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City Plays (Party, Avinash, and Lights Out)

Manjula Padmanabhan (Author) Mahesh Elkunchwar (Author) Shanta Gokhale (Author)
Synopsis Three plays in the naturalistic mode, set within the four walls of a city apartment, throwing people into close contact, relationships unravelling under pressure, the moment of crisis in each case precipitated by an absent presence who is never seen on stage. Intense human dramas, each one, reflecting the claustrophobic lives of their urban characters. In Mahesh Elkunchwar’s Party, translated by Ashish Rajadhyaksha, members of the ‘creative’ set are depicted with their pretensions, rivalries and frustrations, in the social milieu of a party. Even as they laugh and drink they are stalked like a guilty conscience by the absence of Amrit, the only one of them who chose to commit to a political cause and join the marginalized tribals to fight for their rights. Avinash, written and translated by leading theatre scholar and critic, Shanta Gokhale, is an intense family drama in which the tensions between various members of a middle-class family escalate to a tragic climax. Avinash, a depressive alcoholic, invisible throughout, is yet the central presence in the drama. His mysterious death triggers off harsh inter-personal conflicts in the rest of the family. In Lights Out by Manjula Padmanabhan, whose plays in English have received much attention, the daily mystery of heart-rending screams from a woman who is never seen but is in obvious pain, destroys the fabric of domesticity of a middle-class couple, divided in their response to her anguish.
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About the authors

Manjula Padmanabhan

Manjula Padmanabhan (b. 1953) is a Delhi-based writer and artist. Her comic strips appeared weekly in the Sunday Observer (Bombay, 1982-86) and daily in the Pioneer (New Delhi, 1991-97). Her books include Hot Death, Cold Soup (Kali for Women, 1996), Getting There (Picador UK, 1999), This is Suki! (Duckfoot Press, 2000) and Kleptomania (Penguin Books India, 2004). Harvest (Kali for Women, 1998 and subsequently in three separate international anthologies), her fifth play, won the 1997 Onassis Award for Theatre. Manjula has illustrated twenty-four books for children including her own novels, Mouse Attack and Mouse Invaders (Macmillan Children’s Books, UK, 2003, 2004).

Mahesh Elkunchwar

Mahesh Elkunchwar, a leading figure in shaping modern Marathi theatre, is today one of the most translated and performed playwrights in India.

Shanta Gokhale

Shanta Gokhale was formerly Arts Editor with the Times of India, Mumbai, and is currently a freelance writer. She has to her credit a Marathi novel and several translations of Marathi plays and novels into English. she published two novels in Marathi, Rita Welinkar and Tya Varshi. Both won the Maharashtra State award for the best novel of the year. The first novel was recently adapted as a film, Rita by the her daughter Renuka Shahane. She has written numerous scripts for documentary, corprate and feature films, some of which have won national awards.

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Bibliographic information

Title City Plays (Party, Avinash, and Lights Out)
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170462304
length 202p.