Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival 2020

Strange. Unprecedented. New normal. Words to describe a year and a crisis that will live on in human memory for some time to come. However, history is witness - stories that prevail will be that of the resilience of the human spirit, the will that does not concede defeat, and adaptability that is the mark of change in the universe.

This year, in a huge first, the Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival goes online, while showcasing and celebrating the works of the Shankar Nag Award winners - six theatre-makers who will pave the way for theatre in India, continuously defining and redefining it. This year's line-up of plays will be streamed online through Insider, and will also be screened, to a limited audience, at Ranga Shankara. All our signature ancillary activities also await you at the theatre!

Let us celebrate the collective spirit of theatre together - physically or digitally!

Welcome to RSTF 2020! Welcome to Theatre Alive!


Show premieres at 7:30 PM IST on Tue, 27 Oct 2020

Duration: 60 minutes  |  Playwright By: Abhishek Majumdar  |  Language: Swedish, Kannada, Hindi, & Gujarati

About the Play

During the lockdown, there was a huge food crisis in various parts of the country (which continues due to lack of employment). Millions of workers have lost their jobs and they receive very little support from the government regarding food and other necessities. Consequently, hunger is as much an epidemic as the virus is a pandemic. In addition, the virus has been introduced into the country by the rich. It came through people who would have flown to other countries, but the hardest price is paid by the poor.
The piece is about a family of three women, a mother and two daughters who tell each other stories and fake the food on their plate, in order to walk the hard line between hunger and dignity. This scene is written from the experience of witnessing this hunger over and over again by being part of a group that makes modest efforts to alleviate hunger and hunger as much as possible.
'Salt' is available for viewing in four different versions (Kannada, Swedish, Gujarati, and Hindi), featuring MD Pallavi (Bengaluru), the Kahe Vidushak Foundation (Bengaluru), Ideas Unlimited (Mumbai), and Folkteatern Göteborg (Sweden).

The Colour of Loss

Show premieres at 7:30 PM IST on Wed, 28 Oct 2020

Duration: 63 minutes  |  Language: English  |  Directed By: Mohit Takalkar

About the Play

From Booker Prize-winner and literary phenomenon Han Kang, a lyrical and disquieting exploration of personal grief, written through the prism of the colour white. While on a writer’s residency, a nameless narrator wanders the twin white worlds of the blank page and snowy Warsaw.

‘THE WHITE BOOK’, becomes a meditation on the colour white, as well as a fictional journey inspired by an older sister who died in her mother’s arms, a few hours old. The narrator grapples with the tragedy that has haunted her family, an event she colours in stark white--breast milk, swaddling bands, the baby’s rice cake-coloured skin--and, from here, visits all that glows in her memory: from a white dog to sugar cubes.

As the writer reckons with the enormity of her sister’s death, Han Kang's trademark frank and chilling prose is softened by retrospection, introspection, and a deep sense of resilience and love. THE WHITE BOOK- ultimately a letter from Kang to her sister--offers powerful philosophy and personal psychology on the tenacity and fragility of the human spirit, and our attempts to graft new life from the ashes of destruction.


Based on ‘The White Book’ by Han Kang
Translated by Deborah Smith
Design & Direction by Mohit Takalkar
Performed by Mrinmayee Godbole | Ipshita Manasi Bhawalkar | Dipti Mahadev
Production design by Ashish Mehta
Music by Saurabh Bhalerao
Lighting design by Vikrant Thakar
Costumes by Rashmi Rode
Hair & Makeup by Ashish Deshpande
Assistant Direction by Hrishikesh Pujari & Suyog Deshpande
Sound Recordist: Ganesh Phuke
Camera: Nachiket Pendse
Technical Consultant: Vinayak Lele
Shot At The Box
Team TCOL: Payal, Nachiket, Vibhav, Alap, Prajakta, Rahul, Parna, & Devika

Teelapur Ka Rakshasha

Show premieres at 7:30 PM IST on Thu, 29 Oct 2020

Duration: 40 minutes  |  Language: Hindi  |  Directed By: Anurupa Roy  |  For Ages: 6+  |  Genre: Paper puppetry

About the Play

Teelapur is a town on a hill. A perfectly ordinary town ruled over by an extremely popular King. A town which people leave in droves in fear of a monster that terrifies it. A town at war, where people are banned from reading books of their choice.

In this town lives Guddu, separated from his family after the monster's attack. In this town lives Chhotu, who reads books in secret, and asks dangerous questions. When Teelapur's warriors return from a war they no longer understand, they join hands with Chhotu and Guddu to take on the monster.


Directed by Anurupa Roy
Written by Manjima Chatterjee
Devised & Performed by Anurupa Roy & Mohammad Shameem
Music by Anirban
Puppets by Anurupa Roy & Mohammad Shameem
Voiceover by Nitu Kumari, Vivek Kumar, Ada Baani, & Mahlhar Avadesh
Produced by Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust
Co-produced with Helios Theatre, Germany

Lunch Girls - Rehearsed Reading

Show premieres at 7:30 PM IST on Fri, 30 Oct 2020, with repeat shows on 31 Oct 2020 and 1 Nov 2020 at 3:30 PM IST

Duration: 60 minutes  |  Language: English  |  Directed By: Q  |  For Ages: 14+

About the Play

Four friends are trying to meet for lunch. This shouldn't be too difficult. But 'life' has an uncanny knack of getting in the way. Come eavesdrop on the video calls between Jaya, Bina, Deepa, and Veera, as they try to arrange the simplest of meetings.


Written by Ron Hart
Directed by Q
Performed by Bhavna Pani, Dilnaz Irani, Gillian Pinto, & Pravishi Das
Show Managers: Jeshron Tao & Rachit Khetan
Produced by QTP

Producing in the New Century: Changing Perspectives

Show premieres at 7:30 PM IST on Sat, 31 Oct 2020

Duration: 60 minutes  |  Language: English  |  Directed By: Toral Shah  |  Genre: Discussion

About the Discussion

With the growth and expansion of theatre in India, the role of the director-designer-producer is slowly dissolving, and these roles are getting specialized. Producing is gaining a more prominent role and with it the individuals who hold these positions, lead the productions, and make the vision a reality. Spend an evening with four producers from India and overseas, who have been working in the theatre for the last two decades, bringing a vast spectrum of incredible shows to life and taking it to newer audiences. They have been instrumental in bringing into focus urgent and important questions about social equity and are committed to emboldening the voices of the under-represented in theatre. Share their journeys as they talk about their philosophies, their milestones, and their challenges.


Toral Shah in conversation with Sameera Iyengar, Margaret Moll, Nimi Ravindran, and Alison Wong

Criminal Tribes Act

Show premieres at 7:30 PM IST on Sun, 1 Nov 2020

Duration: 55 minutes  |  Language: Kannada & English  |  Directed By: Sankar Venkateswaran  |  For Ages: 16+

About the Play

The piece begins as a candid conversation between two actors, Chandru and Rudy. They talk to each other about their backgrounds, experiences, differences, then they talk to the audience, and as they do so, one appears to become the speaker and the other, the subject.

The conversation develops into play, evolves into drama, and engenders as a theatre piece. It examines the inherent conflicts between the speaker and his subject, the spoken and the unspoken, and the (in)escapability of the 'us', 'them' and 'the other'.

Starting with the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, a legislation brought during the British rule, the piece cuts deeply into the issues inherent in theatre and the language, while critically looking at the positions we take in society.


Written and Performed by Chandra Ninasam & Anirudh Nair
Concept and Direction by Sankar Venkateswaran
Director of Photography: Karun Prasad K.S.
Produced by Theatre Roots & Wings