SATF 2017 Cover Flyer

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

SPOTLIGHT Columbus Inc Presents

Three Plays followed by a Panel Discussion
“Social Challenges portrayed in Theater”

Date & Time : Saturday, 19th August 2017, 2.30 PM
Venue: Shedd Theater, Colmbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave, Columbus, OH

Tickets : $20
Student & Senior : $15
(Online Ticket Not Available)

Call : Arijit: (503) 913-0539
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Twitter : SpotLightOH

Summary of 2017 Programs

Spotlight Columbus is back with their Third Annual South Asian theater festival. Saturday, August 19th. Our 2017 festival showcases Columbus-based South Asian actors in three theatrical works written in different languages. Through the display of theatrical artistic excellence, we try to connect the diverse cultural entities by breaking through geographical and cultural boundaries while also celebrating the differences. This year we present three short plays. The first play is directed by none other than the renowned thespian and Sahitya Akademi Award winner all the way from India, Ms. Usha Ganguli and the play, "Manto r Meyera" is based on soul touching short stories written by the famous and controversial Urdu writer, Sadaat Hassan Manto. The second play "Our Voices" is directed by Andrew Protopapas of CATCO, Columbus' premier professional theater group and is a story based on our next generation young adults growing up in this country, a story which will resonate with all those who have immigrated to this great land. And the third play "The Djinns of Eidgah" is directed by French director Hafiz Karmali, a story exploring the human cost of conflict in Kashmir, India. Three unique plays, three unique stories. If you are a theater lover, love diverse culture, arts and literature, you wouldn't want to miss this event. This year's program will also include an initial month-long actors’ workshop, conducted by renowned Indian playwright and thespian Ms. Usha Ganguli, 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. Please see more info in our website .This festival will have three plays on “Facets of Social Challenges” (our theme this year) followed by a Panel Discussion.

1)  Manto-r Meyera
(Women of Manto)
[ A Bengali Play with English Supertitle]
Based on 3 Short Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto
Adapted and Directed by: Usha Ganguli
Kolkata, India

2) The Djinns of Eidgah
[An English Play ]
Written by : Abhushek Mazumdar
Directed by: Hafiz Karmali
Paris, France
Performed by Epic Actors’ Workshop, NJ

3) Our Voices
[An English Play ]
Written by : Gargi Mukherjee
Directed by: Andrew Protopapas
Artist Educator, CATCO, Columbus , OH

4) Panel Discussion :
Subject : “Social Challenges portrayed in Theater”

Usha Ganguli : Director of the play “Women of Manto”
Hafiz Karmali : Director of the play “The Djinns of Eidgah”
Andrew Protopapas : Director of the play “Our Voices”
Gargi Mukherjee : Playwright of the play “Our Voices”
Dipan Ray : Founding Member, Epic Actor Workshop and South Asian Theater Festival
Chris Leyva : Renowned Playwrite, Author and Illustrator
Joe Bishara : Associate Producing Director, CATCO
Moderator : Joe Bishara

Festival Schedule

        Time Programme
        2.30 PM Inauguration
        3.00 PM Women of Manto
        4:30 PM Break
        5.00 PM Our Voices
        5:45 PM Break
        6:15 PM The Djinns of Eidgah
        8:15 PM Break
        8:30 PM Panel Discussion
        9:30 PM Wrap Up
SATF 2017 Secondary Flyer

Director's Bio

Usha Ganguly
Andrew Protopapas
Hafiz Karmali
Director/Designer, Performer and Translator
Joe Bishara
Associate Producing Director
Casting Flyer

Manto-r Meyera (Women of Manto)

Original play by: Saadat Hasan Manto
Adaptation in Bengali & Directed by: Usha Ganguli
Performed by: Spotlight Columbus Inc, Columbus, Ohio


Shaibalini (Chumki) Bagchi as Sultana
Rehman Mehbubor as Khudabaksh
Biswajit Ghosh as Shankar
Soumi Chatterjee as Anwari
Arijit Sur as Abdul
Urmi Majumdar as Neeti
Suchanda (Luna) Basu as Sugandhi
Prabir (Apu) Basu as Madho
Md Abdullah (Milu) as Ramlal
Prabal Kumar Basu as Daroga
Madhupa Chatterjee as Narrator 1
Arunita Ghosh as Narrator 2
Sayani Das as Narrator 3
Ananya Biswas as Narrator 4
Sultana Nahar as Narrator 5
Shalini Basu as Young Girl


