CURRENT PRODUCTIONS      |

ANECDOTES AND ALLEGORIES
2010 | Gulbadan Begum

 

Created with support from the India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore, Anecdotes and Allegories is a historical docu-drama with Puppets. The show is based on the autobiography of three Mughal Emperors: Babur, Humayun, and Akbar written by Babur’s daughter Gulbadan Begum. This show uses miniature puppets, spy cameras, shadow puppets, and paper puppets and follows the journey of the early Mughal emperors from Fargana to Delhi and Agra.

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Read about this production:
The Hindu
Indian Express

BOLLYWOOD BANDWAGON
2009

 

This show was created with support from LINZ09, EU Cultural Capital for 2009 and premiered at Linz, Austria in September 2009. The show has since toured to Zurich, Berne, and Basel in Switzerland and Chennai in India.

Having made a side door entry into the world of India’s biggest obsession, Bollywood Bandwagon stands on the edge of a film set watching the goings-on without any coloured glasses. But being a true-blue voyeur, gradually the play makes its way into the more intimate spaces of the industry—some secret, some forgotten and some taken for granted. Using live feed and humanettes (human heads with puppet bodies) this show hopes to alter the way Bollywood films are watched.

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THE LITTLE BLUE PLANET
2008

 

Commissioned by the Climate Change Project-India in 2008 this performance was created to take the complex concept of Climate Change and Global Warming to little children. This show has been performed over 100 times across India and in Russia. The show is a journey of a little blue planet earth who in the show is literally a little child, called Erthu, from birth to early childhood, playing with clay to make birds, animals and forests. And finally the little Erthu makes a human. The human starts to cut trees, makes factories, cities. The little blue planet starts to fall sick, choke and suddenly gets transformed into a dying old man.

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ABOUT RAM
2006
 

About Ram was created with a performance grant from the India Foundation for the Arts and in collaboration with animator Vishal Dar and master puppeteer S.Chidambara Rao, from the Tolu Bommalattam form of Andhra Pradesh. It is an experimental theatrical piece using excerpts from the Bhavbhuti's Ramayana and told through animation, digitally projected dance, masks and puppets.

 

As the name suggests, the performance is about Ram, the prince of Ayodhaya who is sent on a long journey far away from his home when he is exiled by his father along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman. Sita is kidnapped by Ravana the king of Lanka and kept prisoner. As Ram sits by the ocean looking at Lanka across its vastness his life flashes by, he feels powerless and dejected as he longs to fly across the ocean to his beloved Sita. The puppeteers help him by projecting his desires into the mask of the super hero Hanuman which attaches itself to Rams face, at one turning him into a super powerful simian who leaps across the ocean and reaches Sita.

In this journey and the bloody war that follows with Ravan, Ram becomes a king, forced to choose between the duty of the throne and the love of his wife.He rules alone for the next 10,000 years.

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MAHABHARATA

2016 (Premier Still Running)
 

Mahabharata, was created with the support of the Festival Mondial Des Theatresde Marionnettes, Charleville- Mezeires, France. It explores the inner dilemma and back stories of 14 characters in the play. Each character in the Mahabharata is an archetype whose single minded and unquestioning loyalty to one belief leads to the inevitable conflict. Was there ever a moment when each of these human beings by making a choice, the choice of letting go, could have averted the war?

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WOOL SYMPHONY 

2018

 

Wool Symphony is a short performance for the very young audience, below the age 6. It grasps the attention of the toddlers to the fanciful treatment of imaginative trip of Wool as material itself. The whole idea is to trigger the creative perception of children in a musical rhythms along with the symphonic movements of Wool as “wool” itself, which also woke up the sense of materiality amongst children about wooliness of Wool.

 

This short performance was created during the two months (from 4th Dec’2017 to 17th Jan’2018) of intense workshop on material theatre organised by Katkatha at Katkatha studio, New Delhi, India. It was mentored by Barbara Kölling, an artistic director of Helios Theatre in Hamm, Germany. She specialises in performances for infants and toddlers and explores ways to communicate at their eye level.

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Read about this production:
The Hindu
Kid Engage

Creative Yatra

TEELAPUR KA RAKSHASHA
2020

 

This is an online production which has been created in Covid-19 lockdown period with the support of Helios Theatre, Germany being the co-producer.

 

It is about a town on a hill. A perfectly ordinary town, ruled over by an extremely popular King. A town which people leave in droves in fear of a monster that terrifies it. A town at war, where people are banned from reading books of their choice. In this town lives Guddu, separated from his family after the monster's attack. In this town lives Chhotu, who reads books in secret, and asks dangerous questions. When Teelapur's warriors return from a war they no longer understand, they join hands with Chhotu and Guddu to take on the monster.

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Read about this production:
National Herald India

Mid Day

ARABIAN NIGHTS

2021

 

Stories about a petty thief driven by luck and love, a slave girl torn between her master and his mortal enemy, and a misanthrope drawn into a strange duplicity, must all be brought to vivid life by a princess trying to save her own. 

