Loreto College, Kolkata & Culture Monks presents Mayo College Girls ‘ School, Ajmer in a production of


An immersive performance  from selected fragments on Surpanakha

Dramaturgy and direction: Mukherjee. P

Date: April 21, 2018

Place : Loreto College, Middleton Row, Kolkata

A spoken word-enactment and outreach project

Synopsis: Our choice of Ramayana has been inspired and informed by the world around us.

It is a re-telling from Surpanakha ‘s point of view.

Latitudes and Longitudes are not imaginary lines, in today’s world they are a social and political reality.

Atmosphere is tangible and invisible and climates affect us, in unknown ways, yet we know more people will perish in future as climate change refugees than by war. Tsunamis. floods, quakes but also inflation and guns have altered geographical terrains and disrupted lives, bodies and memories.

What form would Mareech take now?

How many Surpanakhas will wail? How many Ahalyas would react to the deep stitches in our wounded hearts?

We live in an engineered climate today; created and destroyed by diametrically opposite political wills, pointless yet clinical aggression and dogmatic idea-flow, distant non-grassroot technologies, electrified borders causing fear psychosis, litany of fresh medical disorders, plastic snowflakes and flowers, disappearances, torture chambers, overflowing drainage apparatus and winter- is -the-new-summer.

How would you study incidents involving Shambuka and Shabari in a new light?

The desire for the just and humane world is conflicted between constant creation and mindless destruction.

The message from Ramayana, thus remains as corporeal and as contemporary in it’s journey across eternal endpoints of time.

The piece looks at all three co-ordinates of contra-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary spirit of the text, to look at the key incidents of the epic in a new light.

Will there be justice For Surpanakha?

Dedicated to 87th birth commemoration of Augusto Boal & 70th death commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi

About the Director – Parnab Mukherjee

A spoken word performer, independent media analyst, curator and a performance consultant by profession, Mr Parnab Mukherjee is one of the leading knowledge consultants and alternative theatre nomads of the Indian sub-continent.

He is an acclaimed practitioner on Badal Sircar’s theatre practice, Shakespeare-in-education and specialises in theatre-of-conflict and theatre-of-the-campus. Having directed more than 161 productions of performance texts including six international collaborations.

He has devised, conceived, designed and directed/collaborated both experimental performances and workshops for a number of institutions, activist groups, support groups, schools, colleges, youth groups and social movements across the country.

A performance text writer and charismatic performer, he has diverse experience in non-proscenium, verbatim, site-specific and physical theatre.

Currently, roving editor with two initiatives, he has earlier worked for a sports fortnightly, a chess tournament bulletin, The Asian Age, Kindle India and Sambad Pratidin.

He has directed text, installation performances, physical theatre, space-specific interventions, youth theatre, schools work, radio, live art, interdisciplinary performance and site-specific work, as well as writing for stage and performing in a range of collaborations experimental non-verbal movement piece to physical theatre, solo improvisation to spoken word.

Some of the most memorable productions of the collective include Where is Imphal? (For Birla Academy of Art and Culture), Trilogy of Unrest (Hamletmachine, Necropolis, This room is not my room), River Series (used as a exploratory advocacy tool by UN for Women, UNODC and Kripa Foundation), Only Curfew, Rehearsing Antigone, Raktakarabi-an urban sound opera, Buddha Files, Kasper-dipped and shredded, They Also Work, Dead-Talk series, Conversations with the dead, Crisis of Civilisation, Shakespeare shorts, Man to Man talk, Inviting Ibsen for a Dinner with Ibsen, Your path wrong path and And the Dead Tree Gives no Shelter.

Four of his major workshop modules: Freedomspeak, The Otherness of the Body, Conflict as a Text and The Elastic Body have been conducted with major theatre groups and campuses all over the country.

As a journalist and human rights activist, he has extensively worked on the dynamics of human rights and economic systems of the country. His writings have mirrored the aspirations of the fringe in the nation state especially as into the parameters of economic growth that fails to mirror the widening chasm between the haves, have-nots, have-beens and yet-to-be.

He has developed theatre advocacy tools for international agencies including UNoDC and UN Women and has run a large number of voice-work and performance-training residencies Five of his major workshop modules: Freedomspeak, The Otherness of the Body, Free To See: Reading conflict- as-a-Text,Treading on the Toes and The Elastic Body have been conducted with major theatre groups, visual art collectives and campuses all over the sub-continent.

As a theatre soloist, he has extensively travelled with his repertoire and has performed in a range of cities including Bali, Surabaya, Tehran, Mashad, Chittagong, Biratnagar, Cardiff, Colombo, Negombo, Batticaloa, Dhaka, Copenhagen, London, Liverpool, Dili (East Timor), Ottowa, Manchester, Singapore, Bangkok, Patumthani, Montreal, New York and Vijlandi (Estonia).

He has written five books on theatre. And have contributed to a range of publications including Dancing Earth-An anthology of poetry from North East India published by Penguin India, Tehelka, The Spectator-London, Montreal Serai, Imphal Free Press, Chandrabhaga-Cuttack and Hard News.


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