The Manganiyar Classroom

I happened to watch this one hour play, The Manganiyar Classroom by Roysten Abel.  What led me to watch this play is a description of an earlier play by him known as The Kitchen. In the kitchen, the two protagonists, a man and a woman are making two pots of payasam (swee dish) live on stage. Now imagine the sensory tickling of the act on stage. It is a visual treat accompanied by those of smell and taste. The actors on stage after making the payasam distributes it to the audience at the end of the play. I was intrigued. I wanted to watch this play and I did to a packed audience.

This play is interesting because the protagonists are children 8-12 years of age, and singers. It is set in a classroom of a government school where a teacher initially dressed in a trouser and shirt tries to teach these boys who are born into the Manganiyar family of singers to study. However, the boys protest against the teacher and his teaching and drives him away. The teacher later returns as a Manganiyar, customizes the school lessons in the form of songs they are used to, the music that runs in their blood..

Here are a few pictures, I took while watching the play. it was a treat. It is a critique on the education systems, pattern of schooling and teaching in general presented through the taal of the traditional instruments, and the songs of these children. I had a feeling of listening to, tapping to the rhythm of Rajastani folk like Dhol Baje..  if the play was performed out in the open grounds I am sure the audience would have been on their feet dancing to the beats of the dhol.. This was an indoor setting.. an ac auditorium, red velvet material for the chairs lined like those of the outdoor amphitheater. Here is a video from youtube for a taste of the musical ride I enjoyed..

Day 2 of the Blogathon’16. I think I should expand from films only to theatre as well.


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pins & ashes

An Aquarius Woman

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