BELMONT, MA–On a popular demand, the Stage Ensemble Theater Unit (SETU) is re-running Girish Karnad’s classic play “The Fire and the Rain” in English with 28 all-female actors and dancers on Sept. 22-23 at Belmont Town Hall Theater in Belmont, MA.
This classic play was earlier produced and staged by earlier this year by SETU on April 27, 28, 29 at the beautiful Belmont Town Hall Theater. Ticket price is $20 per person. You can buy tickets atwww.setu.us
(On Oct. 26, SETU will be honored with New England Choice Awards at Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA, for their contribution to theater and art.)
Subrata Das, director of the play, said told INDIA New England News that the play is being restaged because of popular demand.
“If a production quality is good then many get to hear only after the show. The Fire and The Rain was an excellent experimental production and a lot of people wanted to see. Hence the rerun,” Mr. Das said. “Also, the actors involved get another chance to practice their skills on stage in front of real audience.”
He said the play has a large cast and a change in cast is inevitable when restaging the play.
“But, fortunately only a handful couldn’t accommodate into their schedule – one actor and a couple of dancers,” Mr. Das said. “We have two shows this weekend at Belmont Town Hall Theater – Saturday, Sep 22 at 6:00 pm and Sunday, Sep. 23 at 2:00 pm.”
Karnad’s classic play “The Fire and the Rain” illuminates age-old human relationships with gods, rituals and sacrifices, the complex societal order of the Indian caste system, some very rigid traditions and dark moments in the human lives. This original drama with mostly male characters will be enacted by only female actors.
These roles depict aggressive, violent and destructive characteristics that are naturally and easily accepted in men. But everything changes when they are rendered by female actors. Male-chauvinism performed by women will bring to the audience’s attention the unspeakable behavior that is often accepted as norm in Indian society. It comes as a shock to see these male patterns enacted by women.
As an experimental production featuring an “all-female” cast, the play is not about women pretending to be men. Rather, it is about giving women the opportunity to take on roles that were created for male actors depicting predatory, abusive and savage behavior.
Why does performing a fire sacrifice to invoke the Lord Indra of rain become so twisted? Karnad’s classic play, The Fire and the Rain, tells us a story that is intensely embedded in ancient mythology from the Mahabharata time, the symbolism at many levels liberates us from shackles of the present society. The Fire and The Rain abounds the riches of psychology, negative and positive human emotions, the aversion and the jealousy of man against man, father against son, wife against husband, high caste against low caste people, man against god, hate against love, the fire against the rain and passion against the truth.
On one hand there is abundance of jealousy, betrayal, deceit and ego, whereas on the other there is purity of selfless love and sacrifice. The protagonist Brahmin Arvasu is a man torn between moral righteousness, love and duty. His lover Nittilai who is from a lower caste cannot understand Brahmins and their secrets when all she can think of is looking for real solutions for everyday matters. Arvasu’s elder brother Paravasu (the character I am portraying) is driven by his quest for Lord Indra, while his wife Vishakha is left behind with her pangs of isolation and separation. And many more such characters that have their own quests that result in very complex emotions and behaviors.
SETU, a local non-profit organization that has staged several successful productions in the past, some being “Rape, Regret and Retribution”, “Hayavadana”, “Shah Jahan”, “Mahabharata”, “Once Upon a Time NOT in Bollywood”, “Ramayana” and “Kamala”. Visit www.setu.us to learn more about SETU’s productions.
SETU , a 501(c)(3) non-profit theater group in the Boston area founded in 2003, means “bridge” in several Indian languages and its mission is to build bridges between Indian and Western cultures through the medium of theater.
All-Female Cast … (in order of appearance)
The King Shubha Vijayesh
Paravasu The Chief Priest Yogita Miharia
The Brahma Rakshasa A demon soul Rohini Pola
The Courtier Mala Krishnamurthy
Priest One Vasudha Kudrimoti
Priest Two Rakhee Wagal
Priest Three Madhu Mathur Anand
The Actor-Manager Gunjan Kuthiala
Manager’s Brother Japneet Kwatra
Arvasu Paravasu’s Brother Shamita Behl
Nittilai A hunter girl Ishita Rao
Andhaka Yavakri’s servant Ananya Chatterjee
Vishaka Paravasu’s wife Monisha Prakash
Yavakri Paravasu’s cousin Sugandha Gopal
Raibhya Paravasu’s father Kumkum Pareek Malik
Nittilai’s Brother Ridhima Mahajan Bhuttan
Nittilai’s Husband Dipali Trivedi
Villagers Pallavi Gupta and dancers
Lead Choreographer …….. Vasudha Kudrimoti
Modern Dance Lead …….. Pooja Tiwari
Priest Dance Lead …….. Vasudha Kudrimoti
Hunter Dance Lead …….. Shikha Bajpai
Dancers : Swasti Bhargava, Pallavi Gupta, Vasudha Kudrimoti, Ridhima Mahajan Bhuttan, Purbi Rana, Nishtha Saxena, Shweta Shangari, Pooja Tiwari, Shubha Vijayesh, Rakhee Wagal.
Playwright …….. Girish Karnad
Marketing, Tickets & …….. Nirmal Kumar (lead), Gunjan Malhotra, Kumkum
Sponsorship Pareek Malik, Yogita Miharia, Ravi Nimmagadda,
Rekha Palriwala, Rohini Pola, Dhanashree
Ramachandran, Purvi Shah, Dipali Trivedi
Web Publicity …….. Ravi Nimmagadda (lead), all of SETU
Costumes …….. Noorain Buxamusa (lead), Jayanti Bandyopadhyay,
Viprali Bhatkar, Janique Choux-Das
Makeup …….. Susmita Ghosh, Sumalita Bhuyan,
Music …….. Pradeep Ramachandran (lead),
Madhu Mathur Anand
Lighting …….. Prateek Paul (lead), Marcus Hatch
Sound …….. Ravi Nimmagadda, Prateek Paul
Stage …….. Rohini Pola (lead), Deven Atnoor, Janique
Choux-Das, Sanaa Kazi, Mala Krishnamurthy,
Nilay Mukherjee, Rishi Naik, Sridhar Pola,
Gautam and Jayanti Bandyopadhyay
Core Production …….. Jayanti Bandyopadhyay, Subrata Das
Patrons Welcome ……. Rohit Chandra, Janique Choux-Das, Jyoti Justin,
Nirmal Kumar, Nilay Mukherjee,
Rishi Naik, Rekha Palriwala, Purvi Shah
Posters …….. Kabita Das, Manreet Kwatra, Dhanashree
Ramachandran, Harun Razith
Photography & Video …….. Sanjay Kudrimoti (lead), Krishan Aneja,
Ganesh Davuluri, Fotu Dunya, Abhinay Burra
Special Thanks …….. India Association of Greater Boston, India
New Engalnd News, Lokvani, Central Square
Theater, Belmont Plymouth Church, Juliet
Direction …….. Subrata Das.