Theatre for Community Development
Budhan Theatre Plays
This play is based on an incident that occurred in the Eastern part of India where West Benga police killed an innocent tribal person, Bhudan Sabar, due to the historical stigma of his Sabar tribe, known as a “Criminal Tribe.” The play has been widely performed and published throughout India; there have been over 300 shows and it has been translated into both Indian and Chinese languages.
Pinya Hari Kale Ki Maut (Death of Pinya Hari Kale)
This play is based on the real incident of custodial death in the Baramati district of Maharashtra, India. Pinya Hari Kale, of the “Pardhi Tribe,” was brutally killed by Maharashtra Police. The play was performed in seminars and meetings of DNTs including the presence of the Honorable Chief Justice of India, Mr. venkatesh Chhallaiya in 2000.
o This play is based on the story of Deepak Pawar, who used to beg in the Solapur district of Maharashtra. Exploited by the local police, he was allowed to brew liquor in exchange for bribes. Upon denying a bribe, the police killed him and reported him as being involved in alleged weapon trafficking. It has been performed over 50 times throughout India, including viewings by 20 High Designated police officials in Bhopal at the International Seminar of De-notified Tribes.
Majhab Hame Sikhata Aapas Mein Bair Rakhna
This play is based on communal conflicts that occurred in Gujarat, India, in 2002. It has been performed over 25 times in Ahmedabad city to promote communal harmony among conflict groups
Bhoma (Written by Badal Sircar)
The play, written by Badal Sircar, a founder of Indian street theatre, highlights political and civic issues of the common man on Indian streets. Budhan Theatre performd the show to demonstrate the same issues with the people of Ahmedabad. It was perfomed 10 times in India, both in front of the District Collector Office and at the gate of the house of District Municipal Commissioner of Ahmedabad City, to protest the demolition of poor ghettos and to promote housing rights of slum dwellers in Ahmedabad.
Ek Chhoti Si Ladai
This 20 minute poetic play includes poems by Paash, Dhumil, Fajz Ahmed Faiz, and Sadat Hasan Manto. It is an optimistic play about the DNT movement in the country.
This play discusses the issue of child trafficking in India. After a 10 day workshop with the students of Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information Technology (DAIICT), this play was developed and performed at various institutions, including the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay. It won the second prize in the National Street Theatre Competition organized at IIT in 2005.
Hamari Zindagi (Our Life) and Jeet (Victory) with SEWA Org.
o These two plays were produced after a 10 day theatre workshop with women vendors and widows affected by riots to highlight their social and economic issues. They both received first prize in the National Competition of Street Plays, organized in Delhi.
This play is based on the Forest Rights movement, led by Birsa Mumda, against British rule. It was developed with artists at the Tribal Academy of Gujarat and was performed 25 different times at tribal fairs in Gujarat.
Mujhe Mat Maaro...Saab (Don't Beat Me...Sir)
This play combines three atrocious incidents regarding DNTs in various states of India. It was performed in 70 shows, including 35 shows commissioned by Action Aid to mobilize people to fight for their housing rights from the government.
Ek Aur Balcony (An Adaptation of Gean Genet)
This is an adaption of Gean Genet’s French play La Balcon performed on De-notification Day De-notified Tribes in 2008. The play was adapted for the Indian context, showing oppressors (police, judges, political leaders, and corporations) as oppressed, in order to transform spectators’ sensitivity towards the downtrodden people of India.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist (An Adaptation of Italian Noble Laureate Dario Fo)
This play discussed police corruption in India, which draws innocent people as anarchists. Through double talk and fast paced dialogue, the play demonstrates police brutality against innocent youth of religious minority communities in India. It was performed in over 30 experimental shows, including museums, small rooms, houses, terraces, localities of religious minorities, and some education institutions such as IIMA. It was translated in Hindi by Amitabh Shrivastava.
The Lower Depth (An Adaptation of Maxim Gorky)
This play was adapted to address housing rights. It was performed in slums about to be demolished by the government. It premiered in “Environmental Theatre Form” in Maninagar Slum in Ahmedabad, which was witnessed by around 200 members of civil society.
