It’s crucial to recognise the delicate balance between conveying a message through theatre plays and avoiding an overly preachy tone. Striking this balance is none other than the city-based theatre group, Samahaara, which is all set to showcase a double bill of Telugu plays, M Divakar Babu’s Namo Namah and Chiranjeevi’s Prema Pakshulu.
For Namo Namah, the stage is set in a forest, portraying the aftermath of a plane crash from Hyderabad to Mumbai. The play introduces four distinct characters — a scientist, a millionaire, a writer, and a woman, who is a beauty pageant contestant — stranded in the wilderness. Each man, vyies for the young lady’s attention. As they grapple with the challenges of survival, the story takes a comic turn, revealing unlikely camaraderie and fierce competition. The arrival of a genuine and helpful tribal farmer adds a contrasting element to the group dynamics.
The director of the plays, Rajashekar Kavali tells us, “Namo Namah concludes with a poignant monologue by the farmer, shedding light on the significance of basic human values. Despite the farmer’s pivotal role, the play doesn’t diminish the importance of others. Instead, it delves into the wisdom of mutual coexistence, emphasising the value of every individual. The narrative underscores the importance of living harmoniously within the ecosystem, acknowledging our interdependence on each other and nature.”
He emphasises that in selecting stories or plays, he aims to connect with the audience through truth and logic. Regarding the delicate balance between imparting serious life lessons without sounding preachy, he explains, “The play incorporates comic elements. I prefer taking the audience through a range of emotions, starting with a lighter note as the professionals flirt with the girl. The narrative then transitions to the theme of survival and concludes with a genuine monologue.”
Theatre artist Prabhu Sai Apparaju, portraying the role of the tribal farmer, shares, “Showcasing a tribal farmer was a fulfilling and fruitful experience, albeit accompanied by its own set of complexities. Even though I know Telugu, I had to grasp the slightly different diction that came along with the Telugu he is speaking in the play.” He acknowledges that the challenge was to portray the emotions, a character who is innocent and genuine, yet not stupid or naive.
The other play Prema Pakshulu unfolds as a vivid portrayal of the intricate love dynamics prevalent among the youth today. It sheds light on the confusion between love and lust, exploring how individuals, whether intentionally or unintentionally, often misconstrue the boundaries between genuine love and mere desire. In the narrative, a playwright endeavours to unravel the intricacies of dating. Confronted with the challenge of anticipating the audience’s reaction, the author tests his script on friends, unfolding a compelling tale of surprises and letdowns.
Harish Digumarthi, a theatre enthusiast, taking on the role of the writer’s friend, shares, “Since I have started doing theatre, I have experienced a different perspective towards life. Let me confess that this has changed me as an individual. This character had me stepping out of my comfort zone. In real life, I am a serious kind of a person, but I had to be playful, opportunist, and a little flirtatious for this character.”
Rs 100. November 26, 7.30 pm.
At Samahaara Studio, Banjara Hills.
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