Brecht_Bhasha Centre © Bhasha Centre

The year 2023 marks the 125th birth anniversary of German playwright and theatre practitioner Bertolt BrechtBhasha Centre with the support of Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore and Kshirsagar Apte Foundation (KAF) has been conducting various activities throughout the year to celebrate the work of Brecht. The objective of Brecht@2023 is to create a contemporary response to the work of Brecht as well as introducing his work to a wider audience. These activities include online seminars on Brechtian principles and screenings of documentaries on Brecht.
Another of Bhasha Centre's initiatives has been Brecht: Here and Now under which two Indian playwrights will be commissioned to write a brand new and original play in response to the literary work of Brecht (plays/ screenplays/ novels/ poetry/ interviews/ critique) in any Indian language and offer them a fee of INR 75,000 each for writing the play.

Brecht: Here and Now awardees:

A.Acharya-Brecht@2023 © Abhimanyu Acharya Abhimanyu Acharya is a multilingual fiction writer, playwright, translator, and scholar. He is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar (2020), the Sanhita Manch playwriting award (2020), and Sahapedia-UNESCO Fellowship (2019). He has been longlisted thrice for the TOTO Awards for creative writing in English, and his doctoral dissertation was nominated for the American distinguished dissertation awards (2023). His plays have been performed in different cities across India, the US, and Canada, and his works have appeared in or are forthcoming in Identity Theory, Out of Print, Hakara, Gulmohar Quarterly, Readingroom, and Karvaan India amongst others.

Currently based out of Ontario, Canada, he at present serves as the Assistant Artistic Director at SAWITRI Theatre and is soon to join Kings University College (Ontario) as a creative writing specialist. 

Abhimanyu has written Saheb no coat in response to Brecht's The Heretic's Coat in Gujarati.

V.Balakrishnan_Brecht 2023 © V.Balakrishnan V. Balakrishnan graduated from the National School of Drama in 1998 and was a part of the Royal Court Theatre, London residency programme in 2002. He was an actor with the South Korean performance group, Tuida in 2014, and is a Fulbright Scholar (FDAT, 2017). He works with @theatre.nisha in Chennai. Ten of his plays have been published by Zero Degree Publications and Dhauli Books. Balakrishnan won the Hindu Playwright Award for his play, Sordid in 2019 and was a joint winner of the Sultan Padamsee Award for God's Will in 2022.

V. Balakrishnan has written Uncocked, in response to Brecht’s The Job or by the sweat of thy brow shalt thou fail to earn thy bread in English.

Congratulations to both playwrights!