Pratibimb: The best of Marathi theatre, under one roof

  • Poorva Joshi, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jul 31, 2015 12:32 IST

You’re in a dark auditorium. Only an eerie blue light illuminates the stage. In hushed tones, two men talk about an unknown spirit that is lurking around. You feel a touch on your shoulder. You ignore it the first time. Then you feel a hand caressing your shoulder. Goosebumps?

As it turns out, there’s a third character walking around, in the dark, moving through the audience. That was our experience of watching Tee, an award-winning, experimental Marathi horror play.

Tee is one of the seven experimental plays that have made it to Pratibimb 2015. The five-day theatre festival at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) began in 2010 as a platform to showcase the best of Marathi theatre. Deepa Gahlot, head of theatre and film at NCPA, says she felt the need to highlight the intellectual wave in Marathi theatre. “A few years ago, comedy theatre was doing really well. However, the audiences started getting tired of slapstick. The transition to serious theatre began when writers like Vijay Tendulkar and Satish Alekar penned down moving stories that changed the course of Marathi theatre,” says Gahlot.

She credits the present wave of good theatre to the younger generation of playwrights. “A lot of the young directors and playwrights are bringing a certain level of seriousness to the content. They want to develop thought-provoking dialogue and communicate new ideas,” she says.

Now in its sixth edition, Pratibimb is a celebration of this transformation in Marathi theatre. This year, the directors, cast and crew will also engage the audience in discussions about their work, post the plays. With elaborate production designs and innovative subject matter, we take a look at Pratibimb 2015.

Caption: A still from Pai Paishachi Goshta


A monologue by actress Ila Bhate, the play is based on a short story by Vijaya Rajadhyaksha. “The story is about our sentimental attachment towards material objects. This old lady has memories of four generations of her family, and they unfold through the objects in her possession,” says director Vipul Mahagaonkar.
Where: Godrej Dance Theatre
Tickets: Rs 150
When: August 2 (Sunday), 4pm

Written by Milind Bokil, the play is about a wrecked marriage. “An extramarital affair only sets the background. The story is about the complexity of the human mind. My intention is to spark a dialogue on gender roles,” says director Chinmay Mandlekar.
Where: Experimental Theatre
Tickets: Rs 100 onward
When: August 3 (Monday), 6.30pm

The horror production is a personal journey for director Pritesh Sodha. “I wanted to get over my own fear. We intend to create a scary, spooky environment. We also want to do our bit to clear superstitions that plague our society,” says Sodha.
Where: Experimental Theatre
Tickets: Rs 100 onward
When: August 4 (Tuesday), 6.30pm

A period drama about solidarity and lost love, Kshitij Patwardhan’s play is set in a press room in the 1980s. “It is an old school romance between a celebrated journalist who chances upon the woman he had once loved. Through their interaction, we wanted to put forth poignant issues such as ethics in journalism and censorship,” says Patwardhan.
Where: Experimental Theatre
Tickets: Rs 100 onward
When: August 5 (Wednesday), 6.30pm


The premiering play focuses on the significance of the labour classes in our society, through comedy.
Where: Experimental Theatre
Tickets: Rs 100 onward
When: August 1 (Saturday), 6.30pm

A story of a man enslaved by technology, the play is about his journey inside his phone.
Where: Experimental Theatre
Tickets: Rs 100 onward
When: August 2 (Sunday), 6.30pm

A take on human relationships, this is a story on the life of an actor who falls unexpectedly in love.
Where: Godrej Dance Theatre
Tickets: Rs 150
When: August 1 (Saturday), 4pm

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