Journey to Daakghar | March 4, 2012, 5 pm, Sri Ram Centre
Nominated for: Best Play, Best Director, Best Stage Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Innovative Sound Design, Best Costume Design, Best Original Script, Best Ensemble
Produced by: Kasba Arghya
Directed By: Manish Mitra
Language: Bengali & English
Duration: 1hr 55min
We all know thatDak Ghar (The Post Office) describes how a child striving to escape his stuffy confines, ultimately "fall[s] asleep" (which suggests his physical death). A story with worldwide appeal, Dak Ghar dealt with death as, in Tagore's words, "spiritual freedom" from "the world of hoarded wealth and certified creeds". During World War II, Polish doctor and educator Janusz Korczak selected "The Post Office" as the play the orphans in his care in the Warsaw Ghetto would perform. This occurred on 18 July 1942, less than three weeks before they were to be deported to the Treblinka extermination camp. According to his main English-language biographer, Betty Jean Lifton, in her book The King of Children, the underlying reason for this being that since Dr. Korczak thought a great deal about whether one should be able to determine when and how to die, he may have been trying to find a way for the children in his orphanage to accept death. The play Journey to Daakghar deals with the original play by Rabindranath Tagore along with the poet’s journey in writing the play and also the production history of the play both by the poet himself and the major international productions like that by Janusz Korxzac in Warshaw Ghetto.
Journey to Daakghar is the journey of any person in the earth who is looking for a spiritual freedom to a space beyond death where he is actually free from all mortal bondings. He desires to receive the letter from the king through the dakghar. We had documented facts like the performance of the play by the poet himself in Shantiniketan or the performance in the Warsaw ghetto. We have used Tagore's poetry and songs which were not written for this particular play. There is an interaction between Amol and Tarapado a character of Tagore's short story Atithi. Amol desires for freedom and Tarapado is actually free.
By all means Journey to Dakghar is a different play, different from Daakghar though with the same poetic urge to celebrate the spiritual freedom celebrated in the play with history, fiction, poetry, music and definitely many lines from Tagore's Dakghar.
Manish Mitra Best Director, Best Original Script, Best Lighting Design, Best Costume Design
Manish Mitra, a playwright director of Bengali theatre associated himself with theatre activities since his boyhood. He has many plays to his credits as playwright and director some of which are Ekla, Sankat, Prarabdha, Saat Kahan Pala, Bingsha Satabdir Ekadashi, Ma Nishad, Kalasrote, Riot And Hostel. Chandrabati, Bharatkatha, Raktakarabi, Kathagaan, Meghadootam(Sanskrit), Karna , Kunti O Nishadi, Meghnad Badh Kavya, And Journey To Daakghar. He received the Dishari award for directing Shesh Roopkatha and Zee Bangla Award of Best Director for 2011, for directing Meghnad Badh Kavya.
Chandan Das Best Lighting Design
Chandan was exposed to theatre and stage light activities assisting his father in doing stage lights from the age of 18. He started his own career as a designer with the productions Ma Nishad and Gayen, two short plays directed by Manish Mitra. He has been able to create a mark as a visual designer in a number of productions in last few years for the productions Karna, Before The Germination and Journey To Dakghar.
Avijit Chakraborty Best Innovative Sound Design
A masters in indian classical flute and degree in music therapy from Rabindra Bharati University, Avijit works in new life nursing home as a music therapist. He is been learning flute from Sri Dipankar Mukherjee and from Pandit Debasish Bhattacharya since six years. He has composed music for Kasba Arghaya (theatre group) and for Samagtaan (a classical band).
Piyali Das Best Innovative Sound Design
Piyali Das completed her graduation from Calcutta University. She started learning music from an early age and participated in various competitions. Presently she is studying in National Institute of Film and Fine Arts, Kolkata.
V Chandran Best Innovative Sound Design
Being from a traditional music family, V Chandran started learning music from his parents at a very young age. He learnt Harmonium and tabla too and then joined in CULT (Calicut University Little Theatre) under G.Sankarapillai. He went to London for collaboration with Tara Arts group and CULT and worked with National Theatre London from 1988 to 1991. He composed music for BBC Radio play’ Monsoon and also for Channel 4’s a short-film directed by Shakkeela Man. In 1995 went to France to work with Footsbarn Theatre till now.
Sanchayan Ghosh Best Stage Design
Sanchayan is associate professor of Painting, at Kala Bhavana, Visva Bhararti. His expertise lies in the field of stage design, exhibition design and site installations. Apart from doing the stage design for more than twenty plays, he has done exhibitions and site installations in India and abroad. Some of the plays for which he did the stage design are Natirpuja, A journey to Daakghar, Bisharjan, Daakghar, Riot, Badhutantra, Winkle Twinkle, Anamni Angana, Chand Bonike, and Maromiya Mone.
Cast and Credit
Rabindranath Tagore: Anirban Ghosh
Amal 2: Sima Ghosh
Amal 1: Srijan Das
Fakir: Ranit Modak
Baul: Babar Ali
Kathak: Saumya Mazumdar
Amal 3 (Shadow): Seshedri Mitra
Sita Debi: Sarbani Ghosh
Ashamukul Das: Nirjhar Ghosh
Village Women: Sampa Modak, Subhashree Bhattacharya and Roshni Ghosh
Doiwala: Manish Mitra
Pisemosay: Mihir Das
Janusz Korzack: Utsav Dutta
Orphans in Warsaw Ghetto: Sima Ghosh , Priyankar Das, Srijan Das, Avijit Chackraborty, Piyali Das, Satyajit Pramanik, Ujjaini Ghosh
Army Officers in Orphanage: Mihir Das & Indranil Banerjee
Curd Seller in Orphanage: Saumya Mazumdar
Tarapada: Satyajit Pramanik
Prahari: Indranil Banerjee
Sudha: Ujjaini Ghosh
Rajdoot: Subhashre Bhattacharya
Raj-Kabiraj: Anirban Ghosh
Flute: Avijit Chackraborty
Vocal: Piyali Das, Monalisa Dey
Rhythm: Niloy Chakraborty
Others: Babun Saha, Rajat Das
Technical Team: Chandan Das, Ranjit Das, Deep Boidya, Tapan Das, Adhir Kumar Ganguly,
Playwright: Manish Mitra (Based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Daakghar and other sources of history viz, Rabanindranath Tagore, Rani Chanda, Prasanta Kumar Pal, Selina Hossain, Betty Jean Lifton)
Set Design: Sanchayan Ghosh
Light Design: Chandan Das & Manish Mitra
Costume Design: Manish Mitra