BENGALURU : It’s that time of year when theatre lovers are in for a treat with Ranga Shankara’s annual theatre festival. Having kickstarted on Tuesday, it will continue till Nov. 1. The virtual festival will showcase the plays of six Shankar Nag awardees. It premiered with Salt, directed by MD Pallavi and written by playwright Abhishek Majumdar, which will be available till Nov. 1 in Hindi, Kannada, and Gujarati. It is also available in Swedish, since it was selected for production in Folkteatern, which is a regional theatre in Sweden.
The play is set during the lockdown where there is a food crisis in the country. Three women, a mother and two daughters, tell each other stories and fake the food on their plate, in order to walk the line between hunger and dignity. “The play is special because it was conceptualised during the lockdown and Abhishek wrote it while he was volunteering with various food distribution centres,” says MD Pallavi, who has also acted in the Kannada version of the play.
The Kannada version uses the North Karnataka dialect. “When I got to know about the play, I requested Abhishek for the rights to translate it to Kannada. To keep it closer to the reality, we decided to keep the dialect as North Karnataka,” adds Pallavi, who is portraying all three characters. Used to usually staging a play, Pallavi says shooting a play was a new experience. “Since the play was supposed to be shot, we had the constraints of finding a stage since auditoriums were not open. So, we shot the scenes in a living room,” she says.
Majumdar says, “Salt was meant for stage but other plays, like The Colour of Loss and Teelapur Ka Rakshasha, were shot for the camera. This year’s theatre festival is going to have a mixed bag of everything.”Details on the festival are available on Insider.in
Salt written by Abhishek Majumdar
The Colour of Loss
directed by Mohit Takalkar
Teelapur Ka Rakshasha
directed by Anurupa Roy
Lunch Girls – Rehearsed Reading, directed by Quasar Thakore Padamsee
Producing in the New Century: Changing Perspectives directed by Toral Shah
Criminal Tribes Act directed by Sankar Venkateswaran