Kola, a play by Mahesh Elkunchwar, unveils the tale of many generations of a family along with the emotional struggles of relationships. According to me, this has been possible only through the natural way of dialogue delivery. The conversation is not only dramatic, but makes one get into the soul of the character. I feel, when instead of acting, actors try to live their roles on the stage, the intensity of the play increases multi-fold.
In the current production, the actors have tried to get into the roles through exploration of the emotional side of each character during the one-month practice. We have experimented to see if the actors can be prevented from falling prey to the obsession of acting and made to perform by forgetting the fact that they are acting before an audience for two hours. If with each performance the actors are able to be the roles themselves (when on stage) the motive of this play is achieved. This is the belief and commitment of the play too. This will ensure that through Kola you will witness the metaphorical forms of the play. In addition, this will also provide a poetic feel to the play. This is the primary aim of this experiment.
Achyuta Kumar – Director of the play Kola
Achyuta Kumar is a well-known actor in the Kannada and Tamil film industries. Basically, a theatre person, Achyuta was trained in Ninasam Theatre Institute. He went on to form the Protheu theatre with like-minded friends, and he acted and directed a number of plays under the banner. He started his acting career in television with the filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli’s serial Gruhabhanga. After a series of television serials, he started acting in Kannada movies. He has acted in more than 150 movies so far and has been honoured with two State Awards, three Filmfare awards and a SIIMA award. He formed the team Theatre Tatkaal four years ago and has directed two plays under the banner – Nanna Thangigondu Gandu Kodi and Kola.
Playwright – Mahesh Elkunchwar
Mahesh Elkunchwar, born in Nagpur on 9 October 1939, is an Indian playwright and a screenplay writer with more than 20 plays to his name, in addition to his theoretical writings, critical works and his active work in India’s parallel cinema as an actor and screenwriter. He is credited as one of the most influential and progressive playwrights not just in Marathi theatre but also in Indian theatre in general. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour in performing arts in India. His first play Rudravarsha (The Savage Year) was written in 1966. He is well-known for his plays Yuganta, Wada Chirebandi (The Old Stone Mansion) and Magna Talyakathi (The Pond); Party, Holi, Sonata and the collection of essays titled “Mounraag”.
Translator – Nandini K R
Nandini K R has been associated with Rangayana at Mysuru district in Karnataka for 25 years. Hailing from Bangalore, she was drawn towards theatre from her school days. Her father Prof K V Rajagopal gave her the needed directions and encouragement in this regard. With the support of her mother, she got trained in Carnatic Music. She is also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer. Nandini has directed a number of plays for school and college students. She has brought many stories written in Kannada on to the stage. She has received a national award by the NCERT for her play Gourava Huduki Hoda Nari (The Wolf Which Went in Search of Respect). She has also been honoured with the Bhargava Award, Human Resource Fellowship from the Centre and is known for scripting and directing street plays. Nandini is also an artiste in the Akashavani division and takes active part in the Rangayana plays.
Translator – Prashanth Hiremath
Prashanth Hiremath is an engineering graduate who was drawn towards cinema, theatre and literature from his graduation days. He got his first experience of theatre with the Abhinaya Bharathi team as an actor. He tried his hands at studying the medium of cinema. Prashanth started his journey with theatre from Rangayana. He has been trained by many theatre personalities at the national and international level. He was influenced by B V Karanth and got drawn towards music in which he is equally interested as in acting. Prashanth has acted in numerous plays and has composed music for many plays. His roles as Basavanna, Hamlet, For A, Ravan, Brutus have won critical acclamation. He is also interested in contemporary cinema.