VISITING MR. GREEN Comes to NCPA
22 years after its NYC debut starring Eli Wallach, Visiting Mr. Green, a play by American author Jeff Baron, will open 13th December for three performances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai. This comedy-drama is having an unusual level of international success, with more than 500 productions in 24 languages. India will be the 50th country for Visiting Mr. Green.
The play, winner of the Kulturpreis Europa for "promoting tolerance across national and societal borders," and Best Play awards in Greece, Germany, Mexico, Israel, The Czech Republic, Turkey and Uruguay, is set in New York City. A young corporate exec is sentenced to weekly visits to the old man he almost hit with his car. What begins as a comedy, turns dramatic as these men from two very different generations deal with unfinished business each has with his family. The London Sunday Telegraph said, "Jeff Baron's Visiting Mr. Green is a great piece of theatre."
The new production, which will tour India, stars M.K. Raina as Mr. Green and Aakash Prabhakar as Ross Gardiner. It is directed by author Jeff Baron, and will be performed in English. Future plans include a Hindi translation, which the same cast will perform.
Over the past seven years, several prominent Indian film directors and theatre producers wanted to buy the rights to Visiting Mr. Green, with the intention of rewriting the play and setting it in India, but the version that Indian audiences will see, like every one of the 500+ productions to date, will be set in New York, using the original text of the play. For more about past and current productions: www.visitingmrgreen.com
M.K. Raina, who plays Mr. Green, said, "I loved this play from the first time I read it. It is touching and complex, and so very human. The more we work on it, the surer I am that Indian audiences will connect strongly with the story and the characters." Aakash Prabhakar, who plays Ross Gardiner, said, "Visiting Mr. Green is relatable because it's all heart. Two very different human beings reveal to each other who they are and what they believe in. It's an absolute pleasure to work on a play that's so simple, yet so complicated."
Rehearsals have already begun, using Skype as the communications tool for the director and the actors, who live in New York, New Delhi and Mumbai. Here they are working together on the play.
According to Jeff Baron, "I've had a great time working with M.K. and Aakash. They're amazing in the roles, and we've gotten to know one another so well, I can't believe we've never been in the same room together. I can't wait to share this collaboration with audiences in India."
Work on the play will continue face-to-face in late November, when the actors and director will spend several intensive weeks working together at an artists' retreat outside of Mumbai, in preparation for the premiere performances,13th December at 8 pm and 14th December at 5:30 pm and 8 pm, all at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. 2020 dates and places to be announced. Tickets are available at the NCPA box office (Nariman Point, Mumbai) or on BookMyShow.com
M.K. Raina (Mr. Green) is one of India's best known theatre actors and directors. Originally from Kashmir, he graduated from the National School of Drama in New Delhi, where he was named Best Actor. He has produced and directed over 100 plays in many languages, both in India and abroad, winning numerous awards in the process, including the B.V. Karanth Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre, and the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award. He has acted in many films, both mainstream and independent cinema, and as a filmmaker, he specializes in documentaries on the culture of Kashmir.
Aakash Prabhakar (Ross Gardiner, Co-Producer) is an actor, director and producer who is making a name for himself in contemporary theatre in India. He has a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Mumbai University, and studied theatre-making and performance arts at The Drama School, Mumbai. He studied film making at the New York Film Academy, and was Creative Director of The Castiko Space in Mumbai, where he curated and created theatre. He has acted in many plays and independent films throughout India. In 2015, he established Here and Now, a theatre and film production company based in Mumbai.
Jeff Baron (Author, Director) has a long, varied career in the arts. He started as a screenwriter, working on films and TV with Disney and other top Hollywood producers. He wrote comedies and dramas for all of the major U.S. television networks. His novels I Represent Sean Rosen and Sean Rosen Is Not for Sale are published by HarperCollins. Unique among contemporary playwrights, Jeff Baron's plays have been produced in 49 countries on six continents, with world premieres of new plays in France, Australia, Peru, Germany and the U.S. He has directed TV, short films (including The Bruce Diet - official selection, Bombay Film Festival), an opera at Carnegie Hall, and theatre, both in the U.S. and abroad.
For more information about the play and the collaboration, contact: VisitingMrGreenIndia@gmail.com