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Artistes

Playwright, Director & Actor
Light Designer
Sound Design & Overall Guidance
Script Guidance
Stage Manager
Costume Designer
Set & Property Design
Sound Operator
Sound Engineer, Designer & Head of Sound Department at National School of Drama, New Delhi
Sound Design

Date & Time

Monday Mon, 4 Sep 2023

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

English | 90 Minutes

The play is about a lesbian couple who are both theatre artists. One of them is a writer/director and the other an actor. They have recently moved in to a new house which they are trying to make into their home. They find out that there are rats in the house. The play deals with how they continue to live their lives, all the while dealing with the “rats”. The play makes space for the mundaneness of life, the excitement of little shared joys in the everyday as well as the challenges. And that’s it! That’s the play.

Director’s Statement:

I want to imagine a world. A dream world. A world without problems. A world where love is the norm. People tell me that’s boring, undramatic. They are right. I have nothing to prove them wrong. I surrender.
Do you want to surrender?

This was the question that kept me going through the process of writing and directing the play Neela Bhoomi. The shape of the play emerged from my own personal craving to see a happy and healthy lesbian couple. What if there was a lesbian love story without the usual social stigma and the challenges that come with them? What if a play could showcase everyday life of a lesbian couple with all its mundaneness?

This play is about a lesbian couple who are both theatre artists. One of them is a writer/director and the other an actor. They have recently moved in to a new house which they are trying to make into their home. They find out that there are rats in the house. The play deals with how they continue to live their lives, all the while dealing with the “rats”. The play makes space for the mundaneness of life, the excitement of little shared joys in the everyday as well as the challenges. And that’s it! That’s the play.

I hope the sheer simplicity and reality of this often unseen life on stage will provide rest, solace and a deep yet simple joy to members of the queer community and all those who wish to see a world where EVERYONE can live everyday lives in a society where ONLY love is the norm.

Credits:

Playwright: Prarthana Chettri, Tamilarasi R

Director: Tamilarasi R

Actors: Aditi Gautam, Tsering Lhamo

Costume Design: Shalini Kundu

Set and Props Design: Kanchan Ujjal

Light Design: Daksha Pradeep Shirodkar

Sound Design: Vishala R Mahale, Abhishek Kaushal, K Sathish

Poster and Brochure Design: Saras Kumar

Script Guidance: Ponni Arasu

Direction Guidance: Melodi Dorcas

Overall Guidance: Vishala R Mahale

Documentation: Sridhar Balasubramaniam

Special Thanks: Asif Ali Khan, Ramkumar Kannadasan, Charles Kalakki

Artistes

Tamilarasi R

Playwright, Director & Actor

Tamilarasi is an independent theatre artist working on issues of gender and sexuality. Her theatre career began in Chennai, Tamilnadu, with Marappachi theatre trust, in 2013, as an actor. She is an alumnus of the National School of Drama, graduated with a specialization in design and direction with a special interest in writing, directing and light designing. She has co-written and directed the play Neela Bhoomi. She has worked as a games, movement and language teacher for primary school children in The School, KFI, Chennai for a year. She has also worked as a tennis coach for children of ages 3 to 10 for 5 years in Chennai Tennis Center. Currently based in Delhi, she is working as a freelance light designer, director, and theatre teacher for school children. She hopes to use theatre to challenge the norms of the society by focusing on unconventional narratives of the marginalized.

Aditi Gautam

Actor

Aditi is an actor from Lahaul-Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. After completing her
graduation from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi, she did her post-graduation in
social work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. That’s where she
was introduced to the world of theatre. She pursued her love for theatre and
graduated from National School of Drama in 2023, with a specialisation in acting.
Apart from theatre, she’s also a trained Ashtanga yoga teacher and a
contemporary dancer.

Prarthana Chettri

Playwright

Prarthana Chettri is a theatre artist from Kalimpong, North Bengal. She has
completed one year residential course from National School of Drama, Sikkim
Theatre Training Centre in the year 2016. She has worked as an artist in the
Repertory Company of National School of Drama, Sikkim for 7 years. Currently,
she is an acting student in the National School of Drama, New Delhi. She has
conducted various theatre workshops and has written short plays and solo pieces
that were staged in Kalimpong, and Sikkim.

Suthan S

Light Designer

Suthan S is an acclaimed actor, acting trainer, light designer, and theatre director with more than 10 years of experience. He holds a Guinness World record for the longest stage play on Human Rights as a director and designer.

He is a trained Tamil folk artist in forms such as Parai, Oyil, Kummi, Karagaattam, Kaliyal, Saataikkuchchi and in martial artforms such as Kalari, Silambam, and Tai Chi. He has conducted various theatre workshops in academic institutions.

