Pleiades Theatre of Toronto Presents English Drama "The Post Office" Translated from Tagore's DAKGHAR by Julie Mehta

[The Post Office]
[The Post Office - the theater group in Toronto]

Toronto, Canada, May 31, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Rabindranath Tagore's DAKGHAR ( ডাকঘর ) is one of the worlds most enduring and enchanting theatrical works. Pleiades Theater's production "The Post Office" is an English adaptation of the famous Bengali play by Tagore performed by the theater troupe from May 7 through June 4, 2011.

The Post Office incorporates dance and music along with the spoken word as is common in Indian theater. The production will be part of the Indian Government’s 2011 Canada-wide celebration of Indian arts and culture, highlighting the growing bonds between India and Canada.

"The Post Office is a work about simple truths, and in capturing the writings joy and elegiac nature, the Pleaides Theatre production is a red-letter winner", writes NOW Magazine.

"(Mina) James is excellent as a forthright and innocent Amal, making him robust and restless in the early scenes and touchingly frail and feverish later on." - The Globe & Mail

"With John Van Burek directing, (Mina) James gives a lovely performance in the pivotal role of the perky, life-loving boy, while (Sughit) Varughese gives shape and solidity to the suffering, affectionate uncle." - The Toronto Star

"This production is embellished in the tradition of Tagores work, with the music of the sub-continent he called home, as well as its dancing." - The Toronto Sun

"Theatre can be a spiritual, transformative experience. Such is Pleiades production of Rabindranath Tagores The Post Office. This play must be seen for its haunting magic realism." - Paula Citron, Classical 96

"Once again we in Toronto must count ourselves lucky to have such a theatre company as Pleiades to bring such a beautifully poetic work as The Post Office to life in such a sensitive production." - Christopher Hoile, Stage-Door.com

"John Van Burek is a theatre force of nature." - Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter

Synopsis

Amal is an orphaned child of about ten, from a rural village in India. He has been taken in by a childless but loving couple living in the city. Now, however, Amal is gravely ill, although he doesn’t know the extent of his sickness. The very traditional local Healer has insisted that he remain indoors, much to the dismay of his loving “uncle,” Madhab Dutta. So, confined to his room, he sits by the open window where he engages with a variety of passersby. Many of them are people of self-appointed importance or they fulfill some function of order in society. One by one, Amal converses with these folks and one by one, his innocent questioning and absence of judgement touches them all in such a way that they are changed by this child. All are taken aback by his simple but tireless quest for knowledge, his unflinching love for life and his need to discover the world around him... and the world beyond. Across the street, Amal sees a shiny new building with a bright yellow flag waving from the roof: it is the King’s Post Office. Though he can’t even read, he is fascinated by the notion of letters, which are people’s thoughts and feelings, flying about through time and space; he would very much love to get a letter from the King and he would love to be in touch with the world far away. He would also like to travel to the distant hills on the far horizon. As Amal’s physical strength diminishes, his spiritual strength expands The central metaphor of the play is that life itself is like a post office, a central clearing house from which our words, thoughts and sentiments emanate out across the world. Not only that but, even when we are gone, our spirit will remain in the surrounding air.

The Post Office
Written by Rabindranath Tagore
Directed by John Van Burek
Translated by Julie Mehta
Featuring Mina James, Patricia Marceau, Sam Moses, Errol Sitahal, Dylan Scott Smith, Sugith Varughese and Jennifer Villaverde
Choreography by Hari Krishnan
Set by Teresa Przybylski
Costumes by Milan Shahani
Music by Debashis Sinha
Lighting by Robert Thomson
Production house: Pleiades Theatre, 55 Mill Street, Case Goods Warehouse, Building 74, Studio 311, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4, Canada;  Tel: 416.203.1227; E-mail: info@pleiadestheatre.org; www.pleiadestheatre.org


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