Panaji: Mumbai will host the country's one of the foremost theatre festivals 'Thespo 16' from December 15-21, bringing in diverse theatrical performances.
"Thespo has scoured through a record total of 186 entries from across India, Sri Lanka and Canada, to curate a fresh bouquet of six full-length plays, six platform performances and seven fringe performances," said Quasar Thakore Padamsee, the artistic director for the festival.
The event, being organised under the aegis of Theatre Group Bombay, will take place at two venues--the iconic Prithvi Theatre, which has been the home of Thespo since 2008, and Sitara Studio, Mumbai's latest indie cultural space that used to stage Marathi plays back in the 1970s, he said.
All five final plays for the competition are of regional languages including Bengali, Hindi and Marathi covering themes ranging from social injustice, urbanisation and mental disorders.
Padamsee said the festival will also have platform performances like 'Happy Ending', written and directed by Pune's Dhananjay Mhasawade and Jayesh Newgi respectively.
In the play, the protagonist takes matters in his "own hands" as things go awry to ensure he gets his happy ending. "Also, there is Bangalore's Jatin Gupta and Tanya Arora with 'TRP Ka Zamana Hai', a critique of the Indian media, the fourth pillar of democracy, which to them is in the business of making rather than breaking news," he said.
Padamsee said with its effort to demonstrate purity and simplicity of theatre without frills, 'Thespo 16's fringe performances are sure to impress the audience.
"Of noteworthy mention is the 'Violence Against Women Project', conceptualised by Gillian Clark, an interdisciplinary theatre artist hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia," he said.
It will mark two years since the Delhi gang rape with a cross-cultural discussion on the meaning of sexual violence against women in urban India and Canada, added Padamsee.
As 'Thespo' has established itself as the haven of all art forms, it will also include a film screening in association with the Alliance Francaise Bombay of 'Ariane Mnouchknine- L'Aventure du Theatre du Soleil' (1974), where director Catherine Vilpoux recounts director Mnouchkine's iconic artistic journey.