Vishala R Mahale

Sound Design & Overall Guidance

A dramaturge, director, and designer, Vishala Ramachandra Mahale is an alumnus of the National School of Drama (2014) with a specialization in Theatre Technique & Design. Vishala, as an artist working in multi-disciplinary, multilingual set-ups, has worked/collaborated with various groups of performance makers, directors, visual artists, and choreographers to create a wide range of artworks. He has penned plays like- ‘Inquilaab Zindabaad’, Pratiksha, MKD, ‘Nidaan’, ‘Dot Dash Dream Delusion’, ‘Inertia.303′, ’01:12:58’ (A play based on Lakshman Purbathe Massacre), ‘Incision 66M’, ‘Mad Man’s Diary’ (based on a story by Lu Xun), ‘Blindside’ (A play based on Novel ‘Cut’ by Sreemoyee Piyu Kundu), ‘Jehanara’ (A play based on the novel ‘Jahanara’ by Lyane Guillaume), ‘Kamala Suraiyya’ (A play based on ‘My Story’ by Kamala Das), ‘Steppenwolf’ (A play based on the novel ‘Steppenwolf’ by Herman Hesse), to name a few. Apart from this, he has translated and developed performance texts ‘Roti’ (based on a Kannada story by P. Lankesh), ‘Tarr Aaya/Tarr Arrives’ (based on a Kannada story by Devanuru Mahadeva); adapted ‘Dr. Faustus’, ‘Titus Andronicus’, ‘Peer Gynt’, ‘A Vacant Lot’ (based on a play by Ota Shogo), ‘ A Dream Narrative’ (based on Mary Shelley’s introduction to Frankenstein), ‘Hamlet Machine’ (based on Heiner Muller’s play), ‘A Doll’s House Story’, ‘Infinite’ (based on Proof by David Auburn and Ramanujan’s Notebooks). He has also written scripts/screenplays for short films – ‘February 29’, ‘Evening Light’ and feature films – ‘Spaces for Rent’, ‘Anna’ and ‘Kaggantu’.

At present, he works as a freelance writer/dramaturge, content developer, and designer – exploring and innovating a performance language that expresses and juxtaposes the darker side of life with geometric structuring through performances, videos, soundscapes, and lights.

 

Ponni Arasu

Script Guidance

Ponni Arasu is a queer feminist theatre practitioner and expressive arts therapy practitioner. She is also an activist, lawyer and researcher who was involved in the socio-legal battle for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India. As a performer, she is a member of the Marappachchi Trust for theatre and social change in Tamilnadu. She has used the modalities of theatre as pedagogy within spaces for social change for the past two decades among marginalised communities in different parts of India and Sri Lanka.

Sridhar Balasubramaniyam

Documentation

Sridhar Balasubramaniyam is a visual artist based in Tamil Nadu. His lens-based projects evolve from his experience as a theatre artist. His work discusses the conflict between body and land.

Srilekha

Stage Manager

Srilekha is an aspiring filmmaker and a multidisciplinary artist. She was a visual artist doing street plays on socio-political issues. She also practices various art and craft forms such as macrame, crochet, lippan art, embroidery, doodling and acrylic abstracts.

Shalini Kundu

Costume Designer

Shalini is an actor from Kolkata, West Bengal. She is alumnus of Rabindra Bharati University with a graduation in Theatre Studies, and the National School of Drama with specialization in Acting. Her acting career began as a child in theatre, film, and television industry in Bengal. Growing up in the cultural milieu of Durga Pooja in Bengal has instilled in her a special interest in the visual aesthetics of performances, especially costumes. She has designed costumes for various solo pieces and sceneworks in NSD. Her work is mainly focused on looking at popular narratives from the perspective of women.

 

Kanchan Ujjal

Set & Property Design

Kanchan Ujjal is a graduate of National School of Drama, specializing in Design and Direction. She has been  working on Aesthetics of performance, her interest in visual art extends to her roles as a children’s book illustrator and digital artist. Over the course of her two-decade theatrical journey, encompassing 32 productions, Kanchan has explored various disciplines, including Costume Design, Scenography and Puppetry. Kanchan is currently working on storytelling through fabrics and weaves, combining her love for theater along with understanding of textile.

Jenny Bharathi

Sound Operator

Jenny Bharathi is a talented artist with a wide range of skills in theatre, documentary film-making, and performing arts. She earned her Master’s degree in communication and journalism and has dedicated her career to using the power of art to effect change for over a decade. Jenny is known for her commitment to documenting the struggles of the working class, as seen in her most significant work, Chennai Eviction. As a member of the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association, Jenny collaborates closely with respected theatre professionals to create meaningful art. She is skilled in various artistic forms, including lighting, sound, space, and property management, which she incorporates into her work to create a comprehensive and impactful experience for the audience. With her extensive knowledge and skills, Jennyv aims to bring new perspectives and insights into the world of art, making invaluable contributions to the field.

K Sathish

Sound Engineer, Designer & Head of Sound Department at National School of Drama, New Delhi

K Sathish has graduated from the renowned M.G.R.Film and Television Institute, Chennai. He has worked as a Mixing Engineer for several films & television shows. He has produced over 500 radio shows and online streaming content & Plays. He has worked with many eminent theatre personalities, “Khoob ladi Mardani” directed by Smt. Rita Ganguly, “Andhayug”, “Laila Majnu” directed by Sri. Ram Gopal Bajaj, NSD Repertory Productions. He is currently heading the Department of Sound in National School of Drama, New Delhi.

Abhishek Kaushal

Sound Design

Abhishek Kaushal’s journey through the arts ignited in 2013 when the spotlight of theatre first embraced him. This path eventually led him to proudly graduate from the illustrious National School of Drama as a part of the esteemed 2018-2023 batch. Over the years, he has been a part of more than 25 theatre productions as a performer. Yet, the allure of artistic expression goes beyond the footlights. His passion for music serves as the compass guiding his creative endeavors.

His musical odyssey traces back to his formative years when he assumed the role of lead singer in the school choir, igniting a lifelong passion. In 2006, a transformative step saw him acquire his first guitar, propelling him further into the realms of melody and composition.

Abhishek has ventured into the realm of screen, lending his talent to web series and independent cinema projects. However, his heart’s true cadence beats in harmony with the fusion of metal music and the captivating narrative of theatre. With a vision to redefine musical theatre, he embarks on a daring journey of experimentation, crafting a new narrative that merges the realms of sound and storytelling in a harmonious crescendo.