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Drama festival to go academic

Madhur Tankha
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National School of Drama director Waman Kendre and chairman Ratan Thiyam addressing a press conference in New Delhi.- Photo: S. Subramanium
National School of Drama director Waman Kendre and chairman Ratan Thiyam addressing a press conference in New Delhi.- Photo: S. Subramanium

The National School of Drama rings in New Year with its fortnight-long annual international drama festival, featuring plays from theatre groups and seminars at its premises here beginning January 4.

“Bharat Rang Mahotsav-2014” is will be more academically-oriented and scholars from India and abroad will converge to share their work and views about theatre in seminars.

According to NSD professor Suresh Bharadwaj, all activities have been planned keeping in mind that NSD is an academic institution. Therefore, the institution decided to conduct seminars on how to make use of literature to broaden the minds of creative people.

“This was the main priority of those at the helm of affairs of the institution. So we will see eminent playwrights like Hindi litterateur Surendra Verma and Prof. Asghar Wajahat, famous for his play Jis Lahore Nahi Dekhya reading excerpts of their new plays. So far, contemporary playwrights have not managed to adapt these plays into theatre. For theatre lovers, this will be a wonderful opportunity to see these stalwarts in flesh and blood reading their latest work and enlightening the audience with the quality of their work.”

Two seminars on “Global Exchanges, Local Encounters” and “Use and Abuse of Tradition in Today’s Theatre” will see exchange of ideas.

Similarly, the annual festival will see recreation of Kalidasa’s iconic play Shakuntalam by Udayan Vajpeyi.

As part of giving priority to literature, NSD has decided to host an important function which will see film-maker and playwright Mahesh Dattani’s book titled Me and My Plays being released.

Apart from academics, the drama festival will have other components like folk theatre, contemporary Indian theatre and international theatre.

Seventy-one performances by renowned theatre groups from across the world will be held at NSD premises and Little Theatre Group and Sri Ram Centre.

“The idea is to give an opportunity to theatre aficionados as well as common man to understand nuances of theatre from India as well as abroad. Our selection committee selected a play from China, two from Sri Lanka and four from Japan, Israel, Poland and Germany will be staged. All these countries, steeped in theatre culture, were selected on the basis of quality and how they would be perceived by theatre lovers,” said Mr. Bharadwaj.

This year, theatre groups from 17 States, representing East, West, North and South, will stage their works.

NSD director Waman Kendre said seminar “Think Globally Act Locally” seeks to emphasise the point that “while it is important to understand philosophies of different countries, nevertheless the rich local culture and tradition must be retained.”

Screening of films based on theatre experiences by Sanjay Maharshi will also be one of the major attractions during the festival. An exhibition revolving around William Shakespeare will be another highlight of the event. Pictures of plays of the legendary English playwright and information surrounding him and his work will be put on display.


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