THRISSUR: The 12th International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFoK), which will stage 19 plays on the theme ‘Imagined Communities, will begin on Monday. Cultural Affairs Minister A K Balan will inaugurate the festival at the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi (KSNA) compound.
ITFoK is a much-awaited festival in Thrissur as theatre artists, critics and enthusiasts from across the world gather to share their thoughts and explore the trends in the field. The festival will open with a Brazilian play ‘Silver Epidemic’ at Actor Murali Open Theatre at 7pm. Directed by Georgette Fadel, ‘Silver Epidemic’ is considered a play full of images, with immense scope for acting. It narrates two different perspectives, the personal vision from the actors about the real characters they’ve met in their life and Medusa’s Myth, in which people are transformed into stone.
‘Told By the Wind’ from UK will also be performed at 8.30pm at Thoppil Bhasi Black Box. Directed by theatre scholar Philip Zarilli, ‘Told By the Wind’ is a new performance of movement and text that dances an inner landscape. Inspired by ‘theatre of quietude’ and String Theory, stories are evoked and told by embodied silences, splintered interactions, and slowed down motion.
The inaugural ceremony will also witness the presentation of Ammannur Award to theatre critic Shantha Gokhal. There will be a ‘Saptha Maddala Kachery’ performance by Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan and team. ‘Saptha Maddala Kachery’ is an ensemble of percussion instruments, but in a different style than the usual concerts seen in temples. Apart from the performances, ITFoK will have an array of seminars, meet the artists sessions and open forum. This year, ‘Performance Poetry’ will be a different experience for art lovers as noted Malayalam poems will be performed in a way appealing to all kinds of audience. “There’s been a general criticism about contemporary Malayalam poems that they lack the element of visual appeal. This thought of ‘Performance Poetry’ was inspired from those poems written by noted poets like Kunchan Nambiar,” said KSNA secretary R Radhakrishnan Nair.The 10-day-festival, which will stage seven international plays, six national plays and six Malayalam plays, will conclude on January 29.