University Theatre will present the world premiere of the first English translation of the modern Indian drama, Begum Barve. Written by playwright and director Satish Alekar, the play will be performed in the Cellar Theatre of the Fine Arts Building from Oct. 13-23.
In Begum Barve, Alekar brings to life the beguiling and seductive world of the Marathi musicals of early 20th century India. He contrasts that world to the stark emptiness and victimization in the actual lives of everyday people of the time. In the University Theatre production of Begum Barve, Michelle Dodson, a master’s of fine arts student in the department’s dramatic media program, will provide video accompaniment for the music in the show. The video will enhance the mood of the songs, while providing English subtitles.
Through a joint initiative between the Department of Theatre and Film Studies and the Center for Asian Studies, Alekar has been flown in from India to direct the production. One of the founding members of India’s best-known theatre group-Theater Academy, Pune-Alekar served as the head of the theater from 1973 to 1992. Currently, he is the chair of the Centre for Performing Arts University in Pune, India, where he also teaches. A former Fulbright fellow, Alekar is a visiting professor in UGA’s Department of Theatre and Film Studies this semester.
In the play, Begum Barve is a small-time female impersonator from the Marathi musicals, who uses incense and song to weave a web of illusion and seduction in his desperate quest to escape poverty and sexual exploitation.
In keeping with the Department of Theatre and Film Studies’ new community outreach initiative, a special restaurant coupon for Bombay Café will be offered to each person who purchases a ticket to Begum Barve. Coupons are good for a $2 discount off of a meal ordered after 6 p.m. and may be redeemed at the restaurant until Oct. 31.
Begum Barve will run Oct. 13-15 and Oct. 19-21 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 16 and 23 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 ($8 for students and senior citizens).