Kerala women’s theatre fest to feature plays by women from various states

Renowned Sri Lankan playwright and cultural activist Ruwanthi de Chickera will inaugurate the three-day festival.
Jyoti Dogra's solo play 'Maas'
Jyoti Dogra's solo play 'Maas'
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Last December, a women's theatre festival was organised in Kerala after a gap of 24 years. Nireeksha, the women's theatre group that was at the forefront of putting together the festival, has now come up with a second edition, which begins on Wednesday, December 27. There will be a total of 11 plays in the three-day festival – several of which are by women from various states including Kerala – to be held at the Bharat Bhavan and the Swathi Thirunal Music College in Thiruvananthapuram.

Renowned Sri Lankan playwright and cultural activist Ruwanthi de Chickera will inaugurate the festival on Wednesday evening. The event was flagged off in the morning by Minister J Chinchurani.

Plays directed by five directors who have made their mark in other states are included in the festival. Among them are The Cage (Hindi), directed by Debina Rakshit, a solo drama called Notions: In Between You and Me (English) by Savita Rani, another solo called Maas (English / Hindi) by Jyoti Dogra, Burn Out (Assamese) by Barnali Medhi, and Roop Aroop by late director Tripurari Sharma.

From the inaugural day
From the inaugural day

Among the Malayalam dramas are The Edge by Ashita PH and Violet Windows by Reshma Rajan. Under a category called Women’s Collective Expressions, plays like Ithu Engala Kadal (This is our sea) presented by the Valiyathura Matysathozhilali Sthreekalude Kootaima (Association of Fisherwomen in Valiyathura), Pen Peruma (Women’s Pride) by ASHA Workers Association, and Mayikkapedunnavar (Those made invisible) by Rangasree Community Theatre (formed by Kudumbashree workers) will be staged.

Apart from the plays, there will also be a theatre workshop by Ruwanthi de Chickera and others. There will be a performance by 25 female poets on Wednesday, and a seminar on the problems faced by women in the cultural field on Thursday.

The festival is put together by Nireeksha Sthree Nataka Vedi in association with the Kerala State Women Development Corporation, Bharat Bhavan, and Swathi Thirunal Music College. Nireeksha is a 24-year-old women’s theatre group spearheaded by theatre veterans Rajarajeswari and Sudhi Devayani. 

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