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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Director: Chanakya Vyas
Playwright: Eva-Maria Stüti
Director: Karen D’mello
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?
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.
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.