Until two years ago, Tejaswini Ingle, 35, never expected to be a part of a Marathi play. However, on August 18, she will complete the 100th show of Baya, Daar Ughad (open the door), a Marathi musical on women saint poets of Maharashtra.
The play, launched on August 2, 2010 in memory of late playwright Chetan Datar, is written and directed by Sushma Deshpande.
“It was a great opportunity to be an integral part of a musical. I also learnt a lot about life,” said Ingle.
The play, produced by Awishkar theatre group, has four women actors, who essay roles of saints such as Muktabai, Janabai, Soyra and Bahinabai. The performers enact several episodes of their lives and Ingle sings the abhang, (devotional songs addressed to Lord Vitthal), interwoven in the script, composed by Devdatta Sable.
The play received good response and critics’ praise. The poets wrote about the marital system, caste system, and other issues which are still taboo.
“What one must take away from the play is that the women showed tremendous courage to undertake this journey towards self-realisation,” said Deshpande.
The group plans to continue to stage the shows. “For us it is important to bring these stories, which are part of rich oral history, to today’s generation. We will continue as long as it runs well,” said Arun Kakade of Awishkar Theatre Group.
The 99th show will take place on August 13 at Sathye College at 7.30pm, while the 100th show will take place on August 18 at the Yashwant Natya Mandir at 4.00pm.