Music & Sound Design: A.K. Azad and Usha Ganguli
Sound Operation: Aveek Das
Light Design: Usha Ganguli, Subhayu Sarkar
Light Projection: Subhayu Sarkar
Supertitle: Sharmistha Sarkar
Supertitle Projection: Subhrajit Sarkar
Set Design: Usha Ganguli
Set Preparation: Pradip Bhadra and Tanusree (Mishti) Ganguly
Properties: Tanusree (Mishti) Ganguly and Dalia Renusch
Costume Design: Usha Ganguli
Costume Help: Uttam Das, Purba Das and Sumona Biswas Sarkar


It’s three short stories of three women, Sultana, Neeti and Sugandhi, long abused in society for being in the oldest of professions they are forced to enter. A remarkable aspect of the play is Manto’s treatment of the role of women who, conscious of their own rights, are determined to rise out of their bleak surroundings. They ultimately take a stand for themselves to end their exploitation and live a life of their own. Standing up against exploitation in the workplace is quite uncommon even in contemporary times but Manto’s women were doing this, much earlier than us, by standing up against harassment and economic exploitation. Manto’s interest in tabooed subjects, portraying women’s power, rage, independence and agency classifies his ground-breaking work as feminist literature and has left its indelible mark on both India and Pakistan.

Our Voices

Written by: Gargi Mukherjee
Directed by: Andrew Protopapas


Roma (and others)…………….Ishika Majumder
Brishti (and others)………………Keya Shanbhag
Ronita (and others)……………………Mira Bhasin
Wahid (and others)…………………Nikhil Makhija
Aranya (and others)…………………….Sayan Basu
Narrator (and others)………………Taryn Huffman
Aunty (and others)………………………Neel Pannu
Chris (and others)………………………..Ben Hartwig


Our Voices by Gargi Mukherjee was staged at the South Asian Theater Festival at Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey in September 2013.

Our Voices follows five South Asian youths who are growing up here in the United States. These young people find themselves either caught between cultures, not identifying with any, or preferring one over the other, resulting in major conflicts within their families and beyond. Issues of sexuality, religious diversity, the politics of gender, role and space within the home and the outside world, ethnicity, and identity are explored. Our Voices strives to give South Asian youth a voice – a platform not only where they can share their thoughts, feelings, and innermost struggles, but also where they can collaborate with others toward the common goal of gaining a clearer understanding of who they are and how to celebrate their differences.

The Djinns of Eidgah

Written by: Abhishek Majumdar
Directed by: Hafiz Karmali


Keshab Chatterjee as Abbajan (Father)
Sreejani Sinha as Ashrafi 1
Arunendra Banerjee as Bilal
Poorna Chatterjee as Fatima and Ashrafi 2nd
Shan Mukhopadhyay as Djinn and Khaled
Sabyasachi Chakraborty as Mushtaq and CRPF Soldier 2
Sutapa Mukhopadhyay as Dr. Wani and CRPF Soldier 1
Abhijit Neogy as Dr. Baig


Surath Sinha: Production Manager / Stage Manager
Pathik Sen: Poster and Projection Design


Originally presented at the Royal Court Theatre in London, The Djinns of Eidgah by Abhishek Majumdar is a haunting drama that depicts the tragic consequences of endless conflict in Kashmir. Interweaving myth and reality, the play is above all a depiction of the huge price paid by citizens especially children in the strife torn region.

Ashrafi and Bilal are orphans nursing dreams of a better life while traumatized by the brutal untimely death of their beloved Abbajan (father) at the hands of anonymous “vultures”. Short of imposing curfews, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) struggles to control the rebellious youth daring to sacrifice their lives in protest marches as local psychiatrists Dr. Wani and Dr. Baig (based on a renowned PTSD specialist) need to work miracles in healing crisis stricken patients.

Ironically, as Dr. Baig attempts to mediate peace, his radicalized son Junaid adopts a militant name Pareen and ultimately survives as a rebellious Djinn (spirit) that continues to recruit souls to form an eternal army of spiritual mujahedeen (holy warriors) - the Djinns of Eidgah (a sacred site for the dead).