A man is standing on the street, below a building, calling out to a resident named Theresa. Soon, he is joined by passers-by, who try to help him attract the attention of the elusive Theresa.
The group enjoys what they are doing and continue to call out to Theresa till one of them asks, “Are you sure she is at home?” Another person asks, “Don’t you have the keys to the house?”
The man answers that he does not live in the building, and doesn’t even know anyone named Theresa. “If you do not like the name, we can call out another name,” he says. The group admonishes him and disperses.
The story — a reccontinni (little story, in Italian) — was written by Italo Calvino during the Second World War. Kalyan-based experimental theatre group Mitee-Char translated five such Calvino’s stories into Marathi and created an anthology called Adrushya Nagaritlya Katha (Invisible City). The play was performed as part of the Zindagi Theatre Section on day one of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival on Saturday.
Another story in the anthology is about a village inhabited by thieves. Each resident robs a neighbour’s house at night and, when he returns home, he finds his own home looted too. It’s a happy village; nobody is very rich or poor, but everyone has what they need to live a contented life. The calm is shattered when a stranger comes to live in the village. Lalit Prabhakar, the play’s director, says, “There is no message; but the stories are timeless. We want the audience to take home their own interpretation.”