Artistes on stage: May curtain raiser

New Delhi, May 2: It’s an exciting time as the spotlight is now shining in its full glory with artistes on stage. The NCPA theatre division creates, presents, and hosts world-class theatre that entertains, challenges, and inspires. And the stage is abuzz with a fantastic line-up of presentations.

Coming up May:

Kalgitura (Winner of Darpan, new writing initiative – Premiere Show), Produced by the NCPA

In a village called Parsul in Maharashtra, a unique folk tradition called kalgitura was nurtured for hundreds of years. Intertwining stories from the Puranas and oral traditions, kalgitura artistes would sing to the beats of the tambourine during festivals, fairs, religious ceremonies and to ease the pain and grief to commemorate the death of a villager with the family of the departed soul. Around 1990, this almost 700-year-old tradition started to fade away. One day, a group of men in the village find threads of the kalgitura tradition and realise that they must reinstate this unique art form.

The play depicts the story of the revival of kalgitura. In the April 2023 issue of ON Stage, its writer Datta Patil said, “Kalgitura is a folk art comprising lavanis written in local dialects and is made up of two words ‘kalgi’ (shakti) and ‘tura’ (Shiva). As with several folk-art forms, kalgitura brings pertinent issues to the fore and addresses complex emotions via the medium of entertainment.” kalgitura is the finalist of Darpan, a new initiative by the NCPA that shines the spotlight on fresh voices in Marathi drama.

Musical Play

Language: Marathi

Duration: 120 mins

Venue: Experimental Theatre

When: Friday, 5th May – 7.00 pm

Tickets: Book My Show

Voice, Speech, and Diction. An introductory workshop on voice modulation

In over a decade of working in theatre and film, Akshay Shimpi has done more than 30 plays and seven short films that have toured in festivals across India. Since graduating from Mumbai University with a Master of Arts degree in Theatre Arts, Shimpi has performed in Hindi and Marathi productions like Hello Farmaaish, Vangmayacha Gholiv Itihaas, Naag-Mandala, Ghashiram Kotwal, Hayvadana, among others. He has trained many upcoming actors in voice, speech, and diction He received acclaim for his portrayal of freedom fighter Anant Kanhere in the Marathi film 1909. Shimpi has also taught at the Drama School Mumbai and is currently touring across Maharashtra. He is working on the Urdu storytelling art form known as dastangoi. Shimpi will educate participants on three fundamental factors related to voice modulation in this workshop.

The ideal breathing pattern

How to breathe

The body’s three ideal positions

Breathing in movement

Breathing and psychological states


What is focus

Formula of focus

Discussion on the voice

Approaches to voice.

Misunderstandings of voice

Venue: Sea View Room, NCPA

When: Saturday, 6th May – 11.00 am to 2.30 pm

Workshop Fees: Rs. 500/-

For registration: Book My Show or email at

Registration: Prior Registration is Compulsory (Limited seats

Conducted by Akshay Shimpi

Guided Tour of the NCPA Theatres and Library

So much about ‘going to the theatre’ is true that — soaking in the energy that the space exudes. It is this tactile, collective experience of witnessing a live performance that has been missed sorely during the lockdown and now that we are out of it, a guided tour of the NCPA theatres and libraries would feature on the itinerary of young theatre lovers who visit the NCPA during the festival. Students from colleges across Mumbai will be given a tour of our sprawling premises that boast five theatres, an art gallery, a reference library with a prized collection of books on Marathi theatre, scripts, and recordings of seminal plays and music libraries with an unmatched collection of records, LPs, cassettes, CDs and books on Western classical music as well as other styles of music. In the reference library, Sujata Jadhav, Head- of Libraries and Documentation Centre, will take the visitors through forms of theatre, their evolution, and recent trends as well as discuss distinguished Marathi theatre artistes and production houses. Nayan Kale, General Manager – Technical, at the NCPA — who knows every detail about the unique acoustics of our theatres, has enabled the flawless execution of thousands of productions on our stages and is full of fascinating behind-the-scenes stories — will conduct the Theatre tour.

When: Saturday, 6th May – 3.00 pm

Where: Assembly point – Sunken Gardens

For registration: Please write to

Entry: Free for all – Prior Registration is Compulsory

Prasthan Urf Exit

On one level, Prasthan Urf Exit is about a married couple in their eighties. They have lived together for more than 50 years, loved, and fought with each other, had sex, worked through life, earned, and spent together, and had children who are now in the U.S.A. Today, they are lonely, tired, and ailing. They are both fearful of death and yet, they are ready for it. Funnily, death seems to be playing games with them because Yamadoota’s malfunctioning app is unable to tell who among them is dead.

