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The Prithvi Theatre Festival is an annual festival in Mumbai that brings together a motley group of renowned faces of Indian film and theater. The family legacy and tradition is on display this year from November 3to November 18 at the Prithvi Theatre in Juhu, Mumbai. Arts, theater enthusiasts and budding playwrights who wish to revel in a stunning display of drama and entertainment will be treated to an eclectic collection of 21 plays over the course of 2 weeks. With no sponsors for this year’s festival and with the Festival of Lights (Diwali) round the corner, an evening at Prithvi Theatre promises to be a celebration of Indian theater.
Among the impressive line-up of plays is Motley Production’s “A Walk in the Woods,” which is an Indian adaptation of Lee Blessing’s “A Walk in the Woods” that focused on the relationship between a Russian and American arms negotiator. In the Indian version, iconic actor-director Naseeruddin Shah and versatile actor Rajit Kapur play their parts of a Pakistani and Indian diplomat respectively, to perfection.
Nandita Das makes her appearance on stage after eight years with the play “Between the Lines” that highlights the quotidian lifestyle of married couples in India – no matter how progressive the men shape themselves to be, their inner selves still unconsciously expect the women in their lives to play the role of the traditional Indian woman in society, without any qualms. While the script is unimaginative, the performances by Nandita Das and Subodh Maskara showcase wit and humor.
“Kaifi Aur Main” is a tribute by accomplished veteran film and theater actor, Shabana Azmi, to her father, Kaifi Azmi, an Urdu poet. There’s even an adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear titled “Nothing Like Lear”, which is a one-man act by Vinay Pathak, another gem of Indian cinema. Each play explores a new facet of Indian society and spans generations of Indian artistes.
Apart from the plays, the Prithvi Festival has arranged Sunday carnivals, exhibitions, and acoustic Sunday jams. The small, community theater boasts of a cafe that serves up some delicious fare on all days of the festival. Newbie artists and playwrights can brainstorm their next production over a cup of steaming latte or a croissant.
The Prithvi Theatre Festival has been showcasing the best of Indian arts and culture since 1983 and has been enthralling audiences across major cities in India. Prithvi Theatre, owned and run by the famous Kapoor family, has been instrumental in nurturing talent for the arts from all strata of society. A non-profit theater, Prithvi Theatre is one of Mumbai’s iconic theater venues, which stands high above the likes of Tata Theatre. The Kapoor family descendants, Sanjana Kapoor and Kunal Kapoor, have been successful at promoting theater within the fraternity and outside. The community spirit and people camaraderie presides over every event staged here. All are welcome and the venue makes for a splendid evening-out with the family or spouse.