Dastangoi is a 13th century Urdu oral storytelling art form. The Persian style of Dastan evolved in 16th century. This form of the art was revived in 2005 and thousands of shows have been performed in India and abroad since then. At the centre of dastangoi is the dastango, or storyteller, whose voice is his main artistic tool in orally recreating the dastan or the story.
The Mandi Theater made a new tradition through Dastanogoi in Chicago last year at the Indian Theater Festival. Mandi sought to bring contemporary stories under the umbrella of Dastangoi, thus spread its wings to save the dying art. With Dastangoi gaining momentum, Mandi Theatre celebrated thirteen years of its revival, and is going to present some of great stories from well-known Indian writers at the Rasa Festival.
About Mandi Theatre
Mandi Theatre is Chicago based 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. As a strong medium for social integration and upliftment, we aim to connect with common people on various social issues and have performed at very reputed and popular community organizations in and around the Chicago area. We are the group of like-minded enthusiasts of traditional Indian as well as international theatre in the Chicago area.
We are dedicated to producing the classics of Indian/International dramatic literature, which are not accessible to a wide audience. In 2017, Mandi Theatre introduced the Indian Theatre Festival, bringing together other theatre groups from around USA. We produce and stage intelligent, entertaining as well as thought-provoking plays to strengthen the role of traditional Indian theatre in the arts community of Chicago area and enhance our national reputation.
The strengths of Mandi’s brand of theatre are original scripts by Indian and international playwrights (in translation), excellent performances by talented actors, innovative staging techniques, and a wide experience in performing in regular theatres and informal performance spaces.
Alka Sharma is the Founder and Director of Mandi Theatre and Amprapali Nritya – Kala Kendra, two renowned groups in the field of arts and culture in Chicago. An actor, dancer, playwright, poet, painter, and a freelance writer, Alka has been actively involved in many community service events such as Women’s Day and Children’s Day. She is also the Channel Head for Radio HINDI. In 2017, Alka started the Hindi Theatre Festival, bringing together other theatre groups from around USA. Since 2016, she has also been holding Children’s Day Celebrations through performances and art contests Among the many honors that she has received are recognition from the Federation of Indian Associations, Village of Streamwood, UP Association of Chicagoland. Metropolitan Asian Family Services (MAFS), etc. At the 3rd International Hindi Conference in NY, she was recognized for her excellent contribution in the field of theatre by Dr. Gabriela Nick Ilieva of New York University. Alka’s dance group was the first prize winner at the 2017 India Fest, Naperville in the folk dance contest.