Jaideep Sahai ’06 Featured In Shakuntala

Jaideep Sahai (CMC ’06) will perform in Shakuntala, an Indian dance drama presented by the Department of Dance and Theater at Pomona College. The drama, described as a “lush, poetic, timeless Sanskrit love story,” will be performed Nov. 20-22 at 8 p.m., Nov. 22 at 2 p.m., and Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. in Seaver Theater. Tickets are $5.00 for faculty, staff, seniors, and students, and $10.00 general admission.

Students from the five colleges present Shakuntala in the colorful classic Natyshastra style. The play is supposed to be roughly 2,000 years old, written by the poet and dramatist of Ancient India, Kalidasa. Jaideep Sahai, a theater major, plays two parts in the production, the stage manager Sutradhar, who sets the tone, and the comical Chief of Police. Preparing for their roles, the cast was required to do extensive physical training, and work with Indian directors to capture the spirit of the ancient culture of the drama.

For Sahai, the drama represents a challenge to his traditionally Western theater background. “It is an interesting experience because it goes against my understanding of what acting is,” he says. “The dance dictates everything, and the style is much more strict than in Western theater,” Sahai also performed in the Theater Department’s applauded productions of “Hair” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” last year.