The play is a seduction of ideas exploring one of the most controversial issues of our time – morality and censorship. The play flashes back to the early ’70s when Vijay Tendulkar’s classic, Sakharam Binder, set off a storm of controversy in the theatre scene. The stage censor board came down heavily on the script, and the play was attacked by sections of society. The unusual story of Sakharam Binder, the parallel world of tamasha, and the amazing spirit of the ’70s all make up an exciting mix of theatre, memory, live music, dance, and video. The show provokes challenges, entertains, and asks the question – who says NO? And why?
The play came out of a desire to explore one of the most immediate and contentious issues of our times, morality and censorship. What began as a small idea to explore the idea of censorship grew over a period of research into a much larger canvas that looked at tolerance, intolerance, cultural resistance, the state and the law, and changing cultural practices, within the context of theatre and popular arts practice, primarily in Maharashtra in the 1970s. For me as a director the challenge lay in making what was essentially a play of ideas and discussion into something that was theatrically viable and accessible. It took many months of work by a group of uniquely talented people: writers, translators, choreographers, musicians, poets, researchers, designers, composers and production people. We are deeply grateful for their contribution. We are also grateful to the India Foundation for the Arts that saw sense in our early groping and supported this enterprise.
Rajashree Sawant Wad
Musician: Bali Deshmukh & Sada Mulik
Director: Sunil Shanbag
Developed by: Shanta Ghokale & Irawati Karnik
Production: Shailesh Hejmadi & Kanchan Bist
Set Design: Nayantara Kotian & Prashant Prakash
Set Execution: Vivek Jadhav
Video playback, Production: Kanchan Bist
Translations: Shyam Pethkar, Kishore Kadam, Anil Deshmukh & Anand Thatte
Choreography: Maya Jadhav, Mayur Vaidya & Faezeh Jalali
Original Music: Shailendra Barve
Original Songs: Anil Deshmukh, Atul Tiwari & Arvind Jagtap
Costumes: Kalyani Kulkarni
Video: Nayantara Kotian
Animation: Ashutosh Pathak
Light Design: Hidaayat Sami & Sunil Shanbag
Best Actor-Male: NAGESH BHONSLE
Best Actor-Female: KETAKI THATTE
Best Actor in a Supporting Role-Female: RAJASHREE SAWANT WAD
Best Director: SUNIL SHANBAG
Best Original Script: SHANTA GOKHALE & IRAWATI KARNIK
Best Sound Design: SUNIL SHANBAG
Best Costume Design: KALYANI KULKARNI
Best Stage Design: PRASHANT PRAKASH, NAYANTARA KOTIAN & VIVEK JADHAV
Best Choreography: MAYA JADHAV & MAYUR VAIDYA
Nagesh Bhonsle comes from the Lok Natya tradition of Maharashtra and is an example of an actor who has brilliantly been able to transit to modern urban theatre and cinema without losing his roots. Nagesh has worked extensively in theatre in Marathi, Hindi and English, and is a very popular cinema actor as well. He is now emerging as a film director with two films to his credit, of which the film Ghosta Chhoti Dongraevadhi has received a great deal of critical acclaim.
Ketaki Thatte is well known for her work as an actress in Marathi theatre, television and cinema. She won acclaim in her role in Samudra, a play directed by Paresh Mokashi. She has worked on many commercial and experimental Marathi plays such as Sangeet Deboochya Mulee, Katkon Trikon and Janoo Kahi Vaastav.
Rajashree Sawant Wad
Rajashree Sawant Wad has been working for many years in the Hindi and Marathi theatre. She was awarded a scholarship for Young Artists by the Ministry of Culture in 2000. After her stint at the NSD, she continued her work in Pune acting with several young directors, and conducting workshops in acting. She was nominated in the best supporting actress category for ZEE Gaurav in 2007.
Sunil Shanbag is one of Mumbai’s foremost theatre directors whose work is constantly striving to push the boundaries of theatre in form and content. His work has received wide acclaim across the country. His brilliant production of Ramu Ramnathan’s Cotton 56, Polyester 84 received the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Award for Best Play in 2008. After S*X, M*Rality, And Cens*Rship, he directed a new play titled Dreams of Taleem, and is currently working on a Rabindranath Tagore text for the Tagore Festival in Kolkata.
Is a Mumbai-based novelist, translator, theatre historian and critic. Both her novels in Marathi, Rita Welinkar and Tya Varshi have won the Maharashtra State awards for best fiction. She has written columns on culture for Marathi dailies and periodicals and currently writes a fortnightly column on the performing arts for “Mumbai Mirror”.
Is a playwright, translator, actor, and theatre director. She is a leading member of the new generation of Marathi theatre practitioners.Her plays, short stories, and newspaper columns reflect sensitivity to the social reality of her generation. She won the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Bismillah Kahn Yuva Puraskar for 2008.
Kalyani is a Pune based costume designer. After a long association with theater group ‘Asakta’ she has extended her work to feature and Ad films. Her latest work consists of theater productions such as Prashnopanishad, Makdachya Hati Champagne, S*X, M*Rality, And Cens*Rship and Dreams of Taleem. Kalyani was nominated in Best Costume Design category in META for plays TU and Charshe Koti Visarbhole.
Prashant Prakash is a Bombay based actor and writer. He has been working in theatre for three years. He has acted in Numbers in the Dark, directed by Atul Kumar, The Company Theatre, and Hair directed by Ajay Krishnan. He is a founding member of Quaff Theatre, formed in 2008 and is currently acting in their production, The Skeleton Woman. The play won the Hindu Metro Plus Playwright Award 2009.
Nayantara Kotian is a graduate of the National Institute of Design, where she specialized in Film and Video Communication Design. Her student documentary One Show Less participated in several festivals worldwide and won the award for Best Documentary at Jeevika 2006, the Asian Festival of First Films 2006 and IDPA 2006 among others. Her other documentaries include Casting Shadows (2007), and The Other Olympics (2008), a commissioned film by Al Jazeera English.
Vivek Jadhav is a gold medalist from the JJ School of Arts. He is a sculptor, a painter, graphic designer, and installation artist. He has designed extensively for theatre and his design for Cotton 56, Polyester 84 was a highlight of the production. He has started designing for cinema and works as an art director.
Maya Jadhav is one of Maharastra’s leading lavani performers. She has been dancing and performing for the last four decades. In the 1970’s and 1980’s she acted in several theatre productions and many Marathi films. She has traveled widely and has been a regular participant in music and dance festivals in the USA, Europe, Dubai, and Australia. Maya Jadhav runs Kulaswamini, a folk dance academy, and she also choreographs folk dance presentations.
Trained in Kathak , he moved on to choreograph dance for films, television and theatre. His work has received wide acclaim. The scale of his work is also impressive — for the dance ballet Sambhavaami Yuge Yuge, Mayur choreographed 450 dancers. In 2006 he was honoured by Sur Singaar Samsad, Mumbai with the Shringar Mani Award.