During November, theatre and performing arts aficionados gear up the brightest spot on Mumbai’s cultural calendar, the Prithvi Theatre Festival. The festival will be held from Friday, November 1 to Monday, November 11 across three venues: Prithvi Theatre, Royal Opera House and G5A.

This year’s highlights include an opening night performance by singer-songwriter Gurdas Maan at Prithvi Theatre. Renowned directors Makarand Deshpande, Naseeruddin Shah, Piyush Mishra, Danish Husain and Faezeh Jalali will premiere new plays at Prithvi and Royal Opera House. Also on the bill are platform performances, dance and music concerts.

Here’s a round-up of the five new productions.

‘Hindustan Chod Do, Nanhe Munne, Toba Tek Singh’

Director: Naseeruddin Shah 
Writers: Saadat Hasan Manto, Ismat Chughtai
Cast: Manoj Pahwa, Ratna Pathak Shah, Saba Azad

Theatre group Motley will present ‘reading performances’ of the works of Saadat Hasan Manto and Ismat Chughtai. Actors Manoj Pahwa, Ratna Pathak Shah and Saba Azad will read Hindustan Chod Do, a touching tale about what the nation meant to a variety of people as Independence approached; Nannhe Munhe from Chughtai’s autobiography, a comical account of a reluctant bridegroom in a big fat Indian wedding; and Manto’s Toba Tek Singh, a short story about the inmate of a mental asylum in Lahore, whose residents must leave for either India or Pakistan at the time of Partition.
When: Saturday, November 2 at 6pm and 9pm (Prithvi Theatre) and Sunday, November 10 at 7.30pm (Royal Opera House).
Where: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road. Royal Opera House, Mama Parmanand Marg, Girgaum.

‘Ram’

Director and writer: Makarand Deshpande
Cast: Makarand Deshpande, Nagesh Bhosle, Ajay Kamble, Ninad Limaye, Aakanksha Gade, Madhuri Gawli and Bharat More

What happens when a tramp is thrown out of a Ram temple (pictured above)? Well, if he’s in Makarand Deshpande’s play, he flies into a rage and summons Ram from the temple to meet him. A police constable confronts him about his beliefs regarding the existence of god and his answers shock all who are witness.
When: Sunday, November 3 at 5pm and 8pm (Prithvi Theatre) and Saturday, November 2 at 7.30pm (Royal Opera House)
Where: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road. Royal Opera House, Mama Parmanand Marg, Girgaum.

‘Gagan Damama Bajyo’

Director and writer: Piyush Mishra
Cast: Himanshu Talreja, Hemant Pandey, Devas Dixit, Sujeet Chaubey, Gaurav Amlani, Ashish Bhatt, Ved Prakash

Gagan Damama Bajyo is a musical play on the life of revolutionary freedom fighter, Bhagat Singh. Actor-playwright and poet Piyush Mishra’s songs express the sentiments of the Indian freedom struggle.
When: Monday, November 4 at 6pm and 9pm, Tuesday November 5 at 6pm and 9pm (Prithvi Theatre) and Sunday, November 3 at 7.30pm (Royal Opera House)
Where: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road. Royal Opera House, Mama Parmanand Marg, Girgaum.

‘Untitled 1’

Director: Danish Husain
Writer: Annie Zaidi
Cast: Danish Husain, Kitu Gidwani, Abhishek Saha, Nishanthi Evani, Ruchita Tahiliani

In a dystopian world where our words no longer belong to us, an author finds himself in a fix. He writes a book that escapes state censors. But when the state finds out, he’s put on trial for sedition.
When: Thursday, November 7 at 6pm and 9pm, Friday November 8 at 6pm and 9pm (Prithvi Theatre) and Saturday, November 9 at 7.30pm (Royal Opera House)
Where: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road. Royal Opera House, Mama Parmanand Marg, Girgaum.

‘Bone of Contention in Cosmopolitan CHS’

Director and writer: Faezeh Jalali
Cast: Meher Acharia-Dar, Karan Desai, Nidhi Bisht, Zinnia Ranji, Niketan Sharma, Ahbishek Chauhan, Junaid Khan, Nitya Mathur

Cosmopolitan Cooperative Housing Society houses a motley bunch of communities. One day, a bone falls in a resident’s balcony, leading to chaos and a blame game. It’s up to the common domestic help, Kalpana, to clear the confusion by revealing the inside story.
When: Saturday, November 9 at 6pm and 9pm, Sunday November 10 at 5pm and 8pm (Prithvi Theatre) and Friday, November 8 at 7.30pm (Royal Opera House)
Where: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road. Royal Opera House, Mama Parmanand Marg, Girgaum.

For the complete festival schedule, see here.