Stagecraft Theatre on Saturday staged ten different short plays either written or adapted and directed by Stagecraft regulars. The ten- minute plays ranged from deliberately absurd to purely comic and utterly romantic, and held a nearly packed house at NADT auditorium in sway for over two hours.
The concept of each play was different but interesting, having stemmed from the innumerable “adda” sessions where Stagecraft members meet to discuss and ideate. Some of the plays, like “Parda uthne se pehle”, a rib- tickling comedy on theatre production written and directed by NV Sharma, and “While the Bentley waits”, an unfulfilled park- bench love story adapted by Sonal Anand Trivedi, were straightforward narratives with simple, humane storylines. “Mate”, written and directed by Supantha Bhattarchya, was also aimed at the heartstrings and had the audience divided between the mirth in the husband’s insults and his wife’s ultimate reaction, and the cruelty of the “scorn”.
On the other hand, “Walnut Street”, consisting entirely of an angry man’s rant and his meeting with an alien written and directed by Raveesh Jaiswal, and Nandan Majumdar’s “The office break”, a conversation in the office about Sound, Truth and other nothings that lead two colleagues to their death, were examples of the fact that theatre can consist of little more than two men talking on stage, and may rightfully be as whimsical and absurd as it wishes to be. Similar, equally engaging but not as absurd was Anamika Sawarkar’s “Exiting”, a play well- portrayed about a crucial conversation between two losing men trapped in the confines of an imaginary lift on stage and Bianca Nazareth Arya’s “Turn the other cheek”, dealing with two men’s frustration with the women they date
“Ten minutes of theft” by Onkar Ghare was again different- a battle of the brains between thieves. “Firsht time”, a situational comedy written and directed by Shweta Puranik- Pendse, brought out the best reactions from the audience. Credit is definitely due as much to the dialogue as to the actors in this one.
Theatre guru and Stagecraft founder Vikash Khurana, mentor to every actor and director in action on Saturday, was publicly conferred with the prestigious Smita- Smruti Puraskar for performing arts at the end of the show. Vikash Khurana and social worker Sureshchandra Rathore were officially presented with the award on December 14, the memorial day of reputed actress and social worker Smita Patil. Needless to say, Nagpur is very proud.
– Meghna Majumdar