112th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra26766514900710695 Tamil Nadu147324973102099 Delhi115346932363446 Karnataka4407717391846 Gujarat43723305552070 Uttar Pradesh3972424981983 Telangana3774524840375 Andhra Pradesh3301917467408 West Bengal3283819931980 Rajasthan2557119169524 Haryana2262817090312 Madhya Pradesh1900513575673 Bihar1885313019143 Assam178081217451 Odisha14280986496 Jammu and Kashmir111736223195 Kerala8931443835 Punjab85115663213 Chhatisgarh4379327520 Jharkhand4225242836 Uttarakhand3686286750 Goa2753160718 Tripura218315382 Manipur167210200 Puducherry153182918 Himachal Pradesh130993810 Nagaland8963460 Chandigarh60044610 Arunachal Pradesh3871453 Meghalaya318462 Mizoram2381590 Sikkim211860
Entertainment Theatre 20 Apr 2019 The theatrics of soc ...

The theatrics of society

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | JAYANTHI MADHUKAR
Published Apr 20, 2019, 2:44 am IST
Updated Apr 20, 2019, 7:07 am IST
A new play will look at age old cultural perceptions and a new way to look at them.
From the start, she had wanted the play to be devised from her experiences rather than make a play from the outsider’s angle.
 From the start, she had wanted the play to be devised from her experiences rather than make a play from the outsider’s angle.

On her first visit to the city last year, German dramaturge Verena Regensburger had a chance to attend a south Indian wedding. Understandably, she remembers being taken aback at the sight of “half naked men” serving food. “I was told it is a cultural thing and that the servers were Brahmins,” she recalled over phone from Germany. Chatting at a ridiculous hour of late night and early morning (both, for her and me, as she joked - “two crazy women”), Regensburger talked of her time spent in BangaloREsidency which is a collaboration between the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan and contemporary cultural spaces.

In her case, the Abhinaya Taranga, a theatre training school, hosted her stay and thus began a collaboration between her and three actors from the school; Vishal Patil, Ajay Sharma and Raghu Dayear. It resulted in the play My Name is I love you which is essentially the aspirations and struggles of the three actors that were discussed through the various discussions between the director and the actors. “I come from an acting school,” Regensburger said. “But instead of conducting workshops, I preferred writing the text of the play along with the actors. Sometimes, I wrote and they improvised it and so on.”

 

From the start, she had wanted the play to be devised from her experiences rather than make a play from the outsider’s angle. Coming back to the cultural shock, it exposed (pardon the pun) her to the castes prevalent in the Indian society and the role it plays in society. Swetha Shashank, who is doing the production of the play, said, “The play is about intercaste marriages; basically about how caste plays a big role as well as the typical male and female ‘role expectations’. It is also about the pressures of fulfilling these expectations.”

 

Regensburger graduated in Theatre Sciences as well as languages, literature and culture from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. During her studies, she did several internships at theatres to specialize in directing, video and stage designing. As a director, she and her team developed a theatre play wherein the stage became an experimental space for what is communicated consciously and subconsciously. Her fascination for the languages led to Regensburger consciously learning particular phrases in foreign tongues. “I try to learn something nice in a new language, like I love you, or my name is Verena and so on.” That led to the title which reflects her penchant for phrases to learn as well as an underlying message of love surpassing all barriers.

 

“We don’t really say something new in the play,” she pondered. “Instead, we highlight the way it is said. It is an ironic and a bit funny way of saying something and that is important.” The set, Regensburger explained, has a simple set design where the stage is decorated with plastic bottles. Until the end of the play, the bottles remain as props and provide a striking visual. “In fact, the light on the water bottles give a very interesting perspective,” Shashank added. But in the end, which the duo felt is the highlight, the bottles become analogies to the caste system. “The 2 litre bottles depict the Brahmins are at the top of the spectrum and at the other end are the small cups which represent the shudras,” Regensburger explained. Also explored in the play are the traditional and modern ways to deal with the caste system.

 

Talking about the gender roles, one question I ask Regensburger is the choice of three male actors. She laughed. “The actors were already selected by the school. When I found that they were only men, I decided to come back once more to direct one play with women. Or else, the actors could come to Germany. But that aside, the play does talk about the gender roles.”

What: My Name is I Love You
When and where: April 21, 7.30 pm, The Bohemian House (Ashok Nagar)

...




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT