In May we had our hands full with auditions for Mother Courage. We met scores of actors, musicians, singers; manjority of whom have come to Bombay from different parts of the country. The talent on show was as diverse as it was inspiring.
We also had a couple of wonderful shows of Blank at the Cuckoo Club with Lekha Washington and Roshan Abbas. And this month we come to the end of the journey with last two shows of Blank at Prithvi Theatre on 10 & 11 June. Catch Jerry Pinto and Freishia Bomanbehram fill the blanks to come up with their own unique stories.
April saw a flurry of activity in the QTP office with the addition of 5 interns from the wonderful Christ College. They are here with us for one month only, and hope they can make the most of it.
At the same time, work started on our new production Mother Courage and Her Children with the first round of auditions. We had a truly overwhelming response. Thank you to each one of you who helped us spread the word and who took the time to share their talents and stories with us. We really appreciate it.
After quite a long hiatus, we held another edition of the 1 week intensive workshop The Dark Art of Acting. Another initiative which had quite a turn out for just 10 seats. Quasar had a blast that week and we hope the participants too had fun!
Sitara Studio hosted a couple of shows of Wildtrack and Blank which were very well received by the few who strayed to Garage Galli that weekend. Blank returns this month at the Cuckoo Club with Roshan Abbas and Lekha Washington on Sunday, the 28th of May. See you there!
March is not only for year end accounts and expressing surprise at the rising temperatures. It is time to celebrate World Theatre Day! This year at QTP we decided to host an open house for fellow theatre-wallahs to join us for a jalebi or a beer... or even a game of cards! We have also initiated, what we hope becomes an annual tradition, the World Theatre Day Address from India. Our inaugural piece was contributed by Ramu Ramanathan, who had a quite a few thoughts to share. Though lengthy, his treatise is a must read. As an added treat, we had put on sale the colourful sweaters/shawls/gloves from our production So Many Socks and the collections will go towards the freedom struggle of the Tibetan Refugees in India.
March also saw the last few shows of White Rabbit Red Rabbit - with all three languages in one evening! We also had multiple shows in Pune, Bangalore and Jaipur. We were delighted to be part of the second iteration of the Navras Festival at the Jawahar Kala Kendra (Jaipur) with Kumudh Mishra and Sheeba Chadha donning the rabbit hat. It has been a wonderful run of 57 shows and a big thank you to all the performers , audiences and our partners-in-crime Natak Company (Pune) and Studio Safdar (Delhi) for making it such a success.
If you are yearning to catch an evening with Nassim Soleimanpour's words, you can watch Blank with Tushar Pandey and Ramona Arena at Sitara Studio on Sunday 9 April.
March also took us to Chennai and Bangalore with a revival of Ram Ganesh Kamatham's Crab, thanks to Rage, Writer's Bloc and the British Council. It was a beautiful nostalgic reunion of the original team of director, actors and props! The play has withstood the test of time and in a way even predicted the millenial generation. Arghya had a busy month with not just Crab, but also two powerful shows of Wildtrack at the Ranga Shankara. In case you haven't caught it yet, or would like to see it again, we have two more shows in Bombay at the Sitara Studio on Saturday 8 April. You definitely want to catch it this weekend as we haven't scheduled more shows for the next few months at the moment.
We are also excited to host our intensive acting workshop again this April from 17 to 23. Led by Quasar, this workshop will cover voice work, text analysis, monlogues as well as emsemble work. If you are interested in exploring the Dark Art of Acting, call 7045539105 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org or fill the application form here (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe2cf6xO53oRqkT1d-UCl1VCfMsSvpm4k7pzeUjXnQxnG-fPQ/viewform?c=0&w=1)
And finally, we are absolutely stoked to announce that QTP will be part of Aadyam III with Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children, directed by Q. The production will be opening mid August and are holding open auditions for the same. Interested actors/ musicians/ singers can mail us at email@example.com. First round auditions will take place end of the month.
Last month had a bit of everything a theatre company can hope for.
We staged Blank with Satchit Puranik in a brand new alternate venue in the city - Fun Republic Social in Andheri. And Pramod Pathak donned the White/Red Rabbit hat at Harkat Studio.
We watched wonderful plays visiting the city. Neil Chaudhari and Abhishek Majumdar are two directors who have set high standards with their theatre and their most recent productions - This Will Take Several Minutes and Muktidham - did not let us down.
Quasar chaired a session on Shakespeare called The Relevance of the Bard for the 21st Century at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival with Vikram Kapadia, Coomi Vevaina and Yuki Elias. Followed by a reunion dinner with the cast and crew of A Midsummer Night's Dream, 12 years after we embarked on that epic production. Being a live art form, years later all we have to hold on to are the memories. Hours passed quickly as those gathered recollected legendary stories, from both, on and off stage.
We also got to tick an item of the bucket list - Watch Eddie Izzard Live. Dear Eddie was right here in our city for one show only and thanks to some quick thinking by Vivek Rao, we had some of the best seats in the house to be entertained by a legend - an incredible live performer with an enviable intellect.
Bombay "winters" also attract the international theatre community. In the first half of the month QTP worked with Curve Theatre UK to find actors for their production of the Pink Sari Revolution and we eagerly look forward to when they will tour India with the show. But the highlight of the month, and possibly the year, was BROTHERHOOD: THE HIP HOPERA from Canada. Sebastien Heins came in with his inimitable style of story telling and stole everyone's hearts. With four packed shows at Sitara Studio and one at The Humming Tree, Bangalore, this young Canadian theatre maker has left us in a theatre induced high!
January is typically a slow month at QTP. A month to catch our breath, catch up with the rest of the world. A month to plot and plan.
However, last month we did bid farewell to our graphic designer Gitanjali, a.k.a. Bambi. She not only helped redefine our visual identity & add colour to our communication, she also led, mentored and supported the various initiatives and activities at QTP+Thespo. Not easy shoes to fill. We wish her the very best in her theatre journey!
firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested and also help us spread the word.
We kick off February with Satchit Puranik in our new story-machine - BLANK. On 5 Feb at 6pm at the Fun Republic Social. Tickets Rs. 400 only and you also get a free beer! See you there.
June went by very fast. Between welcoming our new intern Kavyaja, and planning the Thespo Orientation Meetings, nobody knows where the time went. We wished for more hours in the day, and Quasar took that literally by trotting off to Whitehorse in Canada, which has 23 hours of sunlight a day! Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre festival has become a staple in the QTP calendar, and it will be interesting to see what new projects develop as a result of the trip.
|Dawn or dusk, depends on your perspective. 2:30am in Whitehorse.|
In that spirit of ‘new’, we are working towards the World Premiere of our brand new play Wildtrack. Helmed by Arghya Lahiri, this fragile, tender and beautifully two-character play will open in August.
Also being firmed up are new dates for our White Rabbit, Red Rabbit project. After the incredible success at Writers’ Bloc, we are gearing up for a whole barrage of performances August onwards. Watch this space for details.
Toral continues to make everyone dance at Ladies Sangeet, as the show travels to Delhi for Aadyam. But the real highlight is the Thespo 18 Orientation Meeting. Sneak peaks into rehearsal reveal a fun afternoon on the 18th of July. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.
May was quite a low key month at QTP as far as shows/ Thespo go. However, we did help put together a short 'entrepreneurial' sketch together for the Piramal Annual Communication Meet. We have been working with their Vikhroli office for the last 3 years running and it is always exciting to work with some of the old and many new members of the Piramal family!
Wedding planning is not something QTP likes to dabble in, but when it is a staged sangeet, we couldn't resist and found ourselves a part of Aarambh's Ladies Sangeet. Proscenium shows always feel like a challenge and pulling them off is always satisfying, in hindsight. Dealing with mammoth sets that had to be crammed in to Andrew's and cables on fly bars that snapped mid show and changing scenery bars manually in record time... it is all par for the course. Compared to the opening, the reset at the Jamshed Bhabha was a vacation!
May was also a packed month at the office! Meghana from our alma mater has joined our forces for a couple of months. Ninad was also back for a second summer internship along with three of his juniors from Christ College (Bangalore) who called themselves the JSK! No not the religious kind. It stood for Julianna, Shraddha and Kajol, who were invaulable in helping us sort out the QTP library. (Check out the website/app librarything.com - very comprehensive and easy to catalogue all your media.) The Bangaloreans were here for a very short stint, but the epic farewell party will ensure it was memorable time. Thank you Vivek Madan for sharing your take on Dumb Charades with us.
Plans are hatching for opening a new production in August as well as the announcement of Thespo 18 plans! The lazy summer afternoons are dissappearing fast!
April has been an ecclectic month. After many years, we had a QTP show at the NCPA Experimental. Being the evening of the T20 Final (more power to West Indies), the audience numbers were not great. However, those who did watch A Peasant of El Salvador, responded to the show with overwhelming positivity and encouragement. The next weekend we were back at the Andrews with The God of Carnage, rounding off our March-April season of shows.
Between these two shows, we also kicked off White Rabbit Red Rabbit as part of the Writers' Bloc festival at Prithvi. This unusual production demands a new actor every show who is handed the script on stage and then goes on to spontaneously bring it to life. A novel format. Received with amazing energy and participation by the packed houses. Ali Fazal and Atul Kumar were the first two actors to take up the challenge and it is safe to say that they have kick started an amazing journey for WRRR in India!
Second half of the month, everyone at QTP went on a company offiste. We hatched plans. Strategised schemes. Played cards. All in all, a fun and productive time. And immediately after, Quasar was off to the UK to explore more theatre opportunities and collaborations with artists in England and Wales. Can't wait to hear all the 'foreign-return' stories!
March was a good month at QTP. We had a wonderful run of shows at Prithvi Theatre. We had large groups of women show up for the Khatijabai show on Women's Day and from the buzz post show, they all had a delightful evening. Carnage at Prithvi was a little bit of a challenge given the size of the set . But to everyone's suprise, the production worked really well here and it would not be an overstatement to say that this proscenium show found another home in this intimate space.
Carnage in Pune was a whole other story with a really large space in an even larger mall. While the attempt by Entre Nous to take theatre to new spaces and audiences is really commendable, plays need the viewers to participate in the experience without distractions. Hopefully, there are many more spaces in Pune to explore.
In the first 10 days of April we are producing 3 different plays in 3 different venthues. Peasant at the NCPA Experimental on the 3rd (You heard that right. We are at the Exp. after 5 years or so), White Rabbit Red Rabbit at Prithvi on the 5 (as part of Writer's Bloc 4) and Carnage is back at Andrews on the 10th. (Really recommend catching White Rabbit Red Rabbit. A new actor every show is handed the script on stage for the first time and then the play unfolds!)
This month, we attempted to offer 20-66% discount on tickets to early bird buyers for the Carnage show. However, looks like audiences in Bombay prefer to make last minute plans for their social lives. May be with more shows trying this experiment, we may be able to convince viewers of the benefits of planning an evening of theatre a month in advance.
The last few months have been an unusually busy time at QTP. The successful wrap up of Thespo 17 didn’t bring with it the respite we were hoping for. Early January found us working in Pune on a private performing arts event. We had our annual QTP off site in February and exciting plans are being made for the year ahead.
Delighted to announce that Spriha has joined the QTP family full time and Saniya will also now be a daily presence at the QTP office. And of course, Kalpak has bravely volunteered to ensure that The Script comes back on track.
The God of Carnage kicked of the shows for the year at Andrew’s and there are quite a few of those to look forward to this month, including one in Pune on 16 March at Phoenix Market city. (Open to public, let us know if you would like to be directed to the box office).
After many years of trying, we finally have a show of Khatijabai of Karmali Terrace on Women’s Day! Come one, come all. We have discovered that the play is a favourite with all mothers. So, if you need any favours from mum, gift her a ticket to Khatijabai and let the magic of theatre take over.
QTP has a busy month ahead. It's all hands on board for Literature Live! The team is slowly, but surely being put together. The regulars (Nadir, Manan, Saatvika, Himanshu, Zia, and numerous others) will be sorely missed. But the show will go on.
29 October to 1 November at NCPA and 31 October and 1 November at Prithvi theatre. There are some brilliant writers in attendance as well as 8 wonderful productions from Bombay, Calcutta, UK and Canada. Check Coming Up for details.
In addition to book launches, panel discussions, readings, book swaps, twitter contests, there are also a whole range of workshops. Complete schedule will soon be announced on the website and facebook. So watch these spaces.
The God of Carnage had a smooth ride in Bangalore at the opening of the Hindu Theatre Festival at the Chowdiah, thanks to the wonderful hospitality and quiet efficiency of the Evam team. I was there after almost a decade and it was a pleasure to work in the newly renovated theatre, This month we are off to Delhi to perform 3 shows as part of the Old World Theatre Festival at Stein Auditorium (18 October) and Epicentre (19 October). Hope to see you there if you are in Delhi at the time and do spread the word amongst your friends and families in the NCR.
A Peasant of El Salvodar travels to Bangalore next month to add to the festivities at Ranga Shankara on Friday, 7 November. (Try the RS link closer to shows for tickets.)
Quite a busy month ahead. With sleepless nights and copious amounts of coffee and chocolate to look forward to. If you happen to find yourself at one of the many sessions or performances at Lit Live, do find us for a quick hello! If you are lucky, you might even get a free cup of NCPA's famous cold coffee!