Cinque Terre

After the Grand Success of Last Year it’s Time again for another Gala Show

SPOTLIGHT Ohio Presents

Two Plays and One Musical on Social Justice followed by a Panel Discussion

Date & Time : Sunday, 21th August 2016, 2 PM
Venue: McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St, Worthington, OH 43085

Tickets : $20
(Online Payment is Coming Soon)

Call : Prabir: (614)734-1961 / Arijit: (503) 913-0539
Website :
Facebook :
Email :
Twitter : SpotLightOH

Summary of 2016 Programs

Our goal is to bring together the gems of South Asian Theatre that are scattered all over the state of Ohio by organizing a centrally located, annual theater festival and workshop. SPOTLIGHT will work in association with Epic Actors' Workshop, New Jersey. Epic Actors' Workshop organizes a theater festival and workshop that has successfully engaged New Jerseyans in South Asian Theater for 10 years, and whose community work inspired us to bring these kinds of opportunities to the Midwest region. Our 2016 festival will showcase Columbus-based South Asian actors in three theatrical works written in different languages. Through the display of theatrical artistic excellence, we will try to connect the diverse cultural entities by breaking through geographical and cultural boundaries while also celebrating the differences. The festival's bill will include two plays in Indian native language, and an original musical. All of these productions would be conceived, written, choreographed, performed and produced entirely by local South Asian artists. This year's program will include an initial month-long actors workshop, given by renown Indian playwright Meghnad Bhattacharya, provided to the local actors and production personnel performing in the festival and all workshop meetings will be open for the public to watch. Following the evening's performances a panel discussion featuring theater experts from local colleges, universities, and professional theater groups will engage the audiences in a dialogue with the works they have just witnessed.

1) মেঘনাদ ভট্টাচার্য্য পরিচালিত "অ আ ক খ"
Aw Aaa Ka Kha :
The Enlightenment
[A Bengali Play with English Supertitles]
Playwright: Indrasish Lahiri
Director: Meghnad Bhattacharya, Kolkata, India
Performed by : Spotlight OH

2) The Masrayana
[An English Play ]
Playwright: William Kovascik
Director: Mahesh Dattani, Mumbai, India
Performed by : Indian Cultural Society, NJ

3) Women Of Virtue
[An English Musical – A Collaboration of Visual and Performing Artists]
Concept: Shonel Sen
Director : Kaustavi Sarkar, Columbus, OH

4) Panel Discussion :
Subject : Theater for Social Justice
Mahesh Dattani : Director of the play “The Masrayana”
Dipan Ray : Founding Member, Epic Actor Workshop and South Asian Theater Festival
Liz Wheeler : Award-Winning AEA Actor and Choreographer, Drama Instructor at Columbus School of Girls
Joe Bishara : Associate Producing Director, CATCO
Kaustavi Sarkar : Director of “Women of Virtue”
Moderator : Joe Bishara

Festival Schedule :
2.00 PM Inauguration
2.30 PM Aw Aaa Kaw Khaw : The Enlightenment
4.00 PM Break
4.30 PM The Masrayana
6.30 PM Break
7.00 PM Women of Virtue
7.45 PM Panel Discussion
8.45 PM Wrap up

Cinque Terre Cinque Terre


Meghnad Bhattacharyya

Bengali theatre director and actor

Meghnad Bhattacharya is not only one of founder members but also a friend, philosopher and guide of Sayak, the theater group,that through its journey of 35 years, became a household name in the world of native Indian (Bengali) theater in India. Meghnad's directorial prowess and acting skills in last two decades includes full length productions and six short plays have taken him to the pinnacle of progress by adding to the traditional gracefulness of Indian theater. A spontaneous interpreter of modern playwrights, especially renowned play writers in India, he is also an accomplished translator and adaptor of classical playwrights, Tolstoy, Brecht, Shcedrin and Somerset Maugham. His unflinching devotion and tireless endeavors have taken him to a celebrated status of having full houses for more than 2 decades in India, as well as abroad in USA, Canada, Bangladesh, and Kuwait. Besides acting in Theater productions, Meghnad also acted under the direction of famous film directors in India in their productions of plays by Shakespeare and several others. Apart from that Meghnad has directed several TV plays and acted in many TV serials and films.

