Category Archives: Playwriting

How the course on Dissent was scrapped in NUS Yale

ALFIAN

Alfian Bin Sa’at

Recently, a course on dissent and resistance that was to be conducted by poet and playwright Alfian Bin Sa’at in NUS-Yale was dropped by the university. Sa’at had not been fully aware of the consequences that students could be going against the laws and risk arrest in pursuing the course curriculum.

The decision said the Yale President,Professor Peter Salovey, was made “internally and without government interference”. 

In an earlier report, Professor Salovey had said: “In founding and working with our Singaporean colleagues on Yale-NUS, Yale has insisted on the values of academic freedom and open inquiry, which have been central to the college and have inspired outstanding work by faculty, students, and staff: Yale-NUS has become a model of innovation in liberal arts education in Asia.” Read more

What does Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka have to say on India, Nigeria and more….

Wole Soyinka was the first Nigerian author, poet, playwright and essayist to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. He has taught in number of universities, including Cornell, Oxford, Harvard and Yale.

Soyinka had been living in America for twenty years before President Trump came to power. He was a scholar-in-residence at New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs when he tore up his green card. He said: “I had a horror of what is to come with Trump… I threw away the card and I have relocated, and I’m back to where I have always been.” He returned to Africa.  Read more

Shakespeare’s Hamlet was dated wrongly: Study

William Shakespeare’s popular play Hamlet was dated wrongly, causing scholars to overlook a message that has hidden in plain sight for centuries, new research has claimed. Until recently, academics believed that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in early 1601, when Elizabeth I was still on the throne after more than 42 years.

Researchers have found that this is the wrong date and that the Bard did not produce the finished version for another two years.

According to them, Shakespeare may have used the play to win the favour of the newly crowned James I in 1603. In 1603, Shakespeare would have been working on his play immediately after the coronation of James I and after the death of his own father, John, in late 1601. Read more

Source: The Indian Express

Shakespeare wrote Henry VI plays with rival Marlowe, say scholars

Shakespeare

A collection of plays by William Shakespeare to be issued later this month will have an unusual credit line after years of research: Christopher Marlowe, a contemporary of the Bard, will be mentioned as co-writer of three of his Henry VI plays.

A group of Shakespeare scholars have come to the conclusion that the famed playwright collaborated with others, and they believe Marlowe’s contribution to the three plays was more than just rumour.

The New Oxford Shakespeare is to be published by Oxford University Press later this month with the new credit line for Parts One, Two and Three of Henry VI. As many as 17 Shakespeare plays contain writings by others, the scholars told The Guardian. Read more

Shakespeare’s First Folio comes to Sotheby’s Hong Kong to mark 400th anniversary

Eton College, the world-renowned independent British school, and Heywood Hill, the legendary London bookshop, recently announced a free public exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong on October 26-29, 2016.

Eton College and Heywood Hill, quintessentially British institutions, have joined forces, with the support of the British Consulate and Sotheby’s, to provide the residents of Hong Kong a unique opportunity to see one of the greatest literary artifacts in the English-speaking world this year, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Read more

Faculty, students say space for free thinking shrinking

The controversy over a play based on Mahasweta Devi’s short story Draupadi, enacted at Central University of Haryana in Mahendragarh, about 150-km south-west of Delhi, this past week has turned the campus into a battleground between academicians and right-wing organisation

The uproar over the enactment of a play has left the faculty and students scared to discuss sensitive issues in classrooms or on campus.Read more

Syed Shamsul Haq leaves behind a huge corpus of unfinished writing

Acclaimed poet,author and playwright Syed Shamsul Haq, who died Tuesday, was nowhere near his swansong, Culture Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor says.

“Syed Haq was a busy and regular writer even to his last day as he used to say he has a lot left to write,” the minister said. “It was hard to believe that his zest for life was interrupted so abruptly.”

The minister rushed to United Hospital at the news of the demise of the maverick.

Holding back tears while interacting with journalists at the hospital in the evening, Noor said, “We had never thought we’d lose him so soon.”

“The life expectancy in Bangladesh has increased now, and for a man as disciplined as he was …it (his death) is quite unexpected,” he said with tears in his eyes.

Bangladesh’s premier writer was diagnosed with lung cancer in London in April this year. After three months of treatment he returned home on Sep 1.

Read more

 

Prithvi Theatres debut at Dubai with Jerome Kilty’s ‘Dear Liar’, bringing back nostalgia on the art of writing letters

by Rituparna Mahapatra

PrithviDubai known for its vibrant cultural ambience was recently buzzing with the news of the iconic Prithvi Theatres coming to the city. Thus, with it came the frenzy to book tickets, for the repertoire of plays that would be matter for discussion at many following summer evenings.

This five day theatre festival brought by Raging Tigers was a landmark event in the social circle of Dubai. The theatre personalities that performed included stalwarts of Indian cinema and theatre such as Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, and Shabana Azmi. The plays chosen for the festival had been handpicked, said Kunal Kapoor, trustee of Prithvi Theatres. The festival opened with Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah in the acclaimed Jerome Kitty’s ‘Dear Liar’ adapted for the stage by the legendary Satyadev Dubey. The other plays selected were ‘White Lily and Knight Rider’, a play about the various dimensions of a male-female relationship in the digital world; ‘ Nothing Like Lear’ based on Shakespeare’s King Lear, the classic ‘Glass Menagerie’ and finally the immensely popular Urdu play ‘Kaifi Aur Main’, Shaukat Azmi’s memoirs on her husband poet Kaifi Azmi.

The play ‘Dear Liar’ particularly struck a chord, since the plot was on the dramatization of correspondence over a forty -year period between George Bernard Shaw and the celebrated actress Mrs Patrick Campbell, which began in late-Victorian London in 1899 and ended with the death of “Mrs Campbell” in France in 1940. A relationship intense and verbal that survived time and war and kept two immensely bright individuals bonded by letters. Only by rhetoric precisely. Writing a letter was an art, no less than art itself…now almost extinct. Read more

India: This city based theatre group is reviving classic Hindi literature

The year was 1958. Prolific Hindi writer Mohan Rakesh had penned down a fictitious story on the mythological character of Kalidas. Ashadh Ka Ek Din was a three-part Hindi drama, where, contrary to the existing norms, Kalidas was not a mystic. He was a common man, living in Kashmir with his lover Mallika, leading an average family life. The play was a realist drama coupled with human emotions including rage, mirth and jealousy. Read more

William Heinemann to publish recently discovered novel by Harper Lee

Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House, has acquired UK and Commonwealth Rights (exc. Canada) in a newly discovered novel by Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.  The deal was struck with Andrew Nurnberg of Andrew Nurnberg Associates.  The novel will be published in hardback and as an ebook under the William Heinemann imprint, the original UK publisher of To Kill a Mockingbird.

The novel, which Lee titled Go Set a Watchman, will be published on 14th July 2015.

Harper Lee says, `In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called Go Set a Watchman. It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel from the point of view of the young Scout. I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn’t realized it had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it. After much thought and hesitation I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.’ Read more

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