Bahuroopi got younger this year!

Theatre For Young

Nataka Karnataka Rangayana renewed its vow to take theatre to new generation of audiences. Seminars at colleges and street plays at different locations ensured theatre went where its future audiences are says Preethi Nagaraj

A vatar has released its ‘latest’ version. Mysore’s multiplex has even got its 3D version too! Cinema halls must have been full house.

For youngsters, technology is fascinating. Literature, theatre and books were considered ‘passe’ among the younger age group, except for some passionate (read lunatic) boys and girls, theatre and youngsters were distant cousins, who were only moving farther.

But, with Bahuroopi, Nataka Karnataka Rangayana’s flagship national theatre festival, youngsters seem to connect with theatre like never before. Be it streetplays or series of seminars, distance has certainly shrunk between the college-goers and issues that were considered the ‘preserve’ of the elite.

Nandini Janardhan, a student of Mahajana’s College, had fleeting idea about Jnanpith awardees.
A die-hard Kannadiga, Nandini lapped up knowledge from every seminar and ensured she didn’t miss most lectures.

“I didn’t know where to start gathering knowledge about our Jnanpith awardees. Bahuroopi was well timed, at the time when Kannada had added another feather in its cap with Dr Chandrashekhar Kambar being awarded with the prestigious award,” she says, beaming with the confidence of having known all ‘excellent’ things about every winner.

Satish Chandrahas awaits a seminar on Dr Da Ra Bendre, a prolific thinker and a poet par excellence.

“I have heard very interesting stories about him. I await to learn more about the man who has become a legend of sorts in Kannada literature and poetry,” he says. Street plays too, were a huge hit with students watching them with rapt attention.

“Theatre became very close to my heart with street plays since there were no frills here. The messages were simple and actors interacted with us as we watched. When something is ‘demystified’, it  tends to gain a lot more people than what it did earlier. Today, I am confident of walking into any theatre where a play is on, without being confused or at loss of perspective as far as understanding is concerned,” says Cauvery Kariappa, who is aspiring to be an actor.

Ask Rangayana Director B V Rajaram as to why he chose colleges as venues for seminars since Rangayana usually hosted every event within its premises, he says it was imperative. “Our future audiences are here. And, instead of crying hoarse about theatre losing out against cinemas, tv soaps etc, it is better that we attempt something new to rope in the young generation,” he says.

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