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Shadipur Natak Utsav 2019

Shadipur Natak Utsav was a unique theatre festival.


Being held at Studio Safdar, an alternate theatre space in Shadipur, the festival was unique for the following reasons:


– The plays have been selected by a curatorial committee consisting of local residents of Shadipur.

– The curatorial committee was led through a workshop on the concept of curation by Sanjna Kapoor.

Meet our curators

Naseem Akhtar (shopkeeper), Ravi Kumar Otwal (tea seller), Kamlesh Kumari (gardener), Iqbal Husain (sales executive), Poonam Chauhan(Teacher)

– The 7 plays being presented were from 5 cities: Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi


Day 1. Fri 15 Nov. Ek Square Metre Khushi. 30 minutes. Anubhuti - Peshevar Maujkhor, Delhi. 

Sundari lives in the village and leads a very contented life. Her best friend is a songbird that comes to wake her up every morning. Although life in the countryside has its challenges, she has ready access to nature which provides for her everyday needs like water, cool air, sunshine etc. However, one day, there is a flood in the village and her house is swept away. Sundari must now decide whether she wants to rebuild her life in the same place or seek newer pastures


Design, Direction, Cast: Shruti Sunder


And Material Mala. 30 minutes. The Kachra Collective, Hyderabad.


A story which explores the dynamics of a consumerist society in relation to its garbage, through the lens of a young rag-picker, Mala. The lives of a rag-picking community revolve around a garbage mountain. 

In the midst of this chaos, Mala finds happiness in creating toys out of the 'worst trash'. Unbeknownst to Mala, these toys come alive out of her sheer regard and love for them. Meanwhile, a click-bait tweet depicting the inhumane conditions of the rag-pickers goes viral and the government, in a knee-jerk reaction, imposes a ban on rag-picking at the garbage mountain. With the community losing their livelihood, the unattended garbage mountain spills out of control. How will Mala deal with this crisis amidst the whispers of an uprising angry spirit of the garbage mountain? Material Mala is a theatrical production featuring various forms of puppetry. A majority of the set and puppets are made using recycled materials. 



Jagannath Singha

Preeti Golacha

Shruti Sunder

Sajeesh Pulavar 



Day 2. Sat 16 Nov. Shakuntalam- Agar Pura Kar Paye Toh.  70 minutes. Red Nose Entertainment, Mumbai. 

What if the clowns start to reinterpret Kalidas’s classic? Will the clowns be able to handle the pressure of 2500 year old text? Or will they just fool around?

Welcome to Shakuntalam - Agar Pura Kar Paye Toh…

Shakuntalam is an interactive physical comedy trying to merge clown and mime techniques with one of India’s oldest plays.


Director: Rupesh Tillu


Sagar Bhoir

Shreeram Chaudhari 

Ankita Nikrad

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Day 3. Sun 17 Nov. Romeo Ravidas & Juliet Devi. 80 mins. Qissa Kothi, Mumbai

Romeo Ravidas, a young farmer’s son, from the chamar community, loves riding his horse in his village Dumari, Bihar. He calls his horse Juliet. In a peculiar journey after his death he meets Kausalya in her dream. Kaushalya was known as Juliet in her college. This Romeo-Juliet story is however not a love story. Romeo Ravidas and Kaushalya aka Juliet share their life stories with each other in order to be on this journey of the dream. 

Based on media reports published after the murder of 21 year old Pradeep Rathod in Gujarat and the interviews of activist Kausalya in Tamil Nadu, in this unusual Romeo Juliet story, love, belonging, friendship, community, freedom to simply live are explored. Interweaving autobiographical narratives from Omprakash Valmiki's autobiography 'Joothan: a Dalit life' and Aravind Malagatti edited 'Government Brahmana' with the life stories of Pradeep and Kausalya, the fictional world moves between the real and the hyperreal of being.


Writer: Sharmistha Saha and Shubham Sumit

Director:  Sharmistha Saha


Priyanka Charan 

Dilip Pandey


Aman Nath

Reema K.

