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A Play and the Pandemic: A ‘directorial triumph’ at NCZCC

A glimpse of the drama ‘Kisi Aur Ka Sapna’ staged at North Central Zone Cultural Center
A glimpse of the drama ‘Kisi Aur Ka Sapna’ staged at North Central Zone Cultural Center

In Barcelona, for the first time after the three-month lockdown in June last, the famous opera house ‘Liceu’ was reopened for a concert. But as no spectators were to be permitted, the audience gap was filled up by placing one plant each on its more than two thousand seats to represent the viewers. It was but natural for stage lovers to be deeply touched while reading about this unique show through newspapers.

Certainly, Corona came as a major challenge to the people of every region, affecting them in various ways. The ‘WFH’ (Work From Home) directive spread as rapidly as the virus itself. But in certain spheres, this was not possible. For instance, the production of films, TV programs, or Theatre shows to name a few, were badly affected owing to the compulsion of wearing masks and observing the two-yard distancing norm. However, the situation gradually improved. Cinema shows were allowed, so too stage shows as well as the production of films and TV serials.

It was during this welcome relief provided by the relaxation of tough corona guidelines that drama shows also made their reappearance. And the three-day ‘Tridhara Natya Mahotsava’ organized in the auditorium of North Central Zone Cultural Center (NCZCC) on the eve of Falgun month, was also a gift of the era of relaxation of the tough corona norms—relaxation, but not total withdrawal.

After a gap of almost a year, once again, for drama lovers came the opportunity to see a stage play in the auditorium of NCZCC ‘Kisi Aur Ka Sapna’– a drama handled very deftly by the expert hands of Praveen Shekhar. It was written by playwright Nand Kishore Acharya.

Since Praveen Shekhar was directing the play, one expected a rare drama treat. And the audience was not disappointed. In fact, his wide theatrical experience, acquired by coming in touch with such theatre legends as Ratan Thiyam, Rudraprasad Sengupta, Bhanu Bharti, Baba Karanth, Badal Sarkar, Tapas Sen, B.M Shah et cetera, stood him in good stead as he had already acquired a special place in the world of theatre. Therefore, watching the plays directed by him is always a thought-provoking experience.

Before the play started, the famous story writer Asrar Gandhi, sitting next to me in the auditorium, also told me, “I have known Praveen Shekhar for almost the last forty years. Praveen believes in promoting collective creativity through his theater. He believes in projecting ground reality and often makes contemporary situations the centerpiece of his play’s theatrical narrative. Apart from the drama, he is also a very sensitive writer and art expert.”

‘Kisi Aur Ka Sapna’, gave us a glimpse of the current global political scenario, ongoing socio-political dialogue within the country, regional priorities as well as mention of popular locations spiced by ‘colloquial tadka’. No wonder the audience present in the auditorium were able to connect themselves better with this theatre.

Update 1:19 pm: In an earlier version of the article, TRD published it with the headline – ‘ A Play and the Pandemic: NCZCC witnesses a Play after a year-long Corona gap’ – which is now replaced with the new headline. 
Riyaz Khan

Written by Riyaz Khan

The author is Director at an engineering and IT services company in Hyderabad and a columnist.

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