ShakuntalaShakuntala, a play by Kalidasa is a very well written and well adapted by an aspiring director and a theatrical actor himself, Charles Roy. The play is taking place at the Harbourfront Centre during Feb 4th – 15th and it runs for 2hrs and 20 mins. The powerful cast of this play really brings this masterpiece into life. The cast of this play included Anita Majumdar, Sanjay Talwar, Pragna Desai, David Collins, Frank Cox-O’ Connell, Melee Hutton, Reza Jacobs and Carrie-Lynn Neales.

We were invited this past Tuesday to experience Shakuntala and truly this is a play that touches every emotional button from intrigue to laughter, from deceit to redemption and as the play develops, each character progresses exposing inner qualities not seen earlier in the story. The story remains true to the mythical legends of Shakuntala, the mother of Emperor Bharat and the wife of King Dushyanta who was the founder of the Paurav Dynasty and Charles Roy has adapted the original play, The Recognition of Sakuntala by Kalidasa, really well.

“The version that Charles Roy has fashioned here is wonderfully stage worthy, allowing actors to bring to life the elegant, poetic and dramatic dialogue that Kalidasa wrote almost two thousand years ago. The play was written for fifty-six actors plus muscians and dancers and witha fully playing time of up to five hours…” said John Van Burek. And truly the impressive part of this play is observed when you see the actors providing the musical ambience and playing all the live instruments themselves as well behind the curtains. The wonderful cast filled the play with energy that this play truly deserved. The props were well used on stage along with lighting to create the perfect atomsphere to indulge into the play and be lost in the romantic love story of Shakuntala, the innocent lover.

Like Roy, the actors also see Shakuntala as an opportunity to bridge cultures – old and new, Indian and North American – and as a way of exposing the riches of Indian culture to fresh eyes and ears. “This is a great opportunity to move away from Bollywood and yoga and bindis and saris and understand where South Asian culture comes from on a historical level,” says Majumdar. 1

Overall, all the actors especially Sanjay Talwar gave an impressive and strong performance which captured the audience even on a cold Tuesday night in Toronto. What better place to go on Valentine’s day than take your significant other to enjoy a wonderful night at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre and enjoy Charles Roy’s Shakuntala playing only till Feb 15th.

For further details about the play, visit