Everything synonymous with the Bengali culture-theatre, music, food, cultural programmes and the inevitable 'adda' is set to come alive yet again this year with Moitree ’09, the Bengali theatre festival at Ranga Shankara. This three day fest organised by city theatre group Mukhosh is from 29th May to 31st May and would surely be an event of great significance in the calendar of the more-than-two-and-a-half Bengalis' of Bangalore. In addition, it promises to be bigger and better with three teams coming in from Kolkata.
They are being supported by the Government of West Bengal through its Natya Academy (Paschim Banga Natya Academy), and are using Moitree as their annual ‘Bahirbanga Utshob’. It is with their help that they have three theatre groups coming in from Kolkata - Ensemble (with an English play 'Sonata'), Gandhar (with a Bangla play 'Kachher Manush'), and Sansriti (with a Bangla play 'Surya Pora Chhai'). MukhOsh is performing two plays - 'Jibon Muchki Haashe' and 'Shaap Shniri', while Anya Poshaak - a newly formed Bangla theatre group of Bangalore is performing a short play titled 'Lathi'.
While last year’s festival were mostly of the old school lot with doyennes of theatre like Manoj Mitra gracing the stage, this year the shift is to contemporary. “What we are basically looking at is a meeting ground for Kolkata and Bangalore. There will be three plays from Kolkata and three from Bangalore, thereby facilitating both. Plays like Kachher Manush and Surya Pora Chhai have been recipients of the Best Play award by the West Bengal Natya Academy. I think professional Bengali theatre in Bangalore is slowly taking its steps towards maturity.” said Ayan Banerjee of Mukhosh who has been instrumental in getting the festival together.
Ensemble Kolkata brings in an English play from Kolkata revolving around three women well settled in their profession and single by choice. The Kolkata bandwagon brings in two other plays, Kachher Manush and Surjyo Pora Chai. Mukhosh, the Bengali theatre group of IISc Bangalore performs two of their productions during the festival – Jibon Muchki Haanshe and Shaap Shniri. Anya Poshak, a newly formed Bengali theatre in the city joins the league with their debut play, Lathi. There will also be a panel discussion on "Through the looking glass: Theatre's ventures in the modern world"
It does not end there. The audience is in for a sure treat. Every ticket purchased inches them closer to Bay of Bengal and IFB discount coupons. What more could one ask for, six plays, a panel discussion, exclusive offers and of course unlimited adda.
29th May (Fri), 1930h : Sonata (in English) by Ensemble, Kolkata
30th May (Sat), 1530h : Jibon Muchki Haashe by mukhOsh, Bangalore
1930h : Kachher Manush by Gandhar, Kolkata
31st May (Sun), 1530h : Surjyo Pora Chhai by Sansriti, Kolkata
and Laathi by Anya PoshaaK, Bangalore
1930h: Shaap Shniri by mukhOsh, Bangalore