Play time: Marwari College in Ranchi
One swallow does not make a summer, but a Ranchi-based theatre group led by a National School of Drama alumnus feels that drama is making a comeback in the capital.
Coming up with a thought-provoking play that attacks gender-based superstitions, their belief in the popularity of theatre is bolstered by the fact that their summer workshop saw tremendous response, while audiences came to watch their productions Ab Aur Nahi (2007) and Fat Ja Panchdhar (2009).
Their latest offering, Bairagi Mann Hara, depicts the plight of widows who suffer at the hands of so-called religious leaders.
The play will be staged in three different parts from June 25 to June 27 at Vivekananda Auditorium, Marwari College.
Right now, the 12-member group of artistes is rehearsing round the clock.
Ajay Malkani, who studied theatre at the National School of Drama, New Delhi, and is the director of Yuva Rangmanch, said he believed in promoting the culture of theatre culture in Ranchi.
“This year has been good for theatre. Many social organisations took special interest in focusing on dramatics. Youngsters showed their inclination to build acting careers, which is a positive sign,” he said.
Malkani added that many Ranchi youngsters aimed at a stronghold in Bollywood. “With each passing year, youngsters here are carving their niche in acting. The city has evolved as far as its love for theatre and performing arts is concerned,” he said.
On their latest production, Malkani said it was a strong subject. “I am directing the one-hour play. Music directors are Anil Mishra and Kajal Mundu. The role of the baba is played by another NSD alumnus Vijay Kumar Singh, while Akriti Apurva and Kim Mehsram are playing widows.”
Vijay, who will be seen from August on a television serial Ek Rishta Tuta Hua aired on Zee Plus, said the play was a thought-provoking take on so-called babas who play with the sentiments of foolish people, dupe them and rule over them.