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About the play:
'Enter at your own risk. - By order of Toba Tek Singh' is a devised experimental play inspired by the works of Sa’adat Hasan Manto. The play is based on four of his stories namely Toba Tek Singh, Shareefan, Thanda Gosht and Khol Do. Through these stories the play critiques the madness of communal hatred and violence during partition and thereafter. It also looks at how normalisation of rape takes place in such instances of communal violence and is used as a tool to humiliate the "other". It attempts to explore the notions of sanity and insanity through multiple narratives weaved in a non-linear structure along with texts by Shubha, Mahasweta Devi and Amrita Pritam.
About the process:
This devised piece has come through an intensive two month long process started in 2016, followed by a one month process in January 2019. The process was curated in a way so as to create a space where the performer’s body interacts with the theoretical concepts and literary texts. We looked for such moments during rehearsals in which these interactions translate into a gesture, movement or scene. It allowed the performers to bring in their own stories and connect with the characters and the thematic of the play. This allowed an organic journey of the various elements of the play coming from the performers themselves, such as script/dialogues, material of the costume, set design and properties, music and the projection video.
There has been a lot of emphasis on reading essays, articles and news pieces around the issues of gender and nationalism, communal and state violence. To further gain an understanding on these issues, we also held talks and spoke with people working at the ground level, such as Jaya Iyer (Independent theatre practitioner), Shubha (Poet, Theatre Activist), Manmohan (Poet, Theatre Activist) and Soumyabrata Choudhury (Professor, School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU) among others.
About the Team:
We are an ensemble of theatre and movement practitioners (alumni of Ambedkar University-Delhi, Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia) based out of Delhi. The collective came together in 2016 and since then has been functioning as a not-for-profit ensemble engaged in theatre for social change. The members of the collective are associated with various culturally and socially active organizations and theatre groups based in Delhi-NCR in different capacities. Some of us have been continuously working on critical issues like farmer suicides, honour killing, caste discrimination and state-led violence, which are mostly suppressed in mainstream media.
Apart from Enter At Your Own Risk…, as a collective, we devised and performed another production in 2017, titled Agla Station Lok Kalyan Marg Hai. It was a dramatisation of poems by Rajesh Joshi; performed as a protest against the systemic violence against minorities and the on going mob-lynchings in the country.
Aakanksha, Abhi, Anand
Anshu, Ashish, Hiba,
Rajina, Vijay, Vishwas
Light Execution: Rashi
Music Execution: Sukriti
Directed by: Rashi and Sukriti
The play was performed in 2016 and 2017 in Ambedkar University Delhi, Muktadhara Auditorium, Safdar Studio, Akshara Theatre among other spaces. It received a lot of encouragement and critical appreciation from the audience. We have done 4 shows in 2019 in Muktadhara Auditorium, Ambedkar University, Delhi, South Asian University, Delhi and Rang Parivartan theatre studio, Gurugram, Haryana.
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