New theatre gets onstage

New theatre gets onstage

Delhi is set to see a unique theatre festival. The Terrace Theatre Fest, organised by Bela Theatre group, is set to be staged again. It is held on the terrace of a building in Shankar Market, Connaught Place, from which it derives its name ‘Terrace Theatre Festival.’

Bela Theatre Group comprising ex-students and theatre enthusiasts of Dr Zakir Husain College (DU) was established in 1999 by late Mohd Waseem Azad (who had also acted in Chak De! India), Mohd Faheem, Mohd Abid, Mohd Ali, Mohd Burhan and Madhumita Azad.

Since then, they have staged several famous plays like Accidental death of an Anarchist, Waiting for Godot, Julius Caesar, Dilfarosh, Mehelsara, Kanjoos, Ek Mamooli Aadmi, Othello etc., all across the country.

Four years back, they came up with the idea of ‘Terrace Theatre Festival.’ Member artiste, Mohd Burhan informs Metrolife, “We were looking for a place to stage the fest when we realised that every auditorium in Delhi costs a bomb.
“The Kamani Auditorium in Mandi House charges Rs 40,000, the Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts –

Rs 30,000 and even the most inexpensive LTG Auditorium also charges Rs. 20,000. It is almost like discouraging new theatre groups from taking up this art.
“So we decided to look for an alternative place and found the terrace of this building in CP which once used to house the Delhi Art Theatre Group run by well-known theatre director Sheela Bhatia.

“Surprisingly, we discovered that this unconventional venue attracts much larger crowds than Kamani, SRCPA or LTG. Also, the groups which perform in this festival use the terrace free of cost. It is art without any financial strings attached.” 

Troupes from all over the country are invited to stage their plays in this festival. This time as well, Delhi-based Oftas theatre group will perform Fall of a king directed by Palash Protim Mech on September 27, the Mask Group of Delhi will stage Lucky Kataria’s Audition Chal Raha Hai on 28th, Pune’s Orchestrated Q’Works will present White Noise written and directed by Hina Siddiqui on 29th, Navankur Natye Samooh of Pauri will stage Premchand’s Sadgati on 30th, and lastly, Bela Theatre Group itself will perform Jitendra Pawar’s Hai Paisa Hai on 30th again.

Burhan adds, “We request Delhiites to come and see this festival. It is the best way to encourage these young artistes who have just stepped into the world of theatre.”
Catch it at F-37, Shankar Market, CP at 7 pm everyday till September 30.