Play: Karna Sangatya
A collage of several Kannada classic texts
Direction: Ganesh Mandarthi
This play attempts to reinterpret the story of Karna by bringing together texts such as Janapada Mahabharata, Kumaravyasa Bharata, Pampa Bharata, Amruta Someshwara and a Yakshagana Prasanga. As the Bhagwatha tries to weave the play, characters get into a dialogue with each other, and the stories of previous lives also get unraveled in the process. In a story that has multiple strands, the play fuses the various dimensions of Karna's persona, his inner workings, and how classical and folk texts have analyzed him.
In Mahabharata, Karna is the tragic hero. If Duryodhana is the epitome of arrogance, Karna is a picture of affection. From the time of his birth, his growing up years, the final war in which he loses his armor, and eventually his death -- the play works the trajectory of his affection at all these phases of his life.
Beginning from his mother, everyone in his world lets go of him, but it is the poets who have embraced Karna and kept him alive.