Thrissur: The cultural capital of Thrissur is attracting large numbers of people for the 13th edition of the International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFoK) that began on February 5. After missing the event for two years due to the pandemic, the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi (KSNA) is organising the event until February 14 in association with the Department of Culture.
The festival has the curatorial theme ‘Humanity Must Unite’, underscoring the need to reinforce the human spirit. Anuradha Kapur, Deepan Sivaraman, and B Ananthakrishnan are the curators. Masters of theatre like Peter Brook, Eugenio Barba, Romeo Castelucci, Brett Bailey are taking part. Colloquium, workshops, public lectures, and allied events like performance poetry and traditional art performances are the other attractions.
International plays from Italy, Denmark, Palestine, Taiwan, France, South Africa, Lebanon and the UK are being staged.
Peter Brook directed Tempest Project, directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Helene Estienne will be staged in the country for the first time. Eugenio Barba’s Ave Maria is dedicated to Chilean actress Maria Cànepa who passed away in 2006.
Brett Bailey directed Samson deals with socio-politics of South Africa. Plays by contemporary personalities like Romeo Castellucci from Italy, Eugenio Barba from Denmark and Palestinian playwright and director Bashar Markus will be staged during the festival. Hero Beauty, an opera from Taiwan, and Maya Bazaar, staged by Telangana-based Surabhi are for children. The festival will conclude by staging Royston Abel’s Manganiyar Seduction.
The festival is enhanced by introducing a platform to discuss various issues of social importance. Professor of Philosophy Sundar Sarukkai, Theatre director Neelam Mansingh, Academic Shiv Viswanathan, Theatre activist Mangai and MK Rania will talk on different aspects of theatre.
A public lecture session involving artist-poet Ghulam Mohammed Shiekh, Poet Satchidanandan, South African sociologist Ari Sitas, Actor Prakash Raj and Author Mukund Rao, GN Devy will be held. A Master class theatre workshop for women and a Theatre Pedagogy session participated by 15 leading theatre practitioners will be held.