Bangla Theater Fest: Natya Mela 2010
San Francisco Bay Area-based Bengali organization Sanskriti and online magazine Porshi are jointly hosting a two-day Bengali theater festival June 5-6 in Pleasanton, Calif. A Siliconeer report.
A scene from “Chaara,” presented at the North American Bengali Conference in July, 2009 in San Jose, Calif. Online Bangla magazine Porshi will present this dance drama at Natya Mela 2010.
Preparations Natya Mela, the Bangla theater festival, has reached its fifth year. It’s a remarkable achievement. Consider this simple question: How often do you get the chance to see desi theatre, even in English?
Very, very rarely, so a theatre festival is simply out of the question, right?
Yet how is it that a theatre festival is being organized in Bangla, which is just one of many Indian languages (in addition to being the state language of neighboring Bangladesh, of course)?
Theater is the most challenging of performing arts, particularly in terms of logistics and harnessing a number people with diverse talents (acting, directing, props, makeup, lights).
It is quite a commentary on the commitment to culture and a passion for theatre of Bengali-speaking people in the Bay Area that this two-day festival is happening.
Sanskriti started the festival, but the Bangladeshi community has often participated enthusiastically, and this year Indian Bengalis and Bangladeshis are co-hosting it through Sanskriti and Porshi.
The two-day festival will be hosted June 5-6 at the Amador Theater in Pleasanton, Calif.
Six groups will perform. Chaara (Sapling), by Porshi, is a dance drama. Seattle-based Brishchik will present PhaaNs (Noose).
New Jersey-based ECTA will present Satyameva. . . (Truth Alone…), and two other Bay Area-based groups will present two more plays. Yatraa will present Anwesha (Search), and Enad will present Jadi Arekabar (If One More Time). A play recitation of Ami Birangona Bolchhi (I, A Heroic Woman, Am Speaking) will be performed by Auditiya.
Early bird tickets are $25 and $15 (one day) and $30 & $18 (both days). Note that these prices are valid only up to May 31, 2010. After that ticket prices in every category will increase by $5.
Tickets are available online now. Details available at Porshi’s Web site at www.porshi.com and Sanskriti’s Web site at www.sanskriti.org.