Manisha Jha

A treat for theatre lovers in the Capital

76 productions at seven venues in Delhi

26 productions to travel to Mumbai

New Delhi: To mark the Golden Jubilee year of its existence, the National School of Drama in the Capital plans to unveil a riveting theatre festival in the New Year from January 3 to 20 titled the Tenth Bharat Rang Mahotsav.

The festival -- to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the presence of the distinguished theatre personality Ebrahim Alkazi at Kamani Auditorium -- will open with a performance of “Prologue”, the first part of veteran director Ratan Thiyam’s “Manipur Trilogy”.

Plays will be staged at seven venues including Kamani Auditorium, Shri Ram Centre, Siri Fort Auditorium, LTG Theatre and the three theatres on the NSD premises -- Abhimanch, Sammukh and Bahumukh.

The festival will feature 76 productions of which 57 are from India and 19 from abroad. A total of 26 productions will also travel to Mumbai for the “Satellite Festival” being organised there from January 6 to January 17.

NSD chairperson Amal Allana said: “The 50-year celebration of NSD is both a proud and emotional moment for us. We have grown tremendously over the past many years and today our annual theatre festival is regarded as the largest theatre festival in Asia.”

“This festival is an opportunity for all our students and Delhi’s citizens to come together to witness the best of theatre in India and abroad as it is a platform to see amateurs professionals and youth from different regions come together to perform. This festival is all about keeping the dialogue on theatre alive and taking it to as many people as possible,” said NSD director Anuradha Kapoor.

Neighbours’ contribution

Apart from featuring a variety of plays from India and abroad, the festival will also include plays directed by the NSD alumni from Bangladesh, Nepal and Mauritius. Theatre lovers in the Capital can look forward to a bonanza with seven venues presenting five to six productions per day over a period of 17 days in the Capital.

According to NSD, an audience of 50,000 viewers is expected to watch the plays involving a participation of about 2000 theatre persons. Alongside the festival, NSD will also be organising a symposium on theatre methodologies and the movement of theatre development in India over the last 50 years.

The Bharat Rang Mahotsav was started a decade ago by NSD in order to contribute to the growth and development of theatre across the country. It has grown from being an annual national festival presenting recent work of the most creative theatre workers in India to an international event hosting theatre companies from around the world.

The play palette at the festival consists of adaptations of Indian and foreign plays based on both classic and contemporary, autobiographies and short stories among others. International participants would include countries such as Afghanistan, China, Poland, Switzerland and Japan.

After the theatre festival, NSD plans to continue its anniversary celebrations by launching two new courses in children’s theatre and theatre management and organising a “Bal Sangam”.