The fifth week of the Samahaara Theatre Festival 2016 ended on a high note with the performance of their original play Karna. This is the fifth play by the critically acclaimed playwright Anjali Parvati Koda. Her previous plays include Purushotham (this play has been a part of the Theatre and Acting curriculum for BFA & MFA students of RUTGERS, State University of New Jersey, USA) Dominic Wesley, Gregor Samsa and God’s Favourite Ice-cream Flavour.
Karna is a play inspired by the great Indian epic The Mahabharata and interprets it from the protagonist Vaasusena aka Karna’s point of view. The play deviates from the traditional portrayals to explore all the characters a little more, noting that no character is good or bad in totality. The circumstances of war and the various reasons behind it, the politics of the time, the caste reforms and those against it and whether it really was a war of dharma versus adharma… are all questioned.
From the popular to the unknown and from the actual text to its interpretation, the play navigates a fine line between apparent historical to inspired fictions. Afsheen Irani as Karna, Priyanka Pandey as Draupadi, Shubhangi Pandey as Kunti and Pavan RNS as Dhritarashtra performed their roles with a lot of flair.