BENGALURU : The New Year is upon us with a renewed hope for normalcy, and after a year of struggle for artistes, theatre spaces in the city are opening their doors again, with safety guidelines in place. For instance, Jagriti Theatre, which staged its last physical play in March last year, will now welcome the audiences on Jan. 10. The month also marks the space completing 10 years of existence. “It’s a great gift for us to be back in action after surviving the lockdown. Bookings for events – plays, music, comedy and dance – are all open now, and things will be back in full swing,” says Rebecca Spurgeon, artistic director of the theatre.
Jagriti Theatre is not the only space making a fresh start this month. Ranga Shankara, which previously started conducting events in its foyer, is opening the doors of its auditorium again on Jan. 8, albeit to 50 per cent capacity to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines. The venue will resume its ‘Show a day’ concept on week days and two shows a day on weekends.
Founder Arundhati Nag says, “Come back, people! Come and fill our Karmabhoomi, our holy space, our work space, our healing space with your presence and we will shower you with our art!” The space has also supported a few city troupes to produce new plays that will premiere this month. Also scheduled for this month are are Sanket’s play, Iti Ninna Amrita, directed by MS Sathyu, featuring Arundhati Nag and Srinivasa Prabhu. Naseerudding Shah’s Motley will come back with Ismat Apa ke Naam.
Alliance Française de Bangalore is also welcoming 2021 with open arms and doors, and it staged its first play since the start of the pandemic on Jan. 2. They have introduced new service charges for the auditorium along with seven new spaces within the premises for various activities. “Earlier, there was a flat rate for the auditorium. But our committee members have decided to give a discount to classical dance, music, theatre and literary activities.
The rates are further classified for weekdays and weekends. The city is reopening again and this is our way of helping the culture scene,” says president Zafer Mohiuddin. Each theatre venue has chalked out plays of different genres to open with. While Alliance Française, in association with Theatre for Change, held a performance that paid a tribute to playwright Safdar Hashmi, Ranga Shankara is choosing to stage Karimayi, which is one of Kannada theatre’s longest-running plays. It has been directed by veteran artiste B Jayashree. The play is a musical with compositions by Dr Chandrashekhar Kambara, with live original music and singing led by Jayashree. The play will begin at 7:30pm on Jan. 8, with tickets available on bookmyshow.com and at the space’s box office.
Jagriti Theatre, on the other hand, is presenting Not Just a Half, a collection of anecdotes on the various universal experiences that women face. It features Bhavana Rajendran, Kavya Srinivas and Urvashi Govardhan.“The performance has a message of support and it felt apt to make our comeback with this,” says Spurgeon. The show will be staged on Jan. 10, 3pm. Tickets available on bookmyshow.com