The Nights revisits and reimagines tales that have been told across centuries to listeners in various contexts: as exotic entertainments sold at markets, as moral fables told to children, and as chronicles of the continuing dream and desire for power. At its heart it pulls us into the inner chamber of Scheherazade, our storyteller who must enchant her captor and muse across the stretch of a thousand and one nights so she can be a survivor, so she can be a witness.

 

This show is supported by Festival Mondial Des Theatres De Marionnettes, Charleville-Mezeires, France.

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LIFE IN PROGRESS

2016

 

Old newspapers and trash, a rag picker, creepy crawlies, creatures from nightmares, dreamscapes, nebulous faces, dismembered hands, plastic bottles, curious people, devouring mouth, grabbing hands, running, masking, unmasking and more trash... life in progress or is it progress?

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Read about this production:
Indian Express

Deccan Herald

Business Standard

PAST PRODUCTIONS

 

DINOSAUR
2013

 

The story is about a T Rex egg that gets separated from the next. The baby dinosaur that hatches does not know he is a T Rex. He starts to desperately look for his mother. Instead he lands up in the midst of a hungry Raptor pack. The oldest raptor and he become friends but the other raptors still want to eat him up. Time and again the old raptor saves him but then there is a huge volcanic eruption. Will the old raptor be able to save the little T Rex baby again?

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Read about this production:
Indian Express

The Hindu

Live Mint

DINOSAUR OUTDOOR SHOW
2013
 

This show also has a street version, where a bunch of palentologists cordon off a public space, they then bring out the skeleton of a T Rex and start detailed thesis about dinosaurs to the public when suddenly the T Rex comes alive!

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THE MAGIC BLUE
2007

 

This is collaborative performance with choreographer, Orissi and Chauu dancer Shagun Bhutani and her students from MADHYAM. In this performance the child Krishnas are played by little dancers and all the demons are giant puppets of 10-25 feet!

Magic blue tells the story of the childhood of the Blue God Krishna, which is full of great adventures and enchantment. Krishna fights off many demons in the shape of the giant serpent KALIA, the cloud monster, AGHASUR, who changes shape all the time, BAKASUR, the great ferocious stork BAKASUR and of course at the end Krishna's arch enemy and notorious dictator ,his own uncle KAMSA.

KASMIR PROJECT (2006)

Created as a result of interactive trauma therapy workshops with masks and puppets with women in Kashmir. The production uses masks, poetry, photographs and puppets to look at present day Kashmir. This project has been funded by WISCOMP as a part of the WISCOMP Fellowship of Peace (2005).

The Kashmir Project traces the journey of the 14th Century Kashmiri sufi poetess Lal-Ded re-born in the Kashmir of today and retracing her steps through the landscape of Kashmir. But this time she hears blasts, meets army men and militants, hears the voices of women who are mothers ,wives, sisters and daughters of Kashmir living in a war zone for the last fifteen years, sees their recurring nightmares and then finds again what she had learnt 600 years ago, hope, tolerance and love, that which saved her and saves the women of the valley today.

KASMIR PROJECT
2006
 

Created as a result of interactive trauma therapy workshops with masks and puppets with women in Kashmir. The production uses masks, poetry, photographs and puppets to look at present day Kashmir. This project has been funded by WISCOMP as a part of the WISCOMP Fellowship of Peace (2005).

The Kashmir Project traces the journey of the 14th Century Kashmiri sufi poetess Lal-Ded re-born in the Kashmir of today and retracing her steps through the landscape of Kashmir. But this time she hears blasts, meets army men and militants, hears the voices of women who are mothers ,wives, sisters and daughters of Kashmir living in a war zone for the last fifteen years, sees their recurring nightmares and then finds again what she had learnt 600 years ago, hope,tolerance and love , that which saved her and saves the women of the valley today.

VIRUS KA TAMASHAH

2006

 

Virus the Tamashah is like a circus and a razzmatazz Bollywood film rolled into one. It is literally a ride taken with the virus.The performance begins with the HIV positive protagonist being chastised and segregated by his community. The HIV Virus represented by the “madari” or ringmaster intervenes, he tempts the members of the community in different situations to behave Irresponsibly. The first one by having unprotected sex with multiple partners, the second by using pre-used syringes, the third by using untested blood and treating a pregnant positive mother not medically but by a god-man. Finally he takes the audience into the human body and gives us a glimpse into the effect the virus has on the WBCs and consequently the immune system. Finally he turns into an all powerful creature. In the end the main protagonist resists the virus by seeking help from the community of the audience asking them to stop discrimination and instead acting responsibly, saving themselves from infection.

HER VOICE
2000

 

A collaboration between puppet theatre and Bharatnatyam, this performance came into being with the support of WISCOMP, Women in Security,Conflict Management and Peace. Dancer Geeta Chandran and team Katkatha explored the Mahabharata told through the eyes of Draupadi.
 

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