Sitaaron ke Paas–Kalpana Chawla

Indian American NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla’s voyage to the stars and the devastation wrought by the war of supremacy between the Kauaravas and the Pandavas – the last day of the Rangmanch Utsav was a treat to the audience.

Presented by Delhi Government’s Department of Art, Culture & Languages and the Sahitya Kala Parishad, Delhi’s first ‘Rangmanch Utsav’ to celebrate the art of theater ended
with two captivating plays – ‘Sitaaron ke Paas – Kalpana Chawla’ and ‘Andha Yug’.

The daughter of Karnal, the pride of both India and America and NASA’s martyr – Kalpana Chawla lived and died her dream of reaching out to the stars. Her story and inspirations were relived through the endearing play ‘Sitaaron Ke Paas – Kalpana Chawala’, a play written by Nigam Prakash and directed by eminent actor and theatre personality Sushma Seth.

The festival ended with ‘Andha Yug’, a depiction of the last days of the Mahabharata from the point of view of the few surviving members of the Pandava-Kaurava clan and the despair of loss and death brought in by a brutal war. The famous play by eminent playwright Dharamveer Bharti will be directed by Sanjeev Kant.

The festival was timed to coincide with the World Theater Day that is celebrated on March 27 and was aimed to encourage and highlight the talents in Indian theater.

The play opened yesterday with the play ‘Nastik Shaheed’, in a tribute to its eminent playwright, Shri Charandas Sidhu, who passed away last year. The story of Bhagat Singh was followed by the stage adaptation of George Orwell’s always-relevant classic ‘Animal Farm’ -- a master commentary on revolution, corruption wrought by power, and the suppression of man by man.

“The two days were remarkable in showcasing stories, theatrical talent, and the value of stage. The colorful festival that presented some poignant, some satirical and some classic stories was the first Rangmanch Festival and turned out to be successful. We are very happy with the response,” says Shri J P Singh, Assistant Secretary, Drama, Sahitya Kala Parishad.

“For centuries, performance and art has been a mechanism for people not only to express themselves but also to point out at the flaws of human society and use their art to seek reform and correction. World Theater Day that is observed on March 27 a celebration of this invaluable tool of art. In India, we have an abundant talent in the field of performing arts including theater, and we should do everything to nurture this art form and encourage the people furthering it,” he added.

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