German Spotlight: The Library Project

Over the years, dramatized play readings have evolved as an alternative to fully-loaded theatre productions.

Since a play is shaped as much by the vision of the director as of the playwright, it sometimes becomes important to read  the play as it was intended to be read, before it changed shape and form. Our attempt has been to understand and enjoy the nuances of the play, as written, before it was edited, altered and interpreted by the director and actors in its evolution as a performance.

 

Sandbox Collective, in association with Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore, started work in 2015 on a new form of cultural exchange – a series of dramatized readings of contemporary plays from Germany.  German Spotlight has evolved into a platform that serves, both, as a precursor to a theatre production, as well as a stand-alone opportunity to engage with contemporary scripts.

Here are the projects from previous years:

2015

Electronic City

Director: Aruna Ganesh Ram

Playwright: Falk Richter

 

Electronic City follows Tom and Joy, a couple that become symbols for the contemporary where we are caught up in busyness and automation without stopping to truly enjoy or experience anything around us. It also points to our flaws of equating success and happiness with money and material gains.

 

Golden Dragon

Director: Anuja Ghosalkar

Playwright: Roland Schimmelpfennig

 

In the kitchen of the Golden Dragon restaurant, a crisis is unfolding. While the customers concentrate on making their choices from the extensive menu, behind the scenes where the food is prepared, a young Chinese kitchen-hand is experiencing agonising toothache. Going to the dentist is out of the question, because the boy is an illegal immigrant; someone who, because he is not seen, simply doesn’t exist. Not to the authorities, and not to those who use the restaurant but never see beyond the numbered dishes. A play in which the old play the young, and one species plays another, and gender is entirely fluid, too.The play is like a spider web of connections that spread right across the globe. Roland Schimmelpifennig creates a world where a beautiful giant cricket is exploited by an ant, a tooth lands in a bowl of soup, a dead boy is carried thousands of miles home on a river, and the bustle of everyday life disguises darker truths.

 

The Thing

Director: Salmin Sheriff

Playwright: Philipp Lohle

“The Thing” travels between the 14th Century to the present day through characters like Charles II of Spain, Magellan the explorer to a married couple, a photographer, two Chinese entrepreneurs, a Swiss eco-farmers and his African co-worker to tells us a rich narrative of globalisation that promises intimacy and causes alienation through this “thing” that is a ball of cotton.

 

2016

And Then

Director: Kirtana Kumar

Playwright: Wolfrom Holl

 

In And Then a young boy tries to explain his foreign, new/old surrounding. He strings together all his impressions, which are not made to fit together, using the never-ending “and then”. It is an unstable and fragmentary world, made out of long, monotonous days, blurred memories of the times before east and west Germany reunited, daily routines and enigmatic behaviour of his father, which is poorly put together in a child’s mind. In short, a personal journey that strings together his personal history using his imagination.

 

A Little Calm Before The Storm

Director: Vandana Prabhu

Playwright:Theresia Walser

 

Three actors  prepare for a panel discussion about playing Hitler and discuss the limits of the theatre as a form of art. Since the moderator is late, they start talking. Two of them have actually played Hitler on stage, while the third has performed Goebbels in a movie. Slowly, with perfidious wordplay and black humor, a clash between cultures emerges between the old and the new. In A little Calm before the Storm, this leads to the theatre orbiting  itself – and laughing.

 

2017

Creeps

Director: Basav Biradar

Playwright: Lutz Hübner

 

Three teenage girls from different parts of the country are pitted against each other to win a television reality contest to be the host of a new show “Creeps”. But are they ready for it? What are their reasons to participate in such a contest? Will they go all out to win at any cost? This play is about all this and more.

 

Sorry Dad But I Have To

Director: Deepika Arwind

Playwright: Laura Naumann

 

A teenager, Ludwig, wants to get on a bus and be in a band. Forever. Apart from being smashed at concerts he has a troubled relationship with his dad, but finds solace in Ms. Rose, an older woman who lives at the edge of the forest. In this coming-of-age story, Ludwig tries to find himself and what he’s missing, as he negotiates the relationships around him, confusing as it is.

 

Deadline

Director: Chanakya Vyas

Playwright: Eva-Maria Stüti

 

2018

Peer Pleasures

Director: Karen D’mello

Playwright:

 

The play is about 6 university students struggling to find their way through their dreams, their longing for love and their insecurities in the quest for something permanent.  

But how do we choose in a life full of possibilities? Do we have to have it all figured out right now? Will we still make it if we don’t?

 

Nightblind

Director: Kanchan Bhattacharyya

Playwright: Darja Stocker

 

Darja Stocker’s “Nachtblind” deals with issues of familial discord, friendship and abuse in a relationship from a young and urban viewpoint. Its quick, incisive dialogue in some scenes and tight monologues in others helps draw audiences in.

 

The Jazz Conductor

Director: Lekha Naidu

Playwright: Wolfgang Sreter

 

The play speaks of music and war and hope the way only a lover full of dreams can. It speaks of dissent and the forces out to crush it, quietly gives evidence against free-will, without appearing too cynical and brings to life the romance and nostalgia of the Jazz age, love for Theatre and good old family amidst unspeakable horrors.

 

Norway Today

Director: Debosmita Dam

Playwright: Igor Bauersima

 

The play is essentially a conversation between two young people who belong to a generation where most of their interactions happen through technology, mediated by it, and how they almost “re-discover” human contact when they meet someone who is similar, and have one thing in common- a desire to die.

Great Galata

The Great Galata is a community theatre initiative where the (almost) whole of Bangalore Theatre community gets together to celebrate World Theatre Day. Playwrights, directors, actors and other artists come together to create short plays over a period of 3 days in Kannada, English and Hindi.

Vijaya Karnataka Natakotsava

Sandbox Collective joined hands with Vijay Karnataka to organise the Vijay Karnataka Natakotsava. The theme of this festival was to create a change in the state of affairs faced by the common man by raising awareness through theatre.

Kamshet Arts Festival

In March 2014, Sandbox Collective, curated and produced the Kamshet Arts Festival for The Company Theatre at its Workspace, Kamshet. The dusk to dawn program was attended by more than 600 audience members from across India, including the local village community. The first of its kind of festival in rural Maharashtra saw the coming together of theatre, storytelling, music and dance in Uksan Village. The festival showcase promises to be a significant and celebrated event in the culture calendar of Maharashtra.