Sunday, December 18, 2011

Retreat 2011

After its first retreat in November 2009, Off-Kendrik had its second retreat from November 18 to 21, 2011 at the same rented house in Cape Cod. The group’s primary objective this year was to explore possibilities of a future production stemming from Sukumar Ray’s “Ha Ja Ba Ra La”.

The workshop took three forms, albeit with a common goal: characterization. In the first phase, each of seven individuals drew on one character from “Ha Ja Ba Ra La” to improvise in the face of an aggressive interrogation. An “outsider” (i.e. someone not playing any character from the play) intimidated them by asking random, intrusive questions, and each person had to respond immediately with the mannerisms of the specific character from the play that s/he represented. The second exercise, in contrast, was a monolog prepared over a short time. As previously, the delivery was meant to exploit the idiosyncrasies of specific “Ha Ja Ba Ra La” characters, while the contents were the performers’ own. What is more, each performer interacted with an object of personal choice during the monolog, but in a manner incongruent to the basic identity of the object; for instance, while a book was used as a phone in one monolog, a cushion served as a book in another. Also planned over a short time, the third workout was conversational. Each group of two or three players engaged in an absurd exchange for a few minutes, building the conversation around the essential traits of Ray’s characters being portrayed. All of these performances were meticulously photographed and videotaped.

In addition to the above exercises, scenes from Utpal Dutta’s “Ajker Shajahan” and D.L. Roy’s “Shajahan” were read. Finally, Dyuti Mazumdar, the group’s photographer, photographed some of the members in a variety of expressive moments.

In light of these activities, it was decided that more concerted efforts would be made to produce a script with fodder from “Ha Ja Ba Ra La”, and that the reading from scripts of well-known plays would be made into a regular practice at the group’s monthly meetings.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Badal Sircar passes away.

Legendary dramatist Badal Sircar passes away. His work has inspired and influenced many of us - on behalf of Off-Kendrik we salute him.
Below is a letter written by him, published in The Drama Review: Vol. 26, No. 2, Intercultural Performance (Summer, 1982), giving some glimpse to the world of Third Theatre.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two new short plays in Bangla

Off-Kendrik Presents

"Mobius Strip"


"Khagom "

Location: 380 Cambridge Street, Burlington, MA 01803. (on Route 3A- at the border of Burlington and Billerica; signboard says "Atlantis Playmakers")
Google Map


Saturday June 4th

1st Show:  5pm (2 plays with a 15 minute break between them)

2nd Show: 7.30 pm (2 plays with a 15 minute break between them)

Sunday June 5th - 4 pm (2 plays with a 15 minute break between them)

Tickets: $10/person. Call Ticketmaster @ 508-285-3988; 857-205-4985; 508-269-8091.
(This is an intimate space with a seating of 40 persons/show; patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance)


Mobius Strip

Join the ends of a piece of sticky tape with a single twist and two surfaces and two edges turn into a remarkable loop with a single surface and a single edge, a Mobius Strip. The play starts with Manashi and Aman in a lazy weekend chat in their suburban US living room. Before the evening party, Aman insists on visiting the Mobius Strip cafe, which holds the clue to his unfinished fantasy, and his abrupt departure leaves Manashi in tears. At the cafe, we meet the same two characters in Kolkata struggling with their personal and political dilemmas in a rapidly globalizing society. Snapshots of contemporary Aman-Manashi twist and warp with space and time, and distinct surfaces and edges blur, as in a Mobius Strip. (Runtime: 40 minutes)

Written and Directed by Sankha
Actors: Adhiraj, Sohini/Anindita, Gourab, Pragati and others
Lights/Sound: Rajib
Poster and Photogrpahy: Dyuti


A pet snake, a holy man, a reporter, an opinionated urbanite, a curse, a strange night and a bizarre disappearance…..Satyajit Ray’s classic tale of mystery and mystics is adapted for stage against a contemporary backdrop. Here modern ideas of progress clash with indigenous beliefs, imposed authority spawns subversion, and the conclusion is left open-ended. (Runtime: 35 minutes)

Directed by Gourab
Script: Sankha, Sunanda, Gourab
Set: Sunanda
Actors: Aunnesha, Urmila, Pragati, Anindita, Sohini, Samik, Sankha, Sunanda, Partha, Gourab
Lights/Sound: Rajib
Poster and Photogrpahy: Dyuti

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