confesses that her husband has 'stamped out' countless
'hidden fires' - human lives that are less
than human to him, merely faceless threats to his own security.
young woman anchoring a television program called 'now the truth' smiles
her way dismissively through a stream of panic-stricken phone calls from
viewers reporting violence in their neighborhoods, refusing to admit that
the govt can be wrong in its insistence that the situation is under control.
And in 'Invocation,'
the names of ordinary people are used to create a memorial to all those
killed by violence through no fault of their own, innocent victims whose
names, sometimes, have been the sole cause of their death.
Padmanabhan is a playwright, writer, illustrator and cartoonist. Her play
'Harvest' was awarded the Onassis International Cultural Prize for theatrical
plays in 1997. "The monologues were written at the time of the Gujarat
riots in 2002, with the intention of making a record of what was happening
in Gujarat, but by the time I finished 'Invocation,' the last of 5 pieces,
I realized it was pointless to tie them down to specific dates or personalities
her graduation in Science from Delhi University in 1995 and after a brief
stint at the Living Theatre Academy under Shi. E Alkazi, Rashi
Bunny pursued her training in Theatre Arts
and Design at the University of Alabama and Rutgers University, New Jersey,
On her return
in 1998, she received the Young Artist scholarship and worked under Shyamanand
Jalan in Calcutta and was part of many productions, like Khamosh Adalat
Jari Hai and Char Sau Karod Bhullakar. "Nabh Taaron Se Khandit Pulkit"
translated from an American Dark comedy, was her directorial debute at
Director of Banjara Theatre Group at IIT Kharagpur since 2001, she has
designed and directed Dharamveer Bharti's 'Srishti ka Aakhiri admi', Sarveshwar
Dayal Saxena's Bakri, Habib Tanveer's Gadhe and many open air productions
like Daldal, Swaha-Swaha, Bandar Kaun, Girgit, Pahle Aap, Teen Apahij,
Deewaren Kuchh Kehna Chahti hain, Haathi ki Po(n) etc.
Children's Theatre Wing of Banjara, she has written and directed musicals
like Veer Abhimani, Aazadi Muft Nahin, TunTun TunTun Tana Bana & Education
gives Real Freedom.
direction of Arvind Gaur, she has also acted in Mahesh Dattani's Tara &
Final Solution, Vijay mishra's tatt Niranjana ,Swadesh Deepak's Court Martial,
Munshi Premchand's Moteram ka Satyagrah & Rajesh Kumar's Me Gandhi
Bolto for Asmita theatre group, New Delhi. She conducted Theatre Workshop
at India Habitat Centre with Arvind Gaur.
of Ruby Llyod Artistic and Academic Excellence Award and Best International
Student scholarship award in USA, Rashi also received a special honour
for her poetry book "Haiku: an Ode to Life" by All India Poetess Conference.
Sahani's Madhavi was her first Solo performance with arvind Gaur,after
it she did Manjula Padmanabhan's Hidden Fires and Walking Through the rainbow.
Sahani's MADHAVI , Solo by Rashi Bunny & directed by Arvind Gaur, received
special award for best play in experimentaion with tradition at International
Solo Theatre Festival Armenia.
who heads the Delhi , India based Theatre group ASMITA is committed to
innovative and socially relevant theatre. Starting off as a journalist
and working for sometime for the electronic media, he set up ASMITA and
earned a reputation in theatre circle in Delhi and abroad.
In the past
12 years, he has directed 48 major plays which include Girish Karnad's
Tuglaq and Rakt Kalyan, Dharamveer Bharti's Andha Yug, Swadesh deepak's
Court Martial, G P Deshpande's Antim Divas, Albert Camus' Caligula, Mahesh
Dattani's Final Solutions and Tara, Eugene O'neill 's Desire Under the
Elms, Dario Fo's An
death of an Anarchist, Dr.Narenda Mohan's Kalandar, Bertolt Brecht's Good
Woman of Setzuan and Caucasian chalk circle, Samuel Beckett's Waiting For
Godot, John Octanasek's Romeo Juliet and the darkness, Neil Simon's The
Good Doctor, Vijay tendulakr's Ghairam Kotwal, Munshi Premchand's Moteram
ka Satyagrah, Ashok Lal's Ek Mamooli aadmi, Rajesh Kumar's Me Gandhi Bolto,
Vijay Mishra's Tatt Niranjana, Doodnath Singh's Yama Gatha,
Black (written & acted by Bubbles Sabharwal) ,Untitled Solo by Lushin
dubey, Uday Prakash's Warren Hastings ka Saand, Pinki Virani's Bitter Chocolate,
(solo by lushin Dubey) & Bhishma Sahani's Madhavi & Manjula Padmanbhan'
Hidden Fires (both solo by actress Rashi Bunny),Walking Through the Rainbow
(joint production with PCVC, solo by Rashi Bunny)
Arvind Gaur has collaborated with various Theatre artists and Groups specially
in exploring a new language for Solo performances.the experimentation began
with jaimini kumar srivastava in the Story of the Tiger of dario fo ,which
ran successfully amidst mixed reactions for about 14 shows in 2000. His
latest ventures include 'Women in Black' by Bubbles Sabharwal and "Untitled
Solo" by Lushin Dubey in collaboration with THEATRE WORLD. Not only have
these plays received great audience response from important metropolis
of India, "Women in black" was invited to perform in Dubai and "Untitled
Solo" was performed in Chicago, Dallas, Washington DC, Boston, Rochester
, San francisco, Ohio, Harvard university & Stratford in USA and at
the Edinburgh Theatre Festival last year.
Has directed three solos - Bhishma sahani's" Madhavi ", Manjula Padmanabhan's
"Hidden fires " & "Walking through the rainbow".
of 1984, in Delhi, still float in my eyes. More than 20 years and yet the
horror stays in my memory. And stirs me. The three monologues we are presenting
now are not slogan based anti-violence propaganda plays. They are an attempt
to establish a dialogue amongst people, a voluntary decision to initiate
an intense, serious over-hauling to our mindsets.
is not about highlighting communal harmony, or pointing the flows of the
socio-political system, but it is aimed to be a reminder of the fact that
- we all are humans, we all are on this earth together, we all share the
same breath & same sky and the same aspirations for warmth and happiness.
Let us be
compassionate, let us be sensitive, let us be humane.
were written at the time of the Gujarat riots in 2002, I began with the
intention of making a record of what was happening in Gujarat, but by the
item I finished 'Invocations', the last of five pieces, I realized it was
pointless to tie them down to specific dates or personalities or governments.
I felt in 2002 was no different to what I had felt during the anti-Sikh
riots of 1984 or while reading about the pogroms against the Jews in Hitler's
Germany. There is a sameness about violent mobs that transends nations,
communities, religions, politics. We go to war because of imagined differences
between ourselves and our enemies but we are all much more the same than
we are different. It was in the name of that sameness that I wrote these