Street As Stage

India Today - - SIMPLY DELHI - By Ekta Al­reja

Di­rec­tor, ac­tor and ac­tivist Arvind Gaur, 50, who helms the As­mita Theatre Group likes to main­tain a low pro­file even among the city’s theatre cognoscenti. He would rather con­tinue to per­form on streets as he has for the past three decades. Started in 1993, As­mita Theatre Group, has built its rep­u­ta­tion on its so­cially rel­e­vant theatre that ad­dresses is­sues such as rape, fe­male feoti­cide and cor­rup­tion. Gaur and his team are cel­e­brat­ing their 20th an­niver­sary with the As­mita Sum­mer Theatre Fes­ti­val that con­tin­ues till July 14. The fes­ti­val has al­ready staged plays based on Par­ti­tion sto­ries by Saa­dat Hasan Manto and is now ready to per­form Three Star, a con­tro­ver­sial play adapted by Gaur from Dario Fo’s Ac­ci­den­tal Death of an An­ar­chist, on June 9 and 10. The Last Sa­lute, di­rected by Gaur is an­other much talked about work, based on the story of the Iraqi jour­nal­ist Al- Zaidi who be­came known the world over for throw­ing a shoe at Pres­i­dent Ge­orge Bush 2008. “When I started As­mita, it wasn’t easy to run a theatre group. There was a lot of strug­gle,” adds Gaur. He stud­ied to be an en­gi­neer then went on to be­come a jour­nal­ist be­fore re­turn­ing to his call­ing and found­ing As­mita. In th­ese 20 years, As­mita has been man­ag­ing its day to day af­fairs with funds earned from work­shops. “Be moral, be re­spon­si­ble” is Gaur’s motto passed on to his stu­dents who he trains to be­come good ac­tors, not just for money, but for the good of so­ci­ety. Play venues: Shri Ram Cen­tre, Lok Kala Manch and In­dia Habi­tat Cen­tre at Lodhi Road. For tick­ets, con­tact 954065653, 9999692525, 9015402269

RAVI SA­HANI/ www. in­di­a­to­day­im­ages. com

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