How about watching a play on a Sunday morning with breakfast? This is certainly exciting. It is happening right in Pune. I am crazy about plays, dramas. I have written few times about tradition of theater in Maharashtra(and also in Karnataka) few times on the blog.
Going for a play is event for typical Marathi family. This is true in Karnataka also, especially, in Bengaluru, where I have had a privilege of watching Kannada plays in the hot-spot called Ranga Shankara. The environs at Ranga Shankara take you straight into world of drama,plays, with a book shop at the ground floor, and the unique Colosseum style auditorium well suited for intimate theater. I have watched plays in open air arrangement in Pune, on a cold winter night. I have watched experimental plays sitting on the floor. I have read about a open air theater in UK which is by the sea shore-Minack Theater. I have watched mega plays such as Janta Raja(जाणता राजा) in open ground which had apart from humans, animals also in the crew. The mega plays which are taking place since last few years in Delhi’s Kingdom of Dreams is another example of bring larger than life experience to plays. Similar show(of Beauty and Beast) was performed in Mumbai last month. I have not watched any street plays, but I have watched Badal Sarkar’s play which close to this concept.
The point is that, with different, unusual environments, the experience of watching a play is enhanced further. Hence when I learnt about this concept of watching a play on Sunday morning with breakfast included in it, I wanted to have a taste-both breakfast and play! It was good to know that theater professionals are thinking out of the box to bring back the audiences to the theaters in this age of screen-attached society. I had missed their opening play last month. I decided to grab opportunity this month. I grabbed my film maker friend, and set off.
The first one was play loosely based on famed playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar called Mounraag(मौनराग).
The second is based on Vijay Tendulkar’s writing titled A Friend’s Story(मित्राची गोष्ट). This is an English play based on Tendulkar’s Marathi short play, and is about homosexuality. It is translated by Gauri Ramnarayan. The play has a main character named Mitra. Not sure if Tendulkar meant to refer her story or a friend’s story. A bold theme even today. He must have written that story in 1970-80. Before the play, we were served sumptuous breakfast with tea/coffee. The play was about 75-80 minutes, and set in Pune of few decades back. Tendulkar is well known explorer of human mind, sexuality and dark shades of life. This play is no exception. In a way it is love story also. The play is certainly gripping, not only due to the script but also due to the acting.
The organizers have decided to arrange such events(ie. show of a play, with a breakfast accompanied) every month, at Jyotsna Bhole Sabhagruh, in Pune. It is certainly going to be a melting pot for all those associated with theater, acting, and spectators who are looking for something different.