A play unlike any other, The Zoo Story is a dark psychological suspense thriller that has an additional cast of movement artists who will be performing along with the main cast. Following a trend, with adaptations of plays written years ago, that still resonates today, the director of The Zoo Story, Subhabrata Kundu, reveals, “Although this play has been written in 1958, the theme is still relevant today.”
The play talks about a lonely young man in a big city, orphaned at a young age who is trying to find a connection with someone. The inability to do so, leaves him in a space from where he fights inner demons and that leads to the climax. “The audience will get to see an interaction between two individuals on a park bench that goes crazier, and ends in a catastrophic climax that should leave the audience shocked, and will enable them to make their own interpretations.”
The unique thing about the play is that they have introduced movement in the play to show the emotions and thoughts of the main protagonist and also followed a devised theatre process.
Explaining this concept, movement director, Ankit Tripathi explains, “Movement-based theatre can be called European style of theatre. In this style, moods and emotions are expressed by body movements, and not through dialogues and facial expressions. We have also used devised theatre where only a small brief is given about the idea, and conceptualisation is left to the artistes.”
Aman Tehri essays the role of Jerry, a 30-year-old man who is lost in the urban jungle. Tehri says, “Jerry is a typical man from New York but he has been lonely all his life. He is on an endeavour to find someone he can talk to. He is a person who has a lot of abandonment issues and doesn’t know how to deal with people.”
Through the course of the play, Aman learnt that when one feels lost, it is imperative to reach out and talk to people. And also that it’s better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved at all. Sagnik Sinha is the only other actor in this play, and he essays the role of Peter, who has everything going for him but is still lost and lonely. Sinha says, “Peter lives a comfortable life but at the same time, is withdraw. Peter considers Sunday to be his alone time but when Jerry tries to strike up a conversion with him, it disturbs him. Even though this play was written in the late 1950s, I feel the theme being discussed is more relevant now, than then.” Although this play has been staged before, with this team, it will be a premier show.
The play will be performed at Rangasthala on June 30.