As a part of Five Year Integrated Programme in Management (IPM) Induction for the batch 2018-23, Junoon- A stage for theatre group performed with its team on August 02, 2018. The play—‘Mahabharata’ is created in close collaboration with Master Puppeteer Mr. Gunduraju, which explores the inner dilemma and backstories of 14 characters in Mahabharata. Each is an archetype whose single minded and unquestioning loyalty to one belief leads to the inevitable conflict. The play focuses on the theme—‘Was there ever a moment when each of these human beings, by making a choice—the choice of letting go—could have averted the war?’
Mesmerized with the astounding performance—a mixture of drama, puppetry and shadow puppets, the audience then had a Q&A round with the artists. Sharing how the script was prepared, the director of the play—Ms. Anurupa Roy said that every region has its own Ramayana and Mahabharata. ‘This play’s script is made after a research of one and a half year with stories from Mr. Gunduraju—the dramaturg of the script’, she said.
Discussing about the sarcastic dialogues in the script, Mr. Gunduraju said that these traditional puppets—which are 500 years old—have the license to speak whatever they want on the stage. He also noted that the puppets were used by his grandfather and his father, and now he is using these puppets, which are made of deer skin. ‘Whenever a puppet is torn or damaged, we follow their last rituals as well, similar to humans. Every damaged puppet—which can’t be further repaired is considered dead and is flown away in a river with proper rituals’, he said. He also noted how traditional puppetry used deer skin for puppet making, and now goat skin is used, and elaborated the difference in theatre practices now and years ago. ‘My grandfather actually used to be a part of plays which lasted for entire day, with real horses and camels and a huge cast. Nowadays, plays last just for an hour, focus on short, crisp and edited script, single person playing various characters, along with special effects and light and sound effects as well’, he said.
The cast and crew of the play were as follows:
Anurupa Roy, Gunduraju, Mohammad Shameem, Avinash Kumar, Vivek Kumar
Original Music Score: Suchet Malhotra
Script: Anamika Mishra
Light Design: Milind Shrivastav
Animation: Atul Sinha
Pupper Design & Construction: Mohammad Shameem, assisted by Asha
Shadow Puppets: S. Chidambara Rao
Choreography: Avinash Kumar
Shadow Puppers & Script Advice: Gunduraju
Design Concept & Direction: Anurupa Roy
The play was attended by IPM 2016, 2017 and 2018 batch students along with faculty and staff members of IIM Indore. The play had a unique concept with shadows, puppets and actors all at once on the stage. As the performers said, ‘An art should not provide answers, but should let the audience go back with questions in their mind’, the performance left the audience awestruck and enthralled.
The next two days of IPM Induction would include sessions on Experiential Learning and Outbound Activities for the students, after which the classes would start from August 06, 2018.