Old World Theatre Festival 2015

Old World Theatre Festival 2015 at Epicentre

“Art is a means of intensifying and enjoying life, it’s the greatest tool of self discovery, and hence you should make an attempt to be a part of theatre at least once in a life time. It is immaterial whether you take part as an actor or an audience as both is incomplete without each other” -Arvind GaurFor a medium that has supposedly been dying for ages, theatre has proved to be quite obstinate in its refusal to exit the cultural milieu of metropolitan cities. Admittedly, in the contemporary era of instant gratification and ADHD-esque attention spans, one of the oldest art forms in the world has suffered certain monetary setbacks by losing a part of its audience to commercial cinema and satellite TV. But quality theatre was never really centred around profit in the first place. Theatre has always been synonymous with the issues of the masses, a medium to examine the overlaps and loopholes in the social structure we inhabit, a means to re-create and a method to create something unprecedented, a tool for self discovery and a means to set in motion a collective awakening. That is the power of this magnificent medium.

The Old World Theatre Festival is aimed at harnessing and advancing the impact of this vibrant actor’s medium in the heart of the country. An earnest attempt to assist in the amelioration of this ancient art form, the cultural movement is in its fourteenth consecutive year now. The grand Stein Auditorium will once again play host to a diverse selection of stage plays from various parts of India featuring the directorial debut of actress Kalki Koechlin. Theatre aficionados are also rooting for Rajit Kapur’s critically acclaimed One On One Part 2 (a series of 10 monologues) which opens with a brilliant solo act by Anuradha Menon.

The high point of this year’s theatrical nirvana will be Deepal Doshi’s It’s Not Waht You Tihnk! (no, that was not a typo!), a title which is also an apt description of the play. An Indian adaptation of the Commedia Dell’ Arte form of theatre from Italy, it is characterised by the use of colourful masks and a range of stereotypical characters to build a basic plot. Considered a gem in the comedy genre due to its supremely entertaining and relatable indigenous adaptation, Doshi’s light-hearted story is a break from some of the more profound stories being staged.

Spaces (English/90mins) directed by Mohammad Ali Baig, founder of the Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation in Hyderabad is also a part of the impressive 9-day line-up this year. Set in a haveli where the protagonist struggles to preserve her identity and heritage, it portrays a ‘conflict’ of the traditional and the modern between her and her Chicago-based fiance.

A dramatic celebration of raw tangibility, poignant anecdotes and majestic yet hard- hitting performances, the Old World Theatre Festival 2015 is back with a bang! All you theatre enthusiasts in the capital, block your calendars for a glorious extravaganza that you won’t simply watch or listen to but experience and absorb!

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