Me Vaddar (Improvised play based on DNT issues)
A theatre workshop at the Foundation of Liberal and Management Education (FLAME) in Pune, with UG and PG students of performing arts, on using improvisational devices for theatre. It was developed as a solo performance, performed by Atish Indrekar in Bombay and Ahmedabad.
Pata (The Tracks) (Written by Prof. Kanjibhai Patel and Dakxin Bajrange)
This play is based on three short stories by Prof. Kanjibhai Patel, who has written numerous books on social and political struggles of nomadic tribes in Gujarat. The play is based on three real incidents that took place in rural Gujarat where nomadic and De-notified Tribes were brutally beaten, discriminated against, and pushed out of the villages by high caste members. In its symbolic ending, these oppressed communities decide to cut down all railway tracks, claiming that ‘these tracks are responsible for our plight.”
This play is about the famine of West Bengal in 1956. It is a poetic play performed to demonstrate the pain of hunger among the labor classes who lost their livelihood because of government policy to shut down the clothing mills in Ahmedabad.
Directed by Alok Gagbekar, this play focuses on saffron politics of hate between Dalites and Muslims and both marginalized communities in riots. The play was picturized by renowned documentary filmmaker Mr. Rakesh Urma, known for his Gujarati political films, films based on Gujarat, titled Ke Sariyo Kono (Whose saffron?).
Choli Ke Pichhe Kya Hai?
Based on the Bengali writer Mahasveta Devi's short story, the play focuses on gender violence in rural India through exploitation of women, the struggle of lower caste women, and the exploit by landlords of rural women. It was appreciated by renowned actor Mohan Agashe and poet Dilip Chitre. These prominent personalities both stated the plays were an ultra modern theatre form.
Ek Chhoti Si Asha
A play about the DNT plight and people who are living stigmatized lives but have hope for social movement.
Sangharsh Aur Siddhi
A product of a theater workshop with women vendors. It was organized by SEWA. The play focuses on the women vendors’ struggle to sell vegetables on the streets and their agitation against the city council who was stopping them from selling. The play also discusses the judgment which arose in Gujarat High Court in favor of women vendors. The play got “Best Play Award” in the National Competition and was also performed on many occasions to mobilize women vendors around their fight for their rights to sell vegetables on the streets.
A play about the lives of riots-affected women. A workshop was conducted with these women and resulted in the production of this play. They performed in an event organized by SEWA. In the show ("Our Lives") the widowed women performed stories of their own lives.
Hamare Gaun (Our Village)
A play about Ghandian thoughts to empower the villages through sustainable development.
Based on Ghandi's book entitled Swaraj, this piece talks about empowering villages, sustaining the economy and ecology for the sustainable development of the community.
Save Girl Child
A play for PD Malivia Arts College, it was developed around the issue of female children being aborted in the womb.
A play about the demolition issue in Ahmedabad. It was commissioned by Action Aid, Gujarat, and performed 36 times in the various demolition sites in Ahmedabad.
British, Come Back to India
The play is about corruption, colonial laws in India, discrimination, exploitation, judicial, and legal bias with the common man.
Prati 54 Minute
It is a play about rape issues. Based on a book by Devy called Praati Chopttan Minutes (in English, "every 54 minutes"), about rapes in India.
Bhrashtachar Ke Rang
A play made for a youth festival organized by Gujarat University. The play was developed around corruption in the Indian legal political and judicial system.
Taras Lagi Chhe, Taras (I am thirsty)
In 2008, the government constructed a wall around a public lake and began to charge fees for entry. In response, Ahmedabad based civil society began agitation against the government's policy regarding this lake, using theatre to show their resistance. Director Saumya Joshi developed the play Taras Lagi Chhe Taras with the Budhan Theare team, and the play was performed during a cycle rally from Gujarat college to Kankariya lake where the wall was constructed. The pay was performed at every bend of the road, thus the play was performed more than 30 times until it reached its final destination, the central location for government agitation.