Lake City International Film Festival 2019

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Violence Against Women Project’ reinvigorates the pertinent issue

After an impactful start yesterday, Thespo 16 came back with an extraordinary day 2. India’s most exciting youth festival lived up to its image every bit as the opening plays and performances took place besides music, interactions, introspection and whole lot more by people under the age of 25. It was a buzzing sight when Mumbai’s theatre lovers gathered at the hub of arts and culture, the Prithvi theatre.

Theatre wallahs know that Thespo guarantees all round fun from morning till night. This year is even bigger and better. The cultural carnival that has garnered Indian as well as international participation this year offered a truly immersive theatre experience on day 2 with two workshops, a fringe and a platform performance, live band and a play.

In a half day workshop on ‘Collaborative Writing’, UK-based maker of performances, writings, drawings and films, Rachael Clerke offered a perfect mix of fun while one learns as the youthful theatre enthusiasts learnt through writing exercises, stolen quotes and games, how to look at writing as a collaborative practice rather than something that is confined to writer-director-actor set-up.

Second half of the day unfolded another energetic workshop, ‘The Aesthetics of Indian English Theatre’ by playwright, stage director and film maker Mahesh Dattani where he shared the ins and outs of theatre dialogue writing and the vivid choices available to playwrights writing in Indian English.

As the sun went down, Shubhangi Joshi’s acoustic and soft rock overture rocked the iconic Prithvi theatre for over an hour. The Fringe performance ‘The Violence Against Women Project’ conceptualized by Gillian Clark, became the high point of the day. The act came from the heart and struck a chord with everyone while earnestly marking two years of the incident. It also initiated a cross-cultural discussion on the meaning of sexual violence against women in urban India and Canada and role of social media as a catalyst.

Another heartfelt performance offered theatre’s trademark simplicity coupled with impact when a monologue ‘Aparajeeta’, a 30 minute platform performance by Drashtaa India unravelled story of a woman always been rejected from the world bringing out trials and tribulations through her journey.

Keeping up the Plug-in to the Tamasha vibe, NOW Group’s play ‘Normal’ closed Day 2 on a gripping note with a real-life tale of the 1931 German serial killer and offered a glimpse into the mind of a man who can put Hannibal Lecter to shame! Theatre lovers returned home satiated with drama, arts, culture and music along with anticipation for the upcoming days of the vibrant most sought after theatre fest Thespo 16.

The tamasha continues on Day 3 with a notable line up of two fascinating workshops, ‘Out of the Box by Josephine Joy’  as the name suggests brings some unconventional moments to life and ‘Understanding Music for Theatre by Kaizad Gherda’ will showcase how music is the most adaptive member of a cast and its various themes and applications. Topped with Meera Shenoy’s musicals to mark the sunset followed by platform performance ‘Understudy’ and a Bengali play, ‘Tomar Dake’ that presents a visually striking portrayal of social injustice inspired by Malala Yousufzai’s life. Day 3 also features a film screening in association with the Alliance Francaise Bombay of 'Ariane Mnouchkine - L'Aventure du Theatre du Soleil' (1974), where director Catherine Vilpoux traces the iconic artistic journey of veteran French stage director Ariane Mnouchkine.

The 16th edition of Thespo, the annual drama festival for theatre-wallahs below the age of 25 is taking place from 15th to 21st December 2014. Organized by QTP, under the aegis of Theatre Group Bombay, it will be taking place in two venues this year: the iconic Prithvi Theatre, which has been the home of Thespo since 2008, and Sitara Studio, the city’s latest indie cultural space that used to stage Marathi plays back in the 1970s. The festival, this year, is centered on the theme ‘Plug-In to the Tamasha’.

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