The Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation is organising a theater festival from 6th to 10th September, at the Ravindra Bharathi auditorium. This 5-day festival will feature 4 renowned plays and a documentary.
Today, the first day, a Hindi play called Ismat Aapa Ke Naam will be staged. Directed by Naseeruddin Shah, the play features him, his wife Ratna Pathak Shah and their daughter Heeba Shah, and is based on Ismat Khanum Chughtai's writings. Chughtai was a woman writer and filmmaker known for her bold and progressive thoughts. The performance is a story-telling in Hindi and Urdu, and is based on three short stories.
Each member of the cast reads a story - all the characters in that particular story are performed by the same person. Ratna Pathak Shah narrates the story Mughal Bachcha about male dominance in our families and the resulting sufferings of the women folk.
Heeba Shah narrates the story Chui Muee about a child birth on a train to a rural woman, contrasting it with the pampering treatment received by an upper-class pregnant woman who is treated like the most delicate petal. Everyone around this rich woman is under strict instructions to fulfil her every desire and ensure that no harm comes to her as she prepares to deliver a 'son' (daughters are not accepted!) to the family.
Finally, it's the turn of Naseeruddin Shah who performs the story of Gharwali - a social satire about how the same woman can be deemed acceptable or not based on the needs of men around her.
The Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation was founded by Mohammed Ali Baig, an advertising wizard, in memory of his father Quadir Ali Baig, who was a doyen of Hindustani theater. It was established in an attempt at revival of theater which had lost its sheen. The foundation has on board danseuse Vani Ganapathi, artistes Rohini Hattangadi, Suhasini Mani Ratnam and Urmila Matondkar, lyricist Javed Akhtar and director M S Sathyu.
The foundation not only stages plays regularly every month, but also imparts basic training in all aspects of theater so that young talent gets nurtured. Begum Razia Qadir Ali Baig, wife of Qadir Ali, is the chairperson of the Foundation, while Sathyu is the national director and Mohammad Ali is the president.
The entry to the play is by tickets which cost Rs. 200, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 per head. Please contact 98490-66522 for further details.