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‘Apne Ghar Jaisa’ creates an image of everyday bigotry and its potential to impoverish the self and tear apart the social fabric. In an extremely diverse and stratified society, people learn to be tolerant and accommodating, but they can also be instigated — by public discord or personal tragedy, for instance — into giving vent to often subliminal prejudices and irrational fears. The protagonist in the play finds all kinds of reasons for turning away an unwelcome guest — not only to protect her identity but also to cope with loss and grief. In the process, she enters a dark place within herself, constructs caricatures of ‘people not like us’, and destroys the very thing she most cherishes and wants to preserve.
Woman: Padmavati Rao
Man: Abhitej Gupta
Direction, adaptation* and scenography: Anmol Vellani
Light design: Bharavi
Light operation: Arun D T
Sound design: Poorvi Kalyani, assisted by Rahul S
Sound operation: Vaishnavi Ramanujam
Set fabrication: Gautam Upadhya (based on Rency Philip’s original design)
Hindi translation: Shirin Bismillah
Performance script: Padmavati Rao
Photography: Mythili P and Virginia Rodrigues
Production: Sheetal Sahu
A Ranga Shankara Production
*We would like to acknowledge that the source text for Apne Ghar Jaisa is Barry Bermange’s play Oldenberg (1967). Despite all efforts, we have been unable to establish contact with the playwright or his representatives to seek permission to produce this revised version of his play.
Cast & Crew
Abhitej is a Bengaluru-based actor and has been part of over ten plays with various theatre groups in the city. Some of his recent acting assignments have been Just Hiss and Imagine a Room. He facilitates theatre workshops for adults, college students and children and has provided backstage and technical support for productions. Abhitej is also a voiceover artist and done some some on-screen projects as well. For six years, he has been part of the Our Theatre Collective, Bengaluru, working as an actor and assuming administrative and operational responsibilities.
Anmol has been associated with nearly 50 theatre productions in English, Tamil and Hindi as a director, actor and designer. In the last decade, he has turned his attention to adapting fiction for the stage and reworking existing plays for new contexts and concerns. He trains performing artists in such areas as voice, character building, the triggers for action and speech and script analysis.
Anmol is the founder and former executive director of the India Foundation for the Arts, a nationwide grant-making organisation. He also helped to envision and set up Toto Funds the Arts, which supports emerging artists in India. His writing and talks—on arts entrepreneurship, the creative economy, cultural policy, the role of grant-making foundations, culture and development, arts collaboration and theatre design, for example—have reflected on the insights he has gleaned from his long engagement with the arts and philanthropy.
Arun DT is an actor and light designer from Bangalore. He has been actively involved in the theatre for the last 8 years and has worked in over 40 productions in both Kannada and English. He has acted in Tughlaq, Cherry Thota, Jalagaara and Circle of Life, among other plays. As a light designer, Arun has worked on Patna ka Super Hero, Tughlaq, Just Hiss, Fernando and his Grandmother, Kattale Daari Doora and many more productions.
Bharavi is an independent technical designer and production/arts manager who focuses on collaborative and exploratory work. He has served as the stage/production manager and technical director at Indian Ensemble, Bangalore, and held similar roles with the Tadpole Repertory in New Delhi. For dancer/choreographer Bijayini Satpathy, he has worked as a touring light designer and technical coordinator. Since 2013, he has been involved with Jyoti Dogra, handling production and logistics for her plays, including “The Doorway,” “Notes On Chai,” and “Blackhole,” and occasionally collaborating on lighting design. Bharavi also collaborated with the late Astad Deboo as his lighting designer for productions like “Rhythm Divine – The River Runs Deep” and “Eternal Embrace,” a piece created in collaboration with composer Yukio Tsuji. Currently, he collaborates with Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust as their lighting designer for various exhibitions and their new production, “The Nights.” In his free time, Bharavi enjoys smoking various meats, even though he never eats them.
Padmavati Rao is an actor, writer, director, translator, poet and natural farmer. As an actor she has worked on highly acclaimed award winning projects in Kannada, Hindi, English, Marathi, Malayalam and Tamil cinema too. Prominent projects include Malgudi Days, Te3N, Padmaavat, Tanhaji. The recent short film Miniaturist of Junagadh has won awards at International Film Festivals. Her solo show titled Kitchen Poems was performed at the prestigious Theatre Olympics in 2018.
Padmavati is also a storyteller, painter, puppet maker and puppeteer. She combines natural farming, process work and theatre in her work with children and adults. She is the Founder and Managing Trustee of Sarsayee Foundation For Theatre and Education whose work has been experienced in the Himalayas, the South of India and the far off Lakshadweep Islands too. Her work in natural farming, arts and crafts drives her to stay connected and build bridges between people and cultures.
Poorvi Kalyani is a singer, composer and actor who grew up in the presence of theatre from a very young age as her parents are from the professional modern theatre. Trained in theatre music by her mother, she later studied Hindustani and Carnatic classical music. She is also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer. Poorvi conducts music sessions for children and young adults and is also developing a music band called Pada with the Jangama Collective.
In 2022, she was the music director for the plays We the People of India and Waiting for Godot; the music composer and vocalist for the dance performance Yahi by Chowk Productions in Singapore; and the vocalist and production manager for the play DaklaKatha DeviKavya.
Poorvi also has professional work experience in the area of Finance and is currently pursuing a law degree.