ITFOK 2019

INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL OF KERALA, 2019

20-26 January 2019 Thrissur, Kerala, India

Welcome to

International Theatre Festival of Kerala, 2019

11th international theatre festival of Kerala, We would be honored to have you with us during this festival and hope that you will join us in this celebration of theatre for the people.

20-26 January 2019 Thrissur, Kerala

The 11th ITFOK festival comes, despite the devastating floods that caused havoc in the state of Kerala. It also comes when parts of the world are facing wars, environmental disasters, migration of millions of human beings when the economic condition of the world is in deep flux, where the weak are still facing oppression and exploitation and the human condition does not allow for any peace or harmony. Hence the earth needs healing, both physical as well as spiritual.

Over the ages, theatre in all its manifestations all over the globe has been witness to the human condition and has reflected the crises of the times at every stage of the evolution of man. Hence theatre is both a historical document of our past and of our future.

Every nation has its own specific theatrical performing traditions, which incorporate continuous chain of cultural history, connecting our past to the present, celebrations of life’s joys, sorrows, oppressions, victories, defeat, and challenges. Theatrical performances become a breath of fresh air in civilizing nations, in their quest to improve their living world.

While going through a large number of plays for ITFOK, one had a privilege of witnessing performances which evoked the concerns of the theatre fraternity, beyond one’s borders, and it was great to discover that world theatre is alive and kicking despite, or because of the present times. It was heartening to realize that the world theatre, across continents, is responding to the present historical and political events with the most hard-hitting, avant-garde traditions.

Since the resource for this year’s ITFOK was limited due to the tragedy of the floods, making a selection of the plays was quite tough and challenging.

The bouquet of performances, which is being presented for this festival, has a wide variety of concerns, which are social, political, individualist, but are also the concerns of our times. Cutting across nations, and these performances become a shared experience of humanity in present times. There is a strong representation of experimental exploration both in form and content, thus a wide variety of styles and language of performance is seen in many productions. The productions also have a combination of imploding the traditional theatre productions and creating new idioms of theatrical practices.

Some of the plays have come from conflict zones, where the angst and protest of the people are distressing and yet the spirit of the individual triumphs and challenges the system, he is caught in. There are old classics reinterpreted against the present historical times, making very strong statements for our so-called golden past. Some performances are collaboration projects, developed through a work-shop interaction between performers and the directors, which expose and explore the present state of affairs through new images, metaphors and through new materials.

What needs to be underlined is the effort of the Kerala SangeetNatak Academy, to have been able to put the 11th ITFOK celebration together, under difficult constraints and circumstances. Finally, God’s own country has resurrected itself, to celebrate life, even in the dark times.

MK Raina
Arundati Nag
G Kumaravarma

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