Aabaha Art and Theater Festival is first ever theater festival for diverse communities of Indian Subcontinent immigrants to tell their stories through the narratives of theater and showcase the cultural richness and diversity of the region to the Greater Atlanta audience.
Brandon Hembree, Mayor of the City of Sugar Hill, graced the festival as the Guest of Honor, and despite language barriers, he greeted all participants and audiences and said: “You don’t have to understand the language in order to see beauty in the field of emotion, that was especially the case in the last performance. I have enjoyed my time here today and I just wanted to thank you for bringing the outside world to our community.”
Donors and Sponsors
Providing Complete Tax & Accounting Services
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Catering Deshi Foods and Takeouts
5953 Buford Hwy, #104-A
Doraville, GA 30340
Wishing great success to Aabaha Art and Theater Festival.
Supporting the initiative of hosting a multilingual theater festival in Atlanta.
P K & Shyamali Das
Thanks for hosting Bengali theaters of local and out of state groups.
The Eagle @ Sugar Hill
5029 W Broad St NE, Sugar Hill, GA 30518
Plays and Participants
- Friday, August 4, 2023 (7:00 PM – 10:00 PM):
- Aadhe Adhure (Hindi) – Dhoop Chaoon Hindi Theater Group, Atlanta GA
- Darj Lamhe Khudkushi Ke (Hindi) – Hindi Rangmanch, North Carolina
- Saturday, August 5, 2023 (1:00 PM – 8:45 PM):
- Durghatana (Accident) (Bengali) – Chicago Natyogoshthi, IL
- An Emotional Cripple (Hindi) – Mandi Theater, Chicago, IL
- Ekti Obastab Golpo (An Implausible Story) (Bengali) – Atlanta Theater Workshop, GA
- Five Grains of Rice (English) – Ebong Theatrix, Washington DC
- Khela (The Play) (Bengali) – Songlaap, Cleveland OH
- Confession (Bengali) – Aabaha, Atlanta GA
- Sunday, August 6, 2023:
- Seminar and panel discussion – share your experiences, celebrate your culture, and cultivate a greater understanding and appreciation for the Indian Subcontinent’s diverse heritage.
Details of the Plays
Theater Group: Dhoop Chaoon (Atlanta, GA)
Playwright: Mohan Rakesh
Direction: Sandhya Saxena Bhagat
Talents (on stage): Aashish Kapoor, Hetal Suratwala, Moiz Hussain, Premanand Goswami, Ritambhara Mittal, Poornima Raj, Saurabh Agarwal and Vijay Gaur.
Talents (off stage): Anil Bhagat.
Runtime: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes
Synopsis: The play delves into themes of unhealthy relationships, immaturity in decision-making, and a lack of purpose within a family. It portrays the stifling of freedom of expression and the detrimental impact of materialistic pursuits on family dynamics. The characters grapple with clashes of ego and a dearth of emotional warmth, offering a nuanced exploration of societal complexities and the trials faced within marital relationships. The play underscores the significance of making mature decisions and fostering respect within the family, transcending cultural barriers. ‘Aadhe-Aadhoore’ stands as a thought-provoking masterpiece that challenges patriarchal dominance and underscores the importance of mutual respect in all familial relationships.
About the Theater Group: Dhoop Chaoon is a theatre group based in Atlanta, Georgia. It takes the everyday lives of normal people and presents their stories and adventures and brings them to the stage. In fast paced lives of today, Dhoop Chaoon drives forward with 2 main objectives: keep our language and culture alive; and entertain audience. Dhoop Chaoon has about 100 permanent members with many others who contribute their time and effort into the productions. The group is a collection of all ages, ranging from 3 – 75. Once a year the group presents their annual variety stage production and small productions year round at different venues.
Theater Group: Hindi Rangmanch (North Carolina)
Playwright: Dinkar Bedekar and Madhuri Bedekar
Direction: Nileena Dash
Talents (on stage): Kanishka Bhargava, Rajesh Dash, and Nileena Dash
Runtime: 40 Minutes
Synopsis: Mohini, a renowned stage actress, battles with depression, a constant struggle that affects her daily life. She tries to conceal her pain by fabricating stories and presenting a facade of normalcy to her friends. Unfortunately, her behavior alienates her friends, who begin to distance themselves from her. Unable to bear the weight of her emotional distress any longer, Mohini reaches a breaking point and takes her own life.
