‘Nona’, the socio-political satirical play, is a collective venture of a bunch of non-professional performers and is an ideal rural drama. It is scripted, designed, and directed by Jino Joseph who has also scripted, designed and directed the Malayalam play Matthi which bagged most of the awards – for best production, best director, and best script and for best actor (male) of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) 2015. Jino Joseph has also won The Kerala Sahitya Academy award for best drama in 2015 for Matthi. The play Nona has bagged four awards- for best production, best director, best stage design and best light design of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) 2018.
The drama, Nona, encircles the lives of Govindan, his family, and neighbors. Prasanth, Govindan’s son, sketches the map of India on their courtyard in connection with the filming of an advertisement. At first, it’s a thing of curiosity, but later it turns out to be a matter of uncertainty. But later, Prasanth sheds his mask and reveals his true intentions. His friends, who have labored to sketch the map of India on his courtyard, returns unsettled, and Prasanth sets boundaries for everyone. Govindan’s courtyard, which used to be the arena of rustic games for the kids and a gossip corner for the ladies, gradually shrinks and loses its dynamism. As part of the filming of the advertisement, Prasanth fabricates lies and compels the villagers to lie about the progress of the country. For his egoistic ambitions, he is willing even to kill his own father who is apprehensive of Prasanth’s cunning strategies and is against his crooked designs. The play ends with the rejoicing dance of the villagers after wiping off the boundaries set by Prasanth.
The foundation of all of the political maneuvering on Nona is built on the biggest lie that modern India faces, the pseudo-nationalism. The contemporary Indian socio-political picture is scattered inside and outside of the map drawn on Govindan’s courtyard. The play is highly suggestive and discusses Casteism and Nationalism. Pseudo- nationalism creates borders and the play goes beyond being spectacular to political.
Jino Joseph is a Keralite Theatre Director Scenographer, and Playwright who has won the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award for the play Matthi in the year 2015, which has also bagged most of the awards – for best production, best director, and best original script and for best actor (male) of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) 2015 and was selected as the Best Play Wright in the State Amateur Drama Competition conducted by Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy in 2013 for the play Matthi , Second Best Play Wright in 2014 for the play Kaani (The Spectator) and the Best Director in 2018 for the play Beedi. The play Nona has bagged four awards- for best production, best director, best stage design and best light design of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) 2018.
He has completed Master’s Degree in Mass Communication & Journalism from Kannur University, and has worked for around 30 productions. He has scripted and directed two Documentaries, three Fiction Films and a Feature Film. He is very active in Children’s Theatre and Scripted and Directed several plays for children. Jino Joseph has directed several Mime Plays for campus and other groups all over the country and has directed plays abroad for Kala- Abudhabi, Mass- Sharjah, and Shakthi- Abudhabi. He works as the Director of a regular Children’s theatre group called, MANJUNA.
His major plays are Matthi, Kaani, Chiri (based on the life of Charlie Chaplin) , Aarachar (the visual translation of the celebrated Novel Hangwoman by K R Meera), Nona and Beedi.
About the Group
Black Theatre is a new theatrical group which was founded in the year 2017 as Kishore Kumar , the former Indian Volley ball Captain as the Chairman and K Babu, Municipal Councilor of Koduvally, Calicut as the Convener . It is the brain child and a collective venture of a group of villagers who share a vision for a large, regional theatre based in Kerala. The play Nona is their first production and was first presented in Tagore Centenary Hall, Calicut on 30th September 2017. In fact the group was formed along with the production of the play. There are more than forty members on and off the stage. They belong to various walks of life. There are children, working people, daily laborers and two or three amateur actors to motivate and groom them.
The production process was improvisational. It started like a workshop, and went through some games and exercises. From this the director analyzed and identified the strength and weaknesses of everyone. Then they were molded into characters, making use of their skills, body language, mannerisms etc. At the end, the play was formed as a result of the collective effort of the entire village itself.