After a two-year long break, the International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFoK) is finally making a return to Thrissur, Kerala. While the festival used to generally take place every year in December, this time it will be making an early comeback in February. Organised by Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi and the Cultural Department of the Government of Kerala, the festival celebrates art and culture from across the globe.
The festival is a fairly old tradition which started in 2008 in Kerala. For the 13th edition of the annual festival, theatre director Deepan Sivaraman along with B Ananthakrishnan (dean of Sarojini Naidu School of Art) have taken the lead to curate the events. Joining them is veteran theatre person, Anuradha Kapur. Independent, experimental and contemporary theatre groups from all across the globe will participate in this festival. Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming International Theatre Festival of Kerala.
International Theatre Festival of Kerala returns with a bang
The International Theatre Festival of Kerala will turn Thrissur into a global stage. Music, art, and drama will be the central focus during this 10-day event. The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Humanity Must Unite’. Global events including the pandemic and the war in Ukraine will take the centre stage.
Venue, dates and entry fees
Kozhikode-based architect, Brijesh Shaijal, has designed the Pavilion Theatre which is a 1,200-seater open-air theatre. The Sujathan Master Scenic Gallery will also be a highlight during the festival. Architect Lijo Jose designed the space to showcase cycloramas (theatre backdrops) hand-painted by Sujathan Master, the artist behind the backdrop for many iconic plays in Malayalam.
Dates: 5 February – 14 February
Venues: Actor Murali Theatre, K T Muhamed Theatre, and Black Box and Pavilion Theatre
Price: INR 60
Contact: 0487-2332134, 0487-2332548
Check website here.
List of international and national plays to feature at the International Theatre Festival of Kerala
The 13th edition of ITFoK will feature 10 international and 14 national plays. The list of international plays includes titles like 3rd Reich – Italy, Antigone – Uzbek (UK), Ave Maria – Denmark, Don’t Believe Me If I Talk to You of War – Palestine, Hero Beauty – Taiwan, Kafka – France, Samson – South Africa, Tempest Project – France, The Museum – Palestine, Told By My Mother – Lebanon.
The list of national plays includes Arctic – Malayalam, Black Hole – English and Hindi, Daklakatha Devikavya – Kannada, Flying Chariot – English, Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, For the Record – Hindi, Foul Play – Hindi, Idakini Kathaayaaratham – Tamil, Kakkukali – Malayalam, Mayabazar – Telugu, Nilavilikal, Marmarangal, Akhrishangal – Malayalam, Pi Thadoi – English, Manipuri, Rather Rashi – Rabha, Soviet Station Kadavu – Malayalam and Taking Sides – English.
Play that you should not miss
Tony winner, Peter Brooks’ iconic play Tempest Project will be staged in India for the first time. Talking about the play, Deepan revealed, “It is fitting that we invite Brook’s Tempest Project to pay tribute to the late director who brought the world on a stage with his oeuvre.” Another play, you might not want to miss is Samson. Talking about the socio-politics of South Africa, this play’s director, Brett Bailey, is considered one of the world’s most significant modern directors. Also, consider watching plays by Romeo Castellucci from Italy, Eugenio Barba from Denmark and Palestinian playwright and director Bashar Markus.
List of other programmes at ITFoK
Many interesting programmes have also been scheduled for the International Theatre Festival of Kerala. This includes the Theatre Colloquium where who’s who of the theatre industry will talk about different aspects, philosophy, challenges and practice of theatre. Then comes the 45-minute public lecture which will take place every day from 10:00 am. This will be followed by a programme called ‘Artist in conversation’. Starting at 11:00 am, this would be an interactive session between directors, actors and the public where they will talk about the aesthetics of the play, the theme and the performance.
From February 7-12, ITFoK will be organising a week-long theatre master class for women. Another intriguing programme is the Theatre Pedagogy where discussions about the study of theatre, academic curriculum and pedagogy in theatre, will be conducted by the curatorial team of ITFoK, Thrissur-based School of Drama and Fine Arts, Sree Sankaracharya the University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Kerala Sangeet Natak Academy, and Kerala Kalamandalam.
All Images: Courtesy ITFoK official website