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New plays to debut at Mumbai's theatre festival

art-and-culture Updated: Jan 23, 2012 20:01 IST
Hasina Khatib
Hasina Khatib
Hindustan Times
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Theatre lovers who bemoan the lack of original plays in the city now have something new to look forward to. Starting today, the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) is back with the second edition of their Centrestage Festival, which brings together 15 never-seen-before plays in four different languages from across the country and abroad.

Touching upon various issues such as depression, family bonds and cultural identity, the festival promises to showcase only premiere plays that are written and performed for the first time on the NCPA stage.

“NCPA came up with the idea of having a theatre festival featuring only premiere plays to provide the audience with fresh content,” says Preeti Vijayvargiya, spokesperson for the event, adding, “Several plays from last year’s festival have gone on to achieve recognition at national festivals. In fact, at last year’s META awards in Delhi, nine out of thirteen awards were given to Centrestage 2010 plays.”

The theatre festival has attracted a slew of playwrights from across India and abroad too. Iraqi playwright Hassan Abdulrazzack wrote Baghdad Wedding, one of the plays that will be screened at the festival. Akarsh Khurana, director of the play, says, “This is my second outing at Centrestage. This year, my play revolves around three friends from Baghdad and their take on the American invasion of Iraq.”

The fest has attracted several fresh directors as well. BandBazi from UK has produced the opening play, Mind Walking, which will be directed by newcomer Toral Shah. “I’ve put together an emotional drama which explores cultural bonds and family relations through aerial aerobatics,” Toral reveals.

In addition to drama, Centrestage 2011 will also organise a street theatre competition and run workshops by play directors Waman Kendra and Akarsh Khurana amongst others.

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