Ollantay

February 2022

Technical Director

A digital revival of the greatest literature piece in Incan origin, translated from the original Quechua language into Hindi.

Translated and adapted for the Indian context, the play ‘Ollantay’ is set in the town of Cusco located in the Southern-Eastern part of Peru. The story centres on the life of Ollantay, a brave Incan warrior who serves under Pachacútec, the Inca of Cusco. He finds himself in an uncompromising situation where he must choose between his love and his duty. Little does Ollantay know that the choice that confronts him will affect the lives of everyone around him and threaten to disrupt the status quo. His is a harrowing tale about how the social construct plays a crucial role in every choice that one makes, and doesn’t.

Exploring themes of patriarchy, class and morality, the text weaves an intricate story based on pride, betrayal and love. The play takes on the narrative structure of an epic, depicting the promises on which the Incan culture was built and sustained. We draw parallels between the Indian subculture and how these ideas have existed in the Indian, as well as the Incan society, for centuries. This play takes on the narrative structure of an Epic, depicting the premises on which the Incan Culture was built. It likens itself to the Indian Sub-Culture and how these concepts have existed in the Indian, as well as, Incan Society for centuries.

This show was commissioned by the Embassy of Peru in India and supported by the Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi. The production was shot in September 2021 with social distancing protocols, having been rehearsed and developed remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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I came on board as the technical director of this project once we knew our in-person plans were on hold. We tested out a few shooting scenarios as well as studied how to use green screen footage combined with open source media that depicted the Incan era. Whilst shooting on Zoom was marred by unstable internet and low-quality footage, it worked great as a proof-of-concept for using green screens and DIY production setups at home. Armed with these learnings, we shot the final draft together in-person and undertook an extensive post-production process curating the footage with Incan-inspired media.

Cast & Crew

Originally Translation by Vikash Kumar Singh and Rishu Sharma
Revised Translation by Shayama Prasad Ganguly
Direction & Design by Raghav Seth and Tariq Ahmed
Produced & Camera Work by Varoon P. Anand
Technical Direction by Gaurav Singh
Lighting by Varoon P. Anand, Chanchal and Krishna Kohli

Performances by Abhinav Kaushal, Bhavya Rampal, Deepriya Nagi, Gurpreet Singh, Nikie Bareja, Raghav Seth, Tariq Ahmed, Vidur Sehgal, Vanshika Verma

Production & Research by Flora Stanley, Sofia Fernando, Vaishnavi Shenoy

We would like to acknowledge the staff and team at Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi, especially Director Òscar Pujol Riembau and Cultural Manager Martí Bassets Claret for supporting this production.

Performance History

The show premiered as a digital on-demand production at the Kaivalya Plays website on Feb 13th 2022. It is available for streaming until February 28th 2022. The team is now planning to stage an in-person production of the show in late 2022.

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