Three Perfect Days with Mahesh Elkunchwar

TalkBack with the playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar (middle) flanked by Sindu Singh (left) and Basab Pradhan (right ) on the sets of  Sonata  at Lohman Theatre. PC: Anju Prakash

TalkBack with the playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar (middle) flanked by Sindu Singh (left) and Basab Pradhan (right ) on the sets of Sonata at Lohman Theatre. PC: Anju Prakash

What a weekend! Two great shows of Sonata to end the run, standing ovations and Maheshji in our midst.

Mahesh Elkunchwar is one of the most influential playwrights in Indian theatre today. To have him with us for three days watching our shows (he saw both casts perform), taking questions from the audience afterwards and conducting a theatre workshop at our studio... was like a dream come true.

Maheshji lives in Nagpur, India, but as luck would have it, was visiting family in the States at the same time Sonata was to be staged. He flew in on Friday afternoon from Seattle. He was in the audience for the Friday and Saturday evening performances and hosted a Talkback after both shows during which he was eloquent, forthright and at times, downright hilarious. Throngs of people waited to meet him in the lobby afterwards.

Over Saturday morning and all day Sunday, Maheshji conducted a Theatre Workshop at our studio in Belmont. We listened with rapt attention to the legendary playwright as he packed what he usually teaches in his 10 day workshops into 3 sessions that were each 3 hours long. There was an amazing wealth of information and experience shared along with plenty of acting and playwriting exercises. All the participants agreed that we didn't want it to end – a day and a half was not enough. Not by a mile. But every one of us left with a deeper, richer understanding of a medium that we all intensely love. We hope he will honor us with a visit again someday.

Theatre Workshop with Mahesh Elkunchwar underway at our studio in Belmont

Theatre Workshop with Mahesh Elkunchwar underway at our studio in Belmont

Basab Pradhan