Mahesh Dattani

Indian director, actor, playwright and writer

Mahesh Dattani is an Indian director, actor, playwright and writer. He wrote such plays as Final Solutions, Dance Like a Man, Bravely Fought the Queen, On a Muggy Night in Mumbai, Tara, Thirty Days in September and 'The murder that never was', starring Dheiraj Kapoor. He is the first playwright in English to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi award. His plays have been directed by eminent directors like Arvind Gaur, Alyque Padamsee and Lillete Dubey. In 1986, he wrote his first full-length play, Where There’s a Will, and since 1995, he has been working as a full-time theatre professional. Dattani is also a film director. His debut film is Mango Souffle, adapted from one of his plays. He also wrote and directed the movie Morning Raaga.

Program Quality

In 2016, we plan to organize a one day event with three performances representing different South Asian Communities from Columbus and Franklin County. The event name will be South Asian Theater Festival (SATF) Columbus 2016. It will be the 2nd edition after the success of South Asian Theater Festival (SATF) Columbus 2015. It will be staged on 21th August 2016 at McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St, Columbus, OH 43085. There will be a central theme “Shifting Social Justice" for the festival and all performances will be selected that speak to that theme. There is no parallel to this practice within the community. The South Asian Community has very limited choices for Quality Theater performed in South Asian Languages on topics relevant to this community. We will be able to give our constituents the art of theater that generates social awareness while providing a venue for the community to meet and engage each other. We are dedicated and committed to high quality performance through artistic excellence. This is possible due to the strong commitment from all participants to long rehearsal hours, often more than 200hrs. We engage reputed directors from local professional and university theater departments as well as national and international figures. We also plan to conduct several theater workshops, hopefully in collaboration with the theater department of local colleges to develop future talent pool in the community.

Community Engagement

Our objective is to dismantle contrived barriers between communities through theater and celebrate the similarities and differences alike. We would like to showcase the best and brightest of South Asian Theater in Columbus on an annual basis through the South Asian Theater Festival. We would focus on different voices of dissent, social injustice, as well as voices that will celebrate harmony and community through our strong and diversified cultural heritage. We have broadened our endeavor by collaborating with Epic Actors' Workshop in New Jersey who are the pioneers of this concept and have successfully produced South Asian Theater Festival in the Tri-State area for the past 10 years. The festival will show case approximately 60 artists including young generation from around Columbus. Because the performances will include plays in different languages, we will use our own unique software to create "super titles" in English for all the performances that will aid both the hearing impaired and non-speakers to follow the play.This unique effort will help us in cutting across cultural divides and building bridges between cultures, communities and countries. Through this event we seek to obliterate borders and divisions that exist across communities. Our objective is to create public awareness of therapeutic value of theater through audience interactive panel discussion. Through this discussion, we will engage the audience from all ethnicities in an open forum to identify and realize the power of theater to address the issues of cultural diversities and disparities that exist in the society. We will engage Theater experts from South Asian Diaspora as well as mainstream theater to participate in this discussion as a panelist.

Defining and Measuring Success

All members of SPOTLIGHT are passionate theater appreciators and have experience in arts and event management. The SPOTLIGHT board meets bi-monthly to organize, distribute, report, and problem-solve. The members of the SPOTLIGHT team come from diverse professional fields which provide us with a wealth of knowledge and experience to set appropriate goals and to execute them effectively and efficiently. Our most important goals is to increase diversity in theatrical audiences and to bring quality South Asian theatre to mainstream American audiences. Part of ensuring we accomplish this goal is built into our programming with the panel discussions that take place after the performances. We offer our audience the opportunity to speak with theater and South Asian cultural experts to contextualize and supplement their theatrical experience. In addition, we give our audience a survey in which they may voluntarily identify their ethnicity, rate their experience, answer a few brief questions, and to provide any additional feedback they may have. Engaging in a dialogue with our community is of paramount importance to our mission. These surveys are collected and reviewed at the next meeting of the board of directors. We also video record our performances and panel discussion for later review and archiving. We also carefully review our ticket sales, and any reviews in the local and online social media.