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Rini Bhattacharya Mehta is Assistant Professor of Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois. Her research and teaching cover modernity in colonial, postcolonial and postglobal India, globalization and culture, and Indian Cinema.

XXXII Tagore Festival, 2023

Rabindranath Tagore

Saturday, October 28

6:30 PM

The Post Office: Suman Mukhopadhyay presents Tagore for the 21st Century Stage


The Festival, observed every year in honor of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)– poet, dramatist, musician, philosopher, and humanist, who became the first non-European to receive the Nobel prize for literature in 1913 –commemorates the Nobel Laureate’s visit to the UIUC campus in 1912 when he delivered a series lectures at the Channing Murray Chapel. Tagore’s creative genius has been celebrated here over the years with novel presentations of music, art, poetry, prose, and his overall philosophy. The Tagore Festival presents a unique, cross-cultural forum within which the Champaign-Urbana community explores Tagore’s legacy in the global context.

2023 Tagore Festival: Performance of play at Lincoln Hall Theater

Suman Mukhopadhyay, an award-winning theater- and film director from Kolkata, and George A. Miller visiting artist at Illinois, will present The Post Office, a play by Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), the first Asian Nobel Laureate in Literature (1913), was a polymath whose original Bengali poems, songs, plays, stories, and novels have been translated into almost every major language of the world. The Champaign-Urbana community and the University have a historic connection with Tagore, as it was in Urbana that Tagore delivered his first public lecture in the US in 1912. Suman Mukhopadhyay has directed Tagore’s work both on stage and on screen.

The performance of the play will be based on two texts: Tagore’s original 1912 play The Post Office, and Vivek Narayan’s play Walking to the Sun: A Play on Tagore’s Post Office, which connects Tagore’s play with wartime Poland, where it was performed in translation. Following Narayan’s text, Mukhopadhyay will present a split stage, one area for the Warsaw Ghetto (the representative character is Janusz Korczak, a historical figure) and one for Amal’s home in the Indian village.


Suman Mukhopadhyay’s latest film, Nazarband (2022) will be screened on October 27, Friday, at 7 PM, at Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum.