A Padatik Theatre production, of the SJNYTA 2012 award winning script , Cage of Sparrows, by Ramneek Singh (Bangalore)
Premiere:13, 14, 26, 27 & 28 October 2012 at the Padatik Little Theatre 2, Kolkata Invited for The Rotary Club 9 March 2013 at the Rotary Sadan Hall, Kolkata
The Cage of Sparrows, set in a small village in Punjab, revolves around two agents who run a business of smuggling people into Europe and the repercussions of their actions on the lives of their family members and others in the village. The play questions the notion of opportunity in an increasingly unequal world where the jails in a foreign country are better than a person’s home in his country of birth.
The Cage of Sparrows received the Shyamanand Jalan National Youth Theatre Award for best original script in 2012. It has also received the TFA Creative Writing Award, 2012.
Directing Chidiyon ka Pinjra has marked several firsts for me, so this venture has been as exciting as it has been daunting. This is the first time I have directed a Hindi play and this was perhaps the biggest challenge I faced. My decision to stage the play in Hindi was entirely instinctive – I felt the language would allow for a more authentic portrayal of the experiences of the characters and be truer to my interpretation of the play. But directing in a language that one isn’t very comfortable with poses obvious difficulties and I am completely indebted to my team for patiently bearing with my laborious guidelines and, more often than not, being quite indulgent towards me in this regard.
This production will also go down as the first time I worked for a repertory. And this has been an absolute joy. From the simple luxury of always having an actual performance space to rehearse in to being able to work extensively in the performance venue itself (as opposed to the usual one or two stage/tech rehearsals theatre groups in general have to settle for), I feel like I’ve been thoroughly spoilt. But far more importantly, especially in the case of Padatik, I have been given an opportunity to collaborate with incredibly talented and ever-helpful artistes. Naming everyone in the repertory who has rallied around this production and assisted me in multiple ways will be impossible because there have been so many people. Nonetheless, there are three people I must single out – Sanchayita Bhattacharjee and Anubha Fatehpuria, who have been intensively involved with the production right from the beginning and have provided invaluable inputs all through and Chetna Jalan for her support and encouragement at every point. Throughout the rehearsal process, I have been amazed by how accessible members of Padatik have been, notwithstanding their seniority, and how connected each is to a holistic vision of theatre.
There is a wonderfully fresh and youthful energy that permeates through this play – be it the script which is a testament of new writing or the actors you will see on stage, all of whom, with the exception of one established artiste, are fairly new to theatre. I hope you like their work as much as I have liked working with them.
About the Director
Shuktara Lal has worked in theatre productions for the past 13 years and has directed four full-length plays as well as various short children’s productions. She has been a part of theatre groups like Padatik, Spandan, The Red Curtain and Theatrecian. Shuktara has taught at The Cambridge School (English and drama) and Shaw Public School (drama) and has written original scripts for her students. She conducts theatre and creative writing classes for children at The Creative Arts (a studio theatre). She also works in the area of theatre for therapy and empowerment in collaboration with different NGOs in the city. Outside of theatre, she writes and works with the publishing house, Writers Workshop.
Cast and Credits:
Cast:Dilip Dave - as Gurnam Singh
Rahul Pandey - as Rulda Singh
Pratigya Ghosh - as Tarsen Kaur
Sushil Kr. Valmiki - as Rinku Kaur
Karanjit Singh - as Avtaar Singh
Vijaylakshmi Kothari - as Samvli
Rahul Pandey/Anurag Shukla - as Soma
Credits:Playwright – Ramneek Singh (SJNYTA winner 2012 for Cage of Sparrows)
Translation – Sanchayita Bhattacharjee & Anubha Fatehpuria
Design:Lights - Sanchayita Bhattacharjee
Sets - Anubha Fatehpuria
Costumes - Sanchayita Bhattacharjee
Print - Anubha Fatehpuria
Execution:Sets - Gopal Das, Jugal Das
Lights - Pobitro Sarkar
Sound - Shubho Das
Sound Recording - Padatik Studio
Props - Gopal Das
Sound Recording - Biswajit Dutta
Voiceover - Sanchayita Bhattacharjee, Anubha Fatehpuria, Karanjit Singh,Vijaylakshmi Kothari
Make up - Md. Ileas & Co.
Production Crew - Gopal Sarkar, Manik Das, Jugal Das
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