theatre adda : park street sessions present ´the lesson´- a play by Prasthaan.

theatre adda : park street sessions have been hosting international & local theatre, performance art, lectures & other programs since 2015. The sessions are curated & organized by Alliance francaise du Bengale & Culture Monks.

Details about this program

The Lesson

Originally written by Eugene Ionesco
Translation: Udayan Ghosh
Duration: Around 45 minutes (One act play)
Professor- Ritodeep
Student- Sampreeti Chakraborty
Maid- Debarati Ghosh, Sumana Mitra, Siddhartha Pal
Costume Design- Tanupam Naru
Assistance- Sujay Das, Bibhas Mukherjee

The Lesson is a well-known absurd play. The student comes to the professor for preparing for Doctorate. The professor starts asking absurd questions to the student, like, what is one plus one?

Or whose capital is Kolkata? Whenever the student is giving correct answer the delighted professor replies, ‘How much you know! You will certainly get doctorate.’ Although the student can’t subtract 3 from 4, she has memorised all the multiplications. Losing all hope of teaching mathematics, professor starts a new subject, ‘Linguistics’. The moment professor starts teaching linguistic to her,
the pain starts in her tooth. In between the maid repeatedly arrives in the study room and warns professor & forbids to teach. But Why? Is the maid getting any clue of something dangerous? It can’t be understood. The pain increases, & the professor starts getting irritated. At the end, the student gets murdered by the angry professor. From the maid it can be known that it is the fortieth murder.

39 students are murdered before in the same process, but the game of education doesn’t stop.

Again a new student arrives.

About Prasthaan

Prasthaan has arranged this proscenium play as an intimate play. In this production the alter ego of the professor are three maids (in the original play there was only one maid, but here we have three maids) & they are always present in the arena, observes everything, like ‘Panopticon’. Although the play reveals the educational system in the upper layer, but there are many issues that links with the play, like the domination of knowledge, seduction, power of attraction, the mental complexity like bipolar disorder. This classic play is interpreted in a different way by Prasthaan.

Prasthaan has been exploring the role of knowledge in history and current power relations through its plays. Theyǘe interpreted the works of contemporary playwrights into Bengali and it has been their constant en devour to reach theater to the new audiences.


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