Welcome to Centrestage

In 2010 NCPA launched Centrestage. A major, multi-lingual theatre festival for premiering plays. This created a platform for for new works and new groups. After which these plays were then performed at various prestigious national and international festivals. In case all of you are wondering what the NCPA stands for, it’s time to get out from under the rock and soak in some culture. The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) was inaugurated in 1969 in Mumbai. The brainchild of JRD Tata and Dr. Jamshed Bhabha , two of India’s great visionaries, the centre became India’s all encompassing world-class performing arts centre. The NCPA was built on land reclaimed from the sea. It is now seen as one of Mumbai’s great landmarks.
Plays are known for generating intimacy between the actor and the audience. The NCPA is the epitome of that atmosphere which fosters intimacy. I remember the last time I visited. Oh the sheer beauty of the place astounded me. Any play viewed by the audience leaves an indelible mark on one’s soul. And this year, we have Centrestage. An amazing gathering of playwrights, artists, actors, directors and designers. The selection of plays vary in language, originality, genre and casting. This festival will be taking place from the 29th of November to 8th of December. There a quite a few plays which I am looking forward to seeing. By the way, there is also a workshop. About masked characters. Are you wondering what that is all about? I know I am curious. In fact here is a short list of plays I am curious about:
Colour Blind: This is a multi-lingual play about the image of Tagore. A look into his life events which defined him and changed him. The poise, calm, beauty, intellect and romance of Tagore’s image is seen with a fresh point of view. Is he man or legend? Did the line get blurred? Anyone who is a Tagore buff should definitely watch this play. And anyone who isn’t, should also watch this play.
Street play by Waves: This is an interesting thing. A performance of a street play in a theatre space. I wonder how this would turn out. In the words of Lewis Carroll “Curiouser and curiouser”. This play will be performed by the winners of the Nukkad Natak 2013, Waves.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare: A parody of errors or so I am told. Actually this seems to about the Shakespearean plays we all know, and the actors who play themselves playing Shakespearean actors. Odd isn’t it? Sounds like a laugh riot to me. The idea of Shakespearean actors who take the works of the Bard lightly makes me grin from ear to ear. A must-see comedy with Hamlet thrown in.
Status Quo: A play about the funny and complex lives we, the youth, live these days. The online and offline dramas that affect us. A couple who lives are dominated by social media and it’s ilk. A look at the way people are changing because the world is getting smaller. A quirky play with some deep insight. Another one I know I’d watch.
These are just 4 plays of the Centrestage festival. There are many more. I know I am looking forward to these plays. Come on, open your mind, step out of your comfort zone. Be moved by intimate performances. Witness performances and change the way you look at the world.
Looking forward to seeing you at curtain-call, on Centrestage.

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