OLD MEETS NEW
The prestigious Old World Theatre Festival (OWTF) returns to New Delhi for its 17th edition this week. Set to showcase 15 plays over nine days, the OWTF will open with one of the oldest Sanskrit theatre traditions, Kutiyattam. Later, it will showcase experimental contemporary theatre, including original plays from Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Kerala, says Vidyun Singh, director, programmes, Habitat World, India Habitat Centre.
“Over the years, we pretty much have had every big play, production, director or actor as part of the OWTF. But we have slowly been trying to introduce a number of experimental as well as younger theatre practitioners,” says Singh. “This time, we have taken a more dramatic step in that direction, by bringing in a lot more younger theatre practitioners.”
These works break fresh ground and address contemporary concerns such as gender fluidity, patriarchy, relocation and immigration, while other highlights include all-women productions such as Beyond Boundaries, Dekh Behen as well as Dastaan Live, which explores music with visual arts. “The festival is representative of the new territory in theatre, with a blurring of boundaries between the script, director, actor and the narrative,” says Singh. “Some are going to love it, some will hate it, some might find it a mix bag. But for us, it is skewed more in the direction of bringing contemporary theatre.” Running from October 20 to 28 at the India Habitat Centre, apart from plays, the festival will also feature workshops on ‘introduction to immersive theatre’ by Aruna Ganesh Ram and ‘light design’ by Yael Crishna. If you need passes, they can be collected at the Programmes Desk, IHC, or you can book at www. bookmyshow.com. For information, log on to www.indiahabitat.org.