When it comes to Marathi theatre, artistes are often divided in their opinion. While some believe that the industry is as active as ever, others feel that it doesn’t enjoy the kind of patronage that English and Hindi acts do, and that even venues don’t support regional plays. But to reaffirm the former’s belief, NCPA’s annual Marathi theatre festival, Pratibimb (from August 1 to 5, at the Experimental Theatre), is back to celebrate experimental stage forms and showcase recent acts.Unlike other festivals, Pratibimb’s objective is not to showcase premiering plays. What sets this five-year-old fest apart is that it serves as an interactive platform, where discussions with the cast and crew are held after each show.
"Our focus is on letting the audience see a variety of plays that have been staged over the last year. They are selected on the basis of the variety of subjects, the director, production companies and even actors," says Deepa Gahlot, head of theatre and film programming, NCPA, Nariman Point.
Here’s a selection of what not to miss:
August 1, 6.30 pm
Awishkar’s new play is the only premiering act of the festival. It has a hard-hitting premise revolving around the atrocities faced by a Dalit woman.
Ek Baaki Ekaki
August 2, 3 pm
This act mixes four genres as four theatre directors collaborate to present a set of six short plays.
August 2, 5 pm
The script is inspired by William Shakespeare’s Othello and Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice. It is supported by a blend of Hindustani classical music and folk tunes.
August 3, 4 pm
This play has two separate stories that are connected by a swing, which is a crucial prop on stage.
August 5, 6.30 pm
The play is inspired by Kalidasa’s Sanskrit classic, Abhigyaan Shakuntalam. It will see men act as women in the lead roles, as well as in the supporting roles.