On a deeper level, the play is about the absurdity of life and death; about being aware of having spent a mediocre life, devoid of any intensity. It is about following different ideologies, but in such an insipid way that you have nothing more to show for it but minor superficial grudges. It is about the ‘happiness industry’ of these capitalist times which makes the higher middle classes selfish and rids them of guilt, and the realisation that there is no meaning to life but the one that we attribute to it to sustain us as humans beings. When these two levels intersect, what emerges is an absurdist tragicomedy.

Winner of three MaTa Sanmaan Awards 2023, including Best Actor, Best Playwright, and Best Experimental Play.

Marathi Play

Duration: 100 mins

Venue: Experimental Theatre

When: Saturday, 6th May – 4.00 pm

Tickets: Book My Show


A licensed adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s 2009 Tony Award-winning God of Carnage, the play portrays a meeting between two couples over a peaceful resolution of a minor altercation between their sons. The meeting slowly but surely escalates into different shapes and sizes of violence, tearing apart the veils of civility and exposing the conflict that lies at the heart of human coexistence.

This Marathi adaptation of the celebrated French play is set in urban India, where the fault lines of gender, class, and caste are casually visible. Uchhaad is full of subtle humour that plays on social rituals and the need to keep up appearances.

The play has completed 23 shows and has been staged in Pune, Mumbai, Kankavli, Belgaum, and Kolhapur. It won three Zee Natya Gaurav Puraskars for Best Play, Best Director, and Best Actress in a Lead Role. It was nominated for the MaTa Sanmaan Awards 2023, presented by Maharashtra Times, in the Best Play, Best Actor, and Best Director categories.

Marathi Play

Duration: 80 mins

Venue: Experimental Theatre

When: Saturday, 6th May – 7.30 pm

Tickets: Book My Show

Natyadisha, Theatre Workshop, Conducted by Abhijeet Zunjarrao

Abhijeet Zunjarrao has a diploma in Dramatic Arts from Mumbai University. He has won the prestigious Zee Natya Gaurav, MaTa Sanmaan, and the Maharashtra government award for the direction of his plays Lejhim Khelnari Pora and Breaking News. He has also worked as an associate director and actor for the National Award-winning film Dashkriya. He has been awarded the top honour for acting in the 48th Maharashtra State Drama competition. His plays have been showcased in different states at prestigious theatres all over the country. Zunjarrao has plenty of experience in light design, set design, operating lights, and sound, and managing backstage for theatre productions.

Objectives of the Workshop

Provide basic knowledge of theatre acting.

Provide basic information about Marathi theatre.

Practical study of theatre

Topics covered:

Basic elements of dramatic acting:

Voice modulation

Body movements

Facial expression exercises

Character building

Introduction to Drama and Theatre

A brief overview of Marathi Theatre

Technical Elements of Theatre (Objectives, Functions, and Methods of Work)

Set design.

Light design


Music & background music

Theatre management

Venue: Sea View Room

When: Sunday, 7th May – 11.00 am to 2.30 pm

Workshop Fees: Rs. 500/-

For registration: Book My Show /email at

Registration: Prior Registration is Compulsory

Limited seats

Priy Bhai, Ek Kavita Havi Aahe. Produced by Roopak and Presented by Jagar

A few students of medicine are occupied with the idea of organising a projection centred around the theme of freedom in poetry. The poem they have in mind is Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Where the Mind is Without Fear’ but it must be in Bengali, in the great poet’s own handwriting. In their frantic search, a representative of the students approaches a couple with a soft spot for poetry — Pu. La. Deshpande (fondly called Bhai) and Sunitabai, find themselves overwhelmed by this pursuit. And thus begins the unending quest. In the process, Sunitabai reads aloud a number of poems that have immensely enriched the couple. She also ruminates over the very nature of poetry and its inexplicable importance in life.

Priy Bhai, Ek Kavita Havi Aahe (Dear brother, we seek a poem) is a beautiful melange of poems that are read aloud, sung melodiously, and pondered over aloud. The script is by Dr. Sameer Vasant Kulkarni, who is the representative of students who actually approached the Deshpandes way back in the ’90s.