About the Theater Group: Mandi Theater, a volunteer- run Chicago based not for profit theater group, has been active as a strong medium for social integration and upliftment. We aim to connect with common people on various social issues with theatre as its primary tool. Mandi theater organizes Annual Theater Festival in collaboration with The Consulate General of India (since 2017) in order to bring together theatre groups from across the country to present traditional Indian plays and adaptations and also Theater for young audience (first season Aug 2023). In addition to this, every year in March Mandi hosts annual International Women’s Day in order to celebrate women’s stories and achievements through theater.
A strong focus for Mandi has been the Hindi-speaking senior population, which is largely immigrants that are often starved for artistic experiences.In short we celebrate the essential power of the theatre to illuminate our common humanity. Among many local and international awards Mandi also won Illinois Theatre Association’s 2020 Award of Excellence for Community Theatre and Mandi’s recent production ‘Bhagwadjukkiyam’ won not only won state level competition but also won 11 different awards in various categories – Costume, Choreography, Best ensemble, best actor(s), Best supporting actor and best direction.
Theater Group: Chicago Natyaghosthi
Playwright: Sudipta Bhowmik
Direction: Dev Hazra
Talents (on stage): Dev Hazra, and Pratik Chakrabarty.
Talents (off stage): Ambarish Mitra
Runtime: 50 Minutes
Synopsis: Life is precious. Life is unpredictable. Life throws mysteries where we do not know what awaits us behind the corner. Life is about living in the present, but with earnest expectations from the future.
But life is also a reflection of the past. The past can be remembered but cannot be changed. The past can make us smile with happiness and satisfaction. And it also makes us regret our actions and fill us with guilt. Such introspection illustrates the life that we have lived so far.
This is the story of such an introspection by a man named Biswadip who has been in a car accident on the highway. He finds a stranger who happens to be a good listener. Our man recounts his life journey – some happy, some sad – until a solemn realization leaves him dumbfounded and terrified with reality. He struggles to accept reality because the present is poignantly more real than his past or perceived future. The stranger is not a stranger at all !!!
About the Theater Group: Chicago Natyogoshthi (CNG) is a not-for-profit association of like minded people in the Chicagoland area who are passionate about theater. CNG is not a community organization, rather an amateur theater club where the collective interest of theater loving individuals is paramount.
Our purpose is to promote the love of theater, enable theater enthusiasts to practice, improve and perform anything and everything related to staging a play, organize workshops and learning sessions to enhance skills, create at least one quality production per year, perform each production in multiple cities and host an annual theater festival with other similar theater groups from across North America.
An emotional cripple
(Based on Tagore’s Stree Patra and Nirmal Verma’s Dhoop ka ek tukda)
Theater Group: Mandi Theater (Chicago, IL)
Direction: Alka Sharma
Talents (on stage): Alka Sharma
Runtime: 25 Minutes
Synopsis: ‘Streer Patra’ is the story of a woman who wants freedom from societal taboos. She is the representative of thousands of women who are bound by marriage and can do nothing on their own will. They are dictated in family, controlled by patriarchal figures and made to toil from morning to night. Where on the other hand Dhoop Ka Ek Tukda is an engaging story of a lady who is lonesome yet a cheerful character who doesn’t have any regret of her past.
Tagore was a man of prodigious literary and artistic accomplishments, Tagore played a leading role in Indian cultural renaissance and came to be recognized as one of the architects of modern India. Streer Patra (The Wife’s Letter) is an epistolary written by Tagore, expressing a woman’s plight and resentment with the way her life unravels.
Nirmal Verma is a writer, novelist, activist and a translator. He was one of the pioneers of the nayi kahani movement. Dhoop ka tukda is one of his stories.
Theater Group: Atlanta Theater Workshop (GA)
Playwright: Bimal Bandyopadhyay
Direction: Raktim Sen
Talents (on stage): Anindya Mukherjee, Arunava Saha, Kaushik Basu, Kaushik Datta, Saikat Nandi, Sanjib Datta, Sangita Nandi, Sarbani Samadder, and Sudipto Ghose.
Talents (off stage): Saikat Nandi, and Debatirtha Basu.
Runtime: 50 Minutes
Synopsis: “Ekti Obastab Golpo” is story of a poor, out-of-work, factory worker in a rural township of West Bengal. He has been sentenced to death, for killing his wife. All is set for the execution when a rapid turn of events, turns the tide against the jailor, who is in charge of the execution. What follows is an implausible series of events and a dramatic ending.
Set as play within a play, Ekti Obastab Golpo, is a satirical commentary about the harsh reality of the industrial world, the judicial system and capital punishment. It presents a powerful and yet humorous comedy with an agonizing social message. It is easily one of playwright Bimal Bandyopadhyay’s best and most translated one-act play and one that Atlanta Theater Workshop has made their own.
