The curtains raised, the lights still dim, solely focused on the lead, Sanjukta, as she excitedly converses over the phone about the latest development in her life, which will go on to become the principle plot point of the play. Sanjukta is a brisk and eventful comedy that allows audiences to leave their worries behind and enjoy varied performances.
The Karnataka Engineers’ Academy, which owns the Prabhath Rangamandira near Rajajinagar, was the first venue for Sanjukta, a play by Viji Shashikant, produced by the Bangalore Little Theatre. The play is the first one ever written by Shashikant, in the late 1990s, and this is also the first time she is having any of her plays produced on stage. Sanjukta is going to be staged during the month of May, 2017, in different venues including the KEA Rangamandira and Alliance Francaise.
Viji Shashikant has penned many short stories that have been published in a number of newspapers and dailies, and has five plays to her credit. After having worked on numerous plays for over two decades in the southern states of the United States, she has come back to Bengaluru to see her own work come to life.
Her play, Sanjukta, was inspired partly by a friend, who underwent a similar situation in the city of Mumbai in the 90s. She also acts in the play as Sanjukta’s mother. This is not her first time dabbling in theatre but it is her first time on stage and her first time directing.
Sanjukta, the titular character is an independent and successful woman who is a practising lawyer. She, along with her best friend Parveen, places an advertisement in the newspaper for suitors, in light of her younger sister’s engagement. The three suitors that are shortlisted by the two of them arouse myriad emotions within Sanjukta, and a surprise visit from someone leads to a shocking revelation.
The stage set-up and the backstage crew were commendable. The performances of the characters were good and delivery was spot-on. The light-hearted comedy keeps the audience engaged, and the audience laughs along.
Viji said she loved the process of producing her own play for the first time. “I have enjoyed working with all of the actors and the production team, and the efforts taken by them are extremely noteworthy,” she added. Viji’s passion for theatre is visible in her conversation. She feels her target audience is niche and hopes that the right kind of audience will understand the play and enjoy it thoroughly.
Our Summer 2017 Live News Room interns Akshata Jayant Chonkar, Akexander Sam Thomas, Arindam Deepak Sinha and Joan Eligabeth Cherian met with the director and cast. Listen in.