, etc., please visit www.thespo.org.