Jagriti is one of the premiere theater spaces in Bangalore, dedicated to Theater, Music, Dance and Comedy, has hosted several productions from India and around the world.
As part of the Deccan Herald Theatre Festival, Jagriti presents At Home at The Zoo, is Albee’s classic short play The Zoo Story (1959) with its prequel, Homelife (2004) about the life of three New Yorkers.
EventsHigh caught up with the Co-Founder of Jagriti Arundhati Raja, who believes in the implicit power of performance to transport an audience to different worlds, creating unforgettable experiences.
Influenced by playwrights both Indian and Western, Theatre caught Arundhati Raja’s interest while she was still in school but pursued it exclusively from 1976.
When asked what inspires a good play, the answer is spot on – The Script!
“The Script which might have been heard or read, until it’s time to perform it with the right cast”
The current production “At Home At the Zoo” is close to Arundhati’s heart, as it’s by her favorite playwright Edward Albee.
Albee was influenced greatly by Samuel Beckett, the master of the genre of theatre known as the Theatre of the Absurd. This play has shades of the genre. Albee originally wrote The Zoo Story in 1958 as a one act play. It was enormously successful all over the world. However, in 2008 he decided to add a first act to it because he felt that one of the characters, Peter, wasn’t fleshed out enough. So came, Homelife where we see Peter and his wife in their home. This brought about the challenging and compelling play At Home at the Zoo.
“The two acts Homelife & The Zoo Story together have not been performed often and never in India”
When asked to share about her experience as the director of the play, Arundhati recalls “The script is a roller coaster ride of dialogue and a real challenge for actors and therefore a huge challenge for the director.”
“We just enjoyed the whole process of dissecting the script, analysing the characters and then translating it all into a dynamic story on stage”
So, what’s in store for the audience and is it relevant for the current world? “The play builds in suspense, leaves you wondering where it’s going and then “zaps” you at the end. I would like everyone to go away thinking and wondering about their own relationships and attitude to society”.
“I’d like the audience to go away with the feeling of pure magic that theatre presents. It’s about human beings in this world – Human behavior doesn’t change over time”
In her 40 years in Theatre in Bangalore, Arundhati has seen and been part of the changes that have taken place. She assesses that the kind of plays that were performed earlier with large realistic sets and classic scripts have given way to newer writing and production techniques.
“And it remains a struggle to know what brings an audience and what doesn’t but theatre continues to be vibrant and exciting”
Catch Jagriti’s At Home At the Zoo as part of the Deccan Herald Theatre Festival
When: Sat, 27 Feb 2016 and Sunday, 28 Feb 2016 @ 7:30pm.
Where: Jagriti Theatre, Varthur Road Ramagondanahalli, Whitefield, Bengaluru.
Book Tickets: Rs. 300 Here