You could soon watch an NCPA play at a bar, pub or performance club. In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is set to commission plays that explore contemporary issues — and stage them at venues such as Brewbot in Andheri, The Barking Deer and Blue Frog in Lower Parel, and The Hive and Cuckoo Club in Bandra.
The initiative is called Edge, and is an attempt to take theatre to newer, younger audiences, ones who would not typically attend shows at the cultural institute’s own impressive headquarters at Nariman Point.
“Edge will use theatre to spark discussion and debate on issues such as gender roles, urban life and relationships,” says Deepa Gahlot, head of theatre programming at the NCPA. “The first edition of the festival will be held at the NCPA on Women’s Day [March 8], but all subsequent editions — starting later this month — will be held beyond our gates.”
Two plays are set to be staged on March 8 — The Way I See It, a one-woman monologue on relationships and modern life by actress and writer Divya Jadgale; and Loitering, directed by Ship of Theseus co-editor Satchit Puranik, which will see 12 men and women talk about their experiences with public spaces and safety.
“It’s important for theatre that is engaging with social issues to also engage with audiences beyond those that come to theatre venues,” says Puranik. “Loitering includes accounts from a disabled person, a Muslim, and a north-easterner. These multiple perspectives need to find a wide platform.”
After the stagings at the NCPA, both plays will make their way to Brewbot and The Barking Deer.
“It’s so great to have an institution like the NCPA collaborating with us,” says Anand Morwani, co-owner of Brewbot. “It’s a great idea to take theatre to a place where young people are drinking beer and talking to their friends.”
Mark your dates
‘The Way I See’ It will be staged at Brewbot on March 20, at 7.30pm, and at The Barking Deer on March 27, at 7pm
Timings for ‘Loitering’ will be posted on ncpamumbai.com later this week.