Rediscover the magical world of theatre

The 18th edition of Bharat Rang Mahotsav will rediscover the magic of theatre. The festival will see eminent theatre personalities like Anjit Kapoor, Mohan Agashe and Ram Gopal Bajaj,  talking about theatre criticism, training, performance, engaging with audience and methodology during the 21-day festival.  

“Theatre cannot be stagnant.  Today, doing a play, 30 years after it was first staged has become important. So if we say ‘rediscovering’ the magic of theatre, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have lost the magic. Through this theme, we will try to find out if we have to continue doing what we are doing presently in theatre, and how we can improvise on it,” says Professor Waman Kendre, director of National School of Drama told reporters about the theme of the festival during its press conference.

The festival will also host seminars on the theme ‘Today in Today’s Theatre’, where the extent to which current issues are addressed through theatre, will be discussed. The theme
will focus on the importance of theatre to be in pace with time.

Another highlight of the festival will be the session on ‘Emerging trends in Indian theatre’. Young thinkers, theatre workers, practitioners, directors, playwrights and emerging theatre critics will participate in the session to talk about what they think of, and expect from theatre. The session will work as a platform for young and upcoming talents in theatre to voice their opinions. Meanwhile, the festival this year also travels to Jammu, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar and Thiruvanthapuram.

“We want the festival’s identity to go to all parts of India. That’s why we have  taken it to places where it will happen for the first time,” said Professor Suresh Bhardwaj, festival director.  

Around 125 shows of 80 plays will be staged, including 65 plays from India and 15 plays from around the world. Theatre groups from the USA, Australia, Italy, Sri Lanka, Poland, Spain and China amongst others will be a part of the festival. The plays have been selected entirely on the basis of the quality of the play and not on the basis of plays with senior actors
says Bhardwaj.

According to Kendre, the selection of plays has been done in a way to showcase the “variations of Indian and International theatre” in the best possible way.

There will also be a theatre bazaar for theatre lovers which will include products related to theatre like handicrafts, theatre lights, theatre books, musical instruments, madhubani paintings, and mask making artists. A food hub with authentic and traditional cuisines from across the country will be on offer.

Having introduced all the features of this year’s festival, Kendre is asked “what other innovation have you bought this year?”

He answers, “We have done a lot this year, yet we don’t want to end up doing many things at once. We need to have something for next year too.”

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