Celebrating global story-telling

In keeping with its mission of bringing together Eastern and Western storytelling traditions, Sunnyvale-based organization EnActe Arts presents the first-ever New Works festival, giving a platform to local artists who tell thought-provoking stories about universal issues like identity, feminism, and the interplay between tradition and modernity, through their art.  

“It has been a rough couple of years for artists,” said EnActe’s Artistic Director Vinita Sud Belani, “and we feel privileged to inaugurate what I hope will be a yearly Festival for local artists to bring their fresh and imaginative narratives to life.”

The festival, titled When Ganesha met Shakespeare, will take place September 16, 2023, at The Ranch at Silver Creek, San Jose from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One for film and theater buffs

The festival honors the late French novelist and actor Jean-Claude Carrière, who played the role of a modern Vyaasa, a pivotal character in EnActe Arts’ stage adaptation of the Indian epic, Mahabharata. In keeping with his memory, the festival will screen the 1989 film The Mahabharata, for which Carriére penned the screenplay. 

Watch out for other screenings and performances on the bill like Amitabh Reza’s Rickshaw Girl, a feature about a girl masquerading as a male rickshaw-puller on the streets of Dhaka; Sangeeta Iyer’s Gurucool, a thought-provoking documentary about India’s education system; and an adaptation of Lavonne Mueller’s Letters to a Daughter from Prison, a play based on the letters Jawaharlal Nehru wrote his daughter Indira when he was in prison.

The festival also will feature development readings of three new, original plays written by local playwrights and starring local talent: Leah Sirkin’s Mirabai, the Barefoot Princess; Bobby Ausubel and Tiku Khanna’s It Happened in Khatija’s Village; and Reena Kapoor’s The Wife.

You can also catch local musicians, comedians, poets, and dancers in live performances at the festival venue, while the open-air gallery will feature artwork by local sculptors, potters, painters, and photographers. 

Where can you get tickets?

General and Student/Senior tickets for When Ganesha Met Shakespeare are on sale now and can be purchased at enacte.org or Eventbrite. Tickets include a chef-prepared meal. Stay updated on the latest festival news and the schedule by following EnActe Arts on Facebook at EnActeArtsInc or visiting https://enacte.org/enactes-new-works-festival/.

Tanay Gokhale is a Community Reporter at India Currents through the California Local News Fellowship cohort of 2023. Born and raised in Nashik, India, he moved to the United States for graduate study in...