Rarely do fruits of success reward an effort in such a bountiful measure. When the city-based Yuvaa theatre group started practising in a deserted and abandoned factory near Lamba Pind Chowk here about a year ago, little did they know that the journey will be taking them to perform at India’s two most prestigious theatre festivals.
Yuvaa will be enacting ‘Jab Sheher Hamara Sota Hai’, a two-and-a-half hour play penned by acclaimed artiste, playwright and musician Piyush Mishra, at Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2016, an international theatre festival of India, slated to be held by the National School of Drama in New Delhi on February 4.
Not content with one feather in their cap, the youth group will mark its presence at Asia’s largest arts festival in Mumbai, that is the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival on February 9.
‘Jab Sheher Hamara Sota Hai’ is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s famed romantic tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
Yuvaa is the only theatre group that has been selected to perform at the two festivals from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. There were around 500 entries from all over the world, out of which 80 plays have been selected from Australia, US, China, UK and many other countries.
Director of Yuvaa, professor Ankur Sharma said a panel of 31 national and international film and theatre directors selected the plays for Bharat Rang Mahotsav after examining the video recordings sent by the aspirants.
“I think selection for Bharat Rang Mahotsav is an achievement in itself, and I am proud of my team who have done a fantastic job and dedicated the whole year to this group. Small beginnings helped us in achieving success through concerted efforts,” said Sharma.
“I took permission from Piyush Mishra to perform the play and what can be more exciting than the fact that he himself will be present there during the festival for watching our performance. The turn of events is actually creating butterflies in the stomach,” Sharma quipped.
He said Yuvaa got an invitation from Juhi Babbar, curator of Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, to perform there after their selection at Bharat Rang Mahotsav in New Delhi.
Kala Ghoda is a neighbourhood in Mumbai, known as the metro city’s art district, which dedicates ten days in a year to the arts festival and around 500 events are performed there. The event dedicated to theatre is known as Naatya Udaan.
Formed in 2007, Yuvaa has already performed multiple shows of 24 plays in Jalandhar and other cities across Punjab. The first play performed by the group was ‘Charandas Chor’.
Sharma, who recently came back from Yale University, US, after completing his fellowship there, said reaching this level was not easy for Yuvaa. “All team members practised a lot and lived their different characters in a span of one year, which is responsible for the present success,” he said.
“All of us stayed here for practising all day throughout the year and we frequently ate here as well for saving time. I am proud of the fact that all our actors are amateurs and not professionals,” Sharma said.
The theatre group had also presented the same play at Punjab Naatshala, Amritsar, in August 2015.
Catch it live
Yuvaa will perform ‘Jab Sheher Hamara Sota Hai’, a play written by Piyush Mishra, at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall on January 30.