Dramatic reading/Musical

Duration: 105 mins

Venue: Experimental Theatre

When: Sunday, 7th May – 3.00 pm

Tickets: Book My Show

Sainik (Premiere show) Monologue in Marathi

A soldier kills and gets killed in the war. Why? What is achieved? Death of a soldier. Sacrifice or murder?

Duration: 75 mins

Venue: Godrej Dance Theatre

When: Sunday, 7th May – 5.00 pm

Tickets: Book My Show

The monologue will be followed by a discussion with Makarand Deshpande

Charchaughi, Marathi Play

Charchaughi is the journey of four women who have shaken off the bondages of a patriarchal society and are moving along the path of realisation of their personalities. Written by Prashant Dalvi and directed by Chandrakant Kulkarni, the play proved to be a big hit and created history in the decade of 1990-2000. It bagged all the major awards and has completed 1000 shows. It is considered a milestone in Marathi theatre.

Now after 31 years, Kulkarni has revived the play with a fresh cast and technicians, and it is pulling in audiences just like it did 31 years ago. Within a period of six months, Charchaughi has had a run of 100 shows. It has received the Zee Marathi Award for the Best Revived Play of the Year. It continues to be widely discussed in the context of meaningful theatre by audiences, critics, and eminent theatre personalities.

The play portrays the story of a mother and her three daughters who make very unusual decisions in their lives. Though these decisions are personal, they represent the emotions of women in general. The play also presents the relationship between a man and a woman in a new light.

Duration: 195 mins

Venue: Tata Theatre

When: Sunday, 7th May – 7.00 pm

Tickets: Book My Show

Frida Kahlo

Who was Frida Kahlo? Everyone knows her, but who were the woman behind the bright colours, the big brows, and the floral crowns? Take a journey through the life of a true icon, discover her art, and uncover the truth behind her often-turbulent life. Making use of the latest technology to deliver previously unimaginable quality, we take an in-depth look at key works throughout her career. Using letters Kahlo wrote to guide us, this definitive film reveals her deepest emotions and unlocks the secrets and symbolism contained within her art.

Exhibition on Screen’s trademark combination of interviews, commentary, and a detailed exploration of her art delivers a treasure trove of colour and a feast of vibrancy. This personal and intimate film offers privileged access to her works and highlights the source of her feverish creativity, her resilience, and her unmatched lust for life, politics, men, and women. By delving deeper than any film has done before, engaging with world-renowned Kahlo experts, and exploring how great an artist she was, this is your chance to discover the real Frida Kahlo.

Exhibition on Screen

An NCPA-Seventh Art Productions (UK) Presentation

Duration: 85 Mins

Where: Godrej Dance Theatre

When: 10 May 2023 | 6:30 pm

Age: 6+

Tickets: Book My Show

Short Film Screenings

Batti, Hindi film with English subtitles (5 mins)

Childhood shows the man as morning shows the day. John Milton, Paradise Regained A day in the life of Batti (source of light), a 10-year-old boy, who works on his daily routine of cleaning parked cars early in the morning, finds solace in keeping himself busy without uttering a word or shedding an emotion. True to the mirror’s reflection, he reflects his desires and ambitions of a normal childhood on the shiny, silvery reflected self, but the city of dreams demands a price.

Little Hands, a Hindi film with English subtitles (8 mins)

Little Hands tells the story of Jobin George, a sixth grader, as he sits through a difficult mathematics examination. With hostile classmates all around, their pencils in motion, and a strict teacher on the prowl, Jobin loses hope. This examination forces Jobin to answer several difficult questions – some of mathematics and some of the others.

Little Wheels, a Hindi film with English subtitles (11 mins)

Little Wheels

A 13-year-old kid witnesses an alien and totally unexpected thing in his quiet and sleepy town, a skateboarder. Not only does this pique his curiosity but also ignites a desire in him to have this cool object. What follows is a tale of determination, innocence, and above all kindness. Something which we all could do with in today’s world.

Malota, Hindi film with English subtitles (16 mins)

Malota is a story of Gulab who like any other child of his age is full of mischief and innocence at the same time. Gulab bunks school only to escape the thrashing from a strict Mathematics teacher as the day prior the teacher had announced a test in the class, but Gulab couldn’t study as he along with his friends get busy gathering Malota (A process where the kids go door to door to collect food and milk for new-born puppies and their mother).

An NCPA Presentation in collaboration with White Wall Screenings

Where: Little Theatre

When: Wednesday 10th May – 6.30 pm

Entry: Admission on a first-come-first-served basis. The film screenings will be followed by a post-film discussion.