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Aagaaz’s upcoming repertory production, I Want A Country tells the story of a country that is waiting to be found, at a time when we are beginning to redefine what it means to be a citizen. For us, the text of I Want A Country presents an urgency to unpack the anxieties regarding the conflicts of identity and nationhood.
What, then, is a “country”? How do we “belong” to it?
About the play
Facing the ruin of their nameless nation, the characters in I Want A Country set off to find a new country— struggling over their ideas of nationhood and identity, with the state of politics and the economy, and over their understanding of empathy and welfare. Written as an open text by Andreas Flourakis, in which the country is simply “a country” and the characters are “everyone”, this piece is being directed by Neel Chaudhuri and a Hindustani adaptation is underway. Through all of this and their quest to define a new world, one question emerges: is there a dream country after all? Can a society re-invent itself or will it forever remain an impossible dream?
As we began reading the script and looking at the characters in I Want A Country, we could either say, “these people are doomed”, or we could ask the question, “how will they find their way out of this?”. As artists and people, we are more excited by this narrative because a question is almost always more beautiful than a statement.This approach seemed more hopeful—it suggested that we could not agree on everything, that our wisdom and experience is not enough and that the story was yet to unfold for these characters. This is how we will proceed with the performance before our audiences in Delhi this November.
We are surrounded by media and intellectual dialogue on these subjects, always seeking to be the final word which too often sounds like a knell. Our core group hopes to create a space where these questions can be experienced emotionally— this play is active and alert without being stubborn; it is angry but can find catharsis in debate. It is performed by young actors, the very generation faced with the critical questions of this play, who face their predicament with both urgency and light-footedness.
Our opening run in Delhi is in collaboration with BlackBox Okhla, beginning 1st November, 2019— developing the piece in the space for a duration of two months and doing a sum total of 12 shows. We will also be performing at the Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival 2019 in Bangalore.
What role can you play?
You can support us by donating towards the expenses of creating this production, as we are looking at a sum total of 7,00,000/- INR to create a performance that is not only refined in terms of aesthetics and scale, but also allows for a sustainable livelihood for all those involved in the process.
This amount covers expenses of procuring and constructing the set, rehearsal and transportation costs for three months and payments of directors, designers, the crew and the translator. It also accounts for performance fees of each of the 11 repertory members for the 12 shows in the opening run at BlackBox Okhla.
Donations of every size – S, M, L, XL are welcome. We would also love for all of you to witness our first run of shows. Those who are able to support us with INR 2000 or more, receive a personal invite for the opening run in Delhi with two exclusive passes to a show of your choice.
The details of our bank account are:
Name – Aagaaz Theatre Trust
Bank – ICICI
Branch – C 18, SDA, New Delhi-16
A/C number – 182505000182
IFSC Code – ICIC0001825
Do contact Sanyukta (+919873853348), Devika (+918971729080) or Sakhi (+919910128450) for any other information you might require about Aagaaz, the play, and our requirements. We would love to speak with you!