Rahul K. Singh

Day 4. Fri 22 Nov. Kabutar Ja Ja Ja. 60 mins. Natak Company, Pune

As for a majority of Indian women with their profession as homemakers have the most happening lives before sending their loved ones off to work and after welcoming them back home. But the time in between needs to be killed off. Suman Sharma, a crime patrol addict, mother of an 8-year old and wife of high rated working professional, challenges this mundane routine that she is expected to follow. Suman is buoyantly facing the urban lifestyle in the company of city’s integral part who have completely adjusted themselves to the urban lifestyle, the pigeons, the Kabutars. Kabutar Ja Ja Ja is a chapter of events of Suman and her euphoric relationship with her kabutars as she copes with urbanism.


Writer: Siddhesh Purkar

Director: Suraj Parasnis

Cast: Dipti Mahadev


Ravi Choudhary

NishchayAtal Ingole

Mugdha Bhalerao

Tejas Deodhar

Kunal Sardeshpande

Siddhant Borawake

Akshay Vaidya

Ajinkya Joshi

Yash Lonkar

Ashish Deshpande

Advait Rahalkar

Day 5. Sat 23 Nov. Maccoman, The Power Play. 60 mins. Madhyamgram Natomon Natya Sanstha, Kolkata

William Shakespeare's Macbeth inspires the play.

Macbeth killed Duncan, the king of Scotland, in own castle. He was driven by the greed of getting the power. As soon as he killed the king, two sons of the king ran away and took shelter in another country. All faithful commanders and associates of the king either ran away from the country or were killed by Macbeth. He became the king of Scotland. One may force himself to become king, but it is not always possible to be a good governor. Macbeth had always been scared that his power was threatened. Because of that, he continued to murder one by one despite a little suspicion. One day he was also killed.

Who is Macbeth? Macbeth is nothing but the name of a disease. It is the disease of getting power. This can affect everybody. But we can prevent this if we want.


Director: Tamal Sen


Pubali sen

Somnath Swarnakar 

Sudip Karmakar

Sanjeeb Mukherjee

Chiranjeeb Mukherjee

Gautam Das

Adrish Kumar Roy

Day 6. Sun 24 Nov. Medea. 55 mins. Pandies’ Theatre, Delhi

'Medea' tells the story of a woman who wreaks terrible vengeance but Euripedes' (460-408 BCE) sensitive rendering of the age old myth leads us to ask questions as to why this happened. These questions are relevant even today in our still unequal world.  Euripides highlights the tribal context in which Medea is an outsider to Greece and enables us to critique the social and political reasons for her actions. After exploring the obvious gendered issue, Medea moves beyond into the extremely important area of the treatment of the margins by the mainstream. The plight of Medea has immediate resonances not only for women but also for minorities and Dalits.It has raised pertinent questions in various societies, opening up spaces for activist and therapeutic intervention. Why do such betrayals happen to women especially women of colour and from minority communities? How does a woman negotiate heartache after such an incident? What are the options open to her? What is the role of the society in such situations? Above all, why are fairness and justice such important values?


Director: Anuradha Marwah









Each play performance was preceded by a Curtain Raiser performance that happened both inside as well as outside the studio space. Names of the performers are:

Mukesh, Shekhar and Nitin (Acrobats), Neel Sengupta, Manu Sikandar Dhingra and Sanjiv Johri, Gunjan Gupta and Dhruv Rai, Mallika Taneja, Dhwani Vij, Komita Dhanda, Piyush Kumar and Varoon P. Anand, Ashok Tiwari, Vipin Kumar, Poonam Girdhani, Ashish Ghosh


Mukesh, Shekhar and Nitin (Acrobats)

Manu Sikandar Dhingra and Sanjiv Johri

Gunjan Gupta and Dhruv Rai

Mallika Taneja

Ashish Ghosh

– We had 5 ticket prices

General public: Rs 200.

Student: Rs 100 

Shadipur residents: Rs 20. 

Children below 13: pay as you like. 

Rickshaw wallahs and other daily wage earners: free.

– The festival is being organized without any corporate, government, or foundation support, using local resources


-For the promotion of this festival we gave a call for Actor Volunteers. This team of volunteers performed a small skit, directed by Prahjot, in the lanes of Shadipur encouraging people to attend this festival in large numbers. We also had a dedicated team of Programme Volunteers for the festival days.

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