About the Theater Group: Founded in 2011 as a nonprofit organization under IRS 501(c)(3), Atlanta Theater Workshop is one of the most successful theater companies in the United Stages that stages Indian plays. Under the stewardship of Dr. Raktim Sen, a playwright, theatrical director and music director, the company has staged 16 productions to date and numerous acting workshops. ATW’s productions include plays by Badal Sircar, Bimal Bandyopadhyay, Chandan Sen, and Raktim Sen.
Theater Group: Ebong TheatriX (Washington DC)
Playwright: Arindam Ghosh
Direction: Arindam Ghosh
Talents (on stage): Arindam Ghosh, Shampa Basu, Rakhi Bhatia Tulsani, and Rishov Goswami
Talents (off stage): Rishov Goswami
Runtime: 55 Minutes
Synopsis: Jayant and Ela are young professionals settled in an Indian metropolis. Jayant is a reputed scientist and Ela works at an NGO. Although professionally poles apart, they share an equal partnership in life and are happily married. Out of the blue Damini, Jayant’s girlfriend from college days, shows up one evening for a friendly chat. As the evening progresses and the three engage in reminiscence with good food and wine, the equilibrium starts to tilt. The story takes a turn for the bizarre. An offer is made that questions the status quo of each relationship. A decision hangs over the heads of the happy couple, a choice that could alter their lives forever. Will their marriage and its future survive this bizarre intrusion from the past?
About the Theater Group: Ebong TheatriX (ET), a theatre group in the Washington DC area, was founded in 2014 by a group of theatre enthusiasts who believe theatre is an integral part of our lifestyle and culture, and it brings our community together. Theatre serves to bridge our passion between our vocation and avocation—what we prepared ourselves to achieve professionally and what we aspire artistically. At ET, we focus on theatre workshops to build our acting skills by constantly learning to adapt our masks and methods for the characters we portray. ET has produced 20+ plays presented at 70+ shows in 15 states in the US and 7 shows in India.
Theater Group: Songlaap (Ohio)
Playwright: Dr. Shishir Das
Direction: Leena Chakravarty
Talents (on stage): Leena Chakravarty, Biman Ghosh, Soumyajit Paul, Sumit Sengupta, Kaustav Banerjee, Susmita Chakrabarti, and Sujay Datta.
Talents (off stage): Jyoti Chakravarty, Suman Kundu, and Biswarup Bose.
Runtime: 1 Hour
Synopsis: Khela is centered around a pervasive social problem of the modern time – the emotional desolation created by the emigration of our younger generations to distant shoes in pursuit of their lives’ aspirations. Longing begins in their homelands in the aching hearts of their loved ones, while the incessant pursuit of career goals and the harsh demands of life abroad breeds some degree of indifference in the emigrants over time.
About the Theater Group: ‘Songlaap’ is the face in the Bengali diaspora theatrical tradition of the Great Lakes area. Based in northeast Ohio, USA, it is a proud mantle- bearer of the rich cultural tradition that the Indian and other South Asian communities have established in the greater Cleveland area over many decades. It is an enthusiastic supporter of all things cultural that are aesthetically uplifting and humanely creative.
Confession (Original name as published in the book কারুবাসনা)
Theater Group: Aabaha (Atlanta, GA)
Playwright: Ujjwal Chattopadhyay
Direction: Kallol Nandi
Talents (on stage): Akashlina Sayed, Prabir Bhattacharyya, Shubhagato Bhattacharjee, Debleena Bandopadhyay, Soutik Das, and Kaushik Bardhan.
Talents (off stage): Ambarish Mitra (Light), Enakshi Das (Sound), Banhi Nandi (Dress and Makeup), and Samik Bandopadhyay (Photography).
Runtime: 52 Minutes
Synopsis: Basabi, a former political activist who had been imprisoned by the previous government, is now married to a Human Rights Commissioner responsible for investigating corruption and misconduct in public office. Unexpectedly, Basabi finds one of his husband’s friends striking resembles with the doctor who had tortured and molested her during her time in prison. This discovery triggers Basabi’s determination to uncover the true identity of this man. As the story unfolds, each character undergoes personal growth and faces the consequences of their actions. However, the central question remains: Will justice prevail?
About the Theater Group: Aabaha, Inc is a nonprofit theater organization, committed to using theater to create a better world. We are a collective of dedicated non-equity theater enthusiasts based in Greater Metro Atlanta, driven by a desire to explore the endless possibilities of this unique art form. We are passionate about the power of theater to inspire, educate, and entertain. Using theaters for cultural education, entertainment, and inspiration of the community, Aabaha created a platform for cultural exchanges among people of diverse ethnicities and builds a bridge between the Mainstream and Immigrants.