Cultural Troupe

culturalTroupeThe cultural activity is very important for awareness generation. It is also an attempt to alternate media. The message of equality , no rx peace and development is transmitted to millions through audio-video & print media.Cultural troupe of Stree Mukti Sanghatana, illness an autonomous women’s groups (SMS) has consistent track record of 39 years. Its name has reached in every nook & corner of India because of the powerful plays & numerous songs on the women’s issues. The cultural troupe started with songs keeping in mind the low rate of literacy in women. Activists of SMS composed scores of songs on the various issues raised by women’s movement, check songs of unity songs of empowerment. The issues like literacy, violence, unorganized workers, political rights, dowry, rape etc. were taken up. These songs reached thousands of women , young & old through live presentation audio cassettes/ c.d.s, books and also presentation on All India Radio Mumbai- Maharashtra. Books of songs in Marathi is in its 16th edition and fifty thousand copies have been sold so far along with 10000 copies of Hindi songs.. These have become popular amongst activities of all organizations and women in general.

SNS started performing playa since 1979. Most of the SMS plays are musicals and with powerful and biting humour & simple form, they have touched the chords of massed. Hundred of SMS activists have participated in the cultural troupe so far. Their age group is 15 to 70. Most of them are volunteers (men and women) with no theater background except director of all the plays Mr. Vinod Hadap. Audience number varies normally from 50 to 5000 and sometimes upto 15000. Most of the plays are musicals and can be staged anywhere without any props.

The performances are presented in slums, Village. Colleges, offices, women’s groups etc. On the makeshift stage in the halls or in the open grounds in slums. Usually before the play few songs are presented highlighting women’s issues and then the play is performed.

To reach the larger audience SMS has taken up a novel way of campaign (Yatra) of 10 to 15 days at a stretch. 40 to 60 activists in a bus travel through particular region after proper planning with the local groups. Heavy schedule consists of performances in the colleges, slide shows on health , violence etc and books and poster exhibitions for women in the afternoon and performance of one or two plays for the whole village or town in the evening. The time schedule is determined according to the convenience of women. With this innovative method SMS succeeded in reaching out to millions of people in last three decades.SMS along with Academy of Theater Arts Mumbai hosted VIII International Women Playwrights Conference in 2009 .

Ha Prashnach Chukicha Aahe

Ha Prashnacha Chukicha Aahe!

The first play production of 1979 by SMS was ‘Ha Prashnacha Chukicha Aahe! ( The Question itself  Is Wrong ! )   on the  theme of problems  faced by working  women. It is  written  by Rajv Kalelkar. It  revolves around  an Industrial Estate where  the women workers  are denied  the right of marry.  The women  unite and demand  creche so that they  can also get  the right  to marry, maternity leave etc.  The  union leader  visits a women-activist’s family .  He is questioned by her husband  about the long hours of  absence  and her duties  towards  her in-laws and  other  family members.  She  is in a  dilemma to choose between the two, the union work or the family .  The play  had 3 performance.  It was first attempt  of SMS to pose the problems through performing art.

Playwright: Rajeev Kalelkar
Director: Vinod Hadap
Duration: 60 minutes
Performances: 3
Characters: 10 (Men & Women)

Mulagi Zali Ho


Mulagi Zali Ho  (A Girl is born)

The play  Mulgi Zali Ho! ( A  Girl Is Born !)  (1983)  is a flagship play of SMS written by Jyoti  Mhapsekar with  3000 performances to its credit  so far &  is still in great demand. .Enacted by women activists of SMS, This musical satire is translated  in 8 Indian  languages besides English & is being performed  by at least  100 groups  in  India. The play was also performed at III international  Women Playwrights’  Conference at Adelaide in July 1994 & at NGO forum in Beijing in Sept’1995, Lalbahadur Shatri Academy-Musoorie, Police Academy Hyderabad, Many prominent Universities and colleges of India so far.Plat is part of syllabus of two universities and  was telecast and broadcast several times and also used by many organizations as tool for training.

Playwright: Jyoti Mhapsekar
Beti Aayi Hai: Late Pt. Vasant Deo
Director: Late Vinod Hadap
Music: Jyoti Mhapsekar
Duration: 60 minutes
Performances: 3000
Characters: 7 (only women)

 

Pandita Ramabai


Jwalashikha Pandita Ramabai

Jwalashikha Pandita Ramabai  (1985) written by Ms. Sanhjeevani Kher. The play is based on the lifesketch of 19th century reformer  Pandita Ramabai.  .  Pandita Ramabai devoted her  life  for women’s education and helped women in distress.  She had to suffer acute isolation from orthodox Hindu Brahmin Society in which she was born .

Playwright: Sanjeevani Kher
Director: Late Vinod Hadap
Duration: 60 minutes
Performances: 50
Characters: 7 (only women)

 

Hunda Nako Ga Bai

Hunda Nako Ga Bai  (No Dowry Please)

The play ‘Hunda Nako Ga bai’  (1986) (No dowry please !) written by  Ms. Jyoti Mhapsekar for the  young activists of SMS  is also very  popular & has around  700 performances so far.

Dowry is a social evil. It  has roots in various issues  like desire  for instant money, match making , marriage beau roes, aspirations of young girls for a superior husband  and also the caste system. In India every day at least one  bride is burnt because of dowry custom.  Inspite of the anti-dowry law & subsequent amendments, the evil or dowry still haunts the society. The  play throws  light on these practices  and strives  to find   solutions such as social intervention, community participation  in the anti-dowry movement  etc.

Playwright: Jyoti Mhapsekar
Director: Late Vinod Hadap
Music: Jyoti Mhapsekar
Duration: 60 minutes
Performance: 700
Characters: 10 (men & women)

 

Bap Re Bap


Bap Re Bap  (Oh My God)

Bap Re Bap ! (Oh My God !) (1994) :  The  play written  by Jyoti Mhapsekar is  about the dwindling sex ratio in India, sex determination test , PCPNDT act, preference to male child and abortion right..  The playwright uses Indian mythological characters to present the pressing issues in a lighter vein.

Playwright: Jyoti Mhapsekar
Director: Late Vinod Hadap
Revised version: Milind Inamdar
Music: Jyoti Mhapsekar
Duration: 60 minutes
Performances: 100
Characters: 15  (10 men and 5 women)
Duration: 60 minutes
Performance: 100
Characters: 10 (men &women)

 

Kashasathi Potasathi

Kashasathi Potasathi  (Just to fill the stomach)

A play on child labour  (1998) shows different types of child labour and root causes in typical urban surrounding

Playwright: Jyoti Mhapsekar
Director: Late Vinod Hadap
Music: Jyoti Mhapsekar
Duration: 60 minutes
Performances: 3
Characters: 12  (10 children and two adults)

Samatekade Vatchal 

Samatekade-vatchal-1aSamatekade Vatchal (Towards Equality)

Samatekade Vatchal  (2011) is an Audiovisual presentation of History of Women’s Movement .The play begins with a simple but significant question posed by Abigail Adam . It depicts unique journey of how women acquired their right to vote,  explains process and connects it to the present. Struggle continues.

Playwright: Jyoti Mhapsekar
Director: Sushama Deshpande
Music: Jyoti Mhapsekar
Duration: 60 minutes
Performances: 25
Characters: 7
Duration: 60 minutes