NSD’s global pitch


‘We have variety, depth and style. All we needed was a unified platform,’ says Prof Waman Kendre while launching Delhi’s biggest culture fest

As a performing art, theatre has now become even more fluid, blending with creative pursuits — dramatics, ambience performances, seminars as well as youth forums. To celebrate the cultural and lingual diversity of one of the world’s oldest art forms, around 30 countries will present a wide spectrum of philosophies, ideologies and techniques through 30 languages at the eighth edition of Theatre Olympics.

Themed around the idea of friendship, it will be hosted in 17 Indian cities encompassing 450 shows, 600 ambience performances and 250 youth talks. Touted as one of the biggest theatre celebrations across the globe, India is hosting it for the first time and aspires to strengthen ties between various countries through it.

Theatre Olympics established its legacy in two decades. Maestros like Alyque Padamsee, B Jayashree, Maya Rao, Satish Alekar and Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry will be at the core of the event, participating, directing, acting and most of all encouraging youngsters. For budding artists, this platform will prove to be an exposure to the routines, philosophies, ideologies and techniques prevalent in different countries. The best part? It will cater to individuals from all walks of life living in the remotest parts of villages.

The inter-dialogue was to globally recognise our country’s theatre. NSD director Waman Kendre, who was dressed in ethnic attire to convey the idea of “India at home and in the world” said, “I have been dreaming about this moment for the past three years. We have great playwrights but we have been unable to promote and project them globally. We have variety, depth and style. All we needed was a unified platform.”

No dream can be achieved without struggle. Prof Kendre had a tough time organising and planning an event of this scale. Said he, “The Theatre Olympics will be one of the biggest theatre events happening not only in Asia but across the globe.  Hopefully, the day and night struggles will bear fruit.”

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma feels that life is a theatre and each role comes with different expectations and responsibilities. In the end, life’s theatre too comes to an end just like every other play. Said he, “The appeal of theatre is far reaching and wide. Street plays today are intense and paint a beautiful picture while giving a strong message. I look forward to the support and the contribution that will be written as history for future generations. Though, I do feel the spread of internet is diminishing the old routines.”

Celebrating the onset of the biggest theatre carnival, Sujata Prasad said, “There is no better venue to inaugurate a theatre festival than here. The magnitude at which it is being organised is a marvel in itself. The 65 iconic presentations will keep you on the edge of your seat.” The festival will run from February 17 to April 8and could change the face of Indian theatre as we know it.



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