The world-class stage at Ranga Shankara was designed after months of deliberations with theatre practitioners and visits to auditoria by our architect Shahrukh Mistry under MS Sathyu’s guidance. The result is a warm and performance friendly 1575 sqft thrust stage, the second such in the country, with all the technical support required to put up a show, big or small. That our performance space is built to world standards is evident the moment an international troupe enters the auditorium – the instantaneous reaction is that the space is excellent and will work very well for their production!
Our auditorium can seat up to 320 adults (400 children). It is air-conditioned and with it’s innovative design, allows for excellent sight lines, no matter where you are seated. To take full advantage of this, we follow an open-seating policy of no numbered seats.
No mics in Ranga Shankara! The acoustics are designed for even a whisper to carry to the last row. The recorded sound that complements the action on stage is delivered through state-of-the-art equipment with sensitive controls.
Imaginative directors at Ranga Shankara have made unconventional and maximal use of our stage and potential performance areas around it, including the roof of the post office next door!
The unusual layout of the Ranga Shankara building inspired Sasha Waltz, the renowned choreographer from Germany to create a piece as a complete improvisation. Every aspect of the building’s architecture was innovatively interpreted by her troupe of dancers – the ground floor, the huge rolling shutter, the grand staircase and the foyer.
Our spacious foyer with its dominating, winding staircase allows troupes the freedom and opportunity to explore space in a truly creative way. Our festivals have seen dance performances on the stairs, a rousing performance of Badal Sircar’s dynamic ‘Juloos’ that marched through the lobby and the café, and innumerable platform performances right under the area of the main stage in the foyer.
Our café serves delicious food that ranges from local specialties such as akkirotti, ragirotti and sabudanavada to international favourites like a soup du jour with herbal bread rolls and grilled sandwiches. Anju, the force behind the Ranga Shankara café and her team whip up specialty menus based on the theme of our festivals, RangaUgadi and Mango Party. The annual Onam lunch at the Café is legendary.
But the café is much more than a place to eat. It becomes host to many impromptu shows as well as arguments, debates and animated discussions about theatre and art. Our café is the location of an easy interface between audience and performers after a show and is the preferred venue for many of our festival-related seminars and activities.
Ranga Shankara Café is open from 11 am – 9.30 pm every day except Monday.
“Kitaki” is the Kannada word for “window”. That’s what we call our little art gallery. Situated along the longish corridor leading to the auditorium, Kitaki showcases visual art that is specially curated for Ranga Shankara by friendly art galleries of the country. The logo for Kitaki, like the Ranga Shankara logo, is the creation of renowned artiste S G Vasudev.
Sometimes there are rare photographs on this wall. Framed theatre posters are displayed at other times. When a festival or collaboration is on, we put up visuals related to the theme – paintings, drawings or photographs.
Tucked away on the third floor, with almost a secret passage leading to it, is the ‘Other Voices’ space at Ranga Shankara. Conceived by Arundhati Nag as the space that is “for whispers and up-close performances”, this space gave birth to a signature Ranga Shankara event called the ‘Other Voices’. Revathy, the film actress, made her theatre debut in 2007 to launch the programme, with Chetan Datar’s ‘1, Madhav Bagh’, translated by Shanta Gokhale and directed by Mariam Jetpurwala. Watched by a maximum of 30 people in the audience, this show set a record!
Since then, we have carefully curated pieces that can be showcased in this exclusive space. Our storytelling sessions for children, under AHA!, also take place here.
‘Paperback’ has been at Ranga Shankara since 2013, stocking a carefully curated list of books on subjects that will stimulate the culturally engaged individual — literature, cinema, social sciences, women’s studies, photography, comedy — and classics in both Kannada and English. There is also an outstanding collection of DVDs and of course many theatre and performance-related books.
The bookshop is open from 12 noon – 9.30 pm every day except Monday.