Jorhat, Aug. 8: Dibrugarh University is all set to launch a postgraduate course in theatre art for the first time in the Northeast, with classes to start from next month.
After launching a postgraduate course in Xattriya dance last year, which was first-of-its- kind in the Northeast, the university has decided to introduce a similar course in theatre art, from the current academic session.
The Dr Bhupen Hazarika Centre for Studies in Performing Arts of the university will run the course.
It will be divided into a four-semester curriculum comprising A to Z on theatre.
The course will have a special focus on the drama form of Assam like bhaona (dramas with religious messages created by Srimanta Sankardev), ojapali (folk dance drama) and other folk dramas of the region.
Karabi Deka Hazarika, director-in-charge of the centre, told The Telegraph today that the decision to introduce the master’s degree in theatre art was taken yesterday by the Postgraduate Board of the university.
Vice-chancellor K.K. Deka is the chairman of the board.
Hazarika was hopeful that the new course would contribute to promote the traditional drama forms of the state and the region as a whole.
She said the curriculum of the course has been designed with help from Robin Das, a faculty from the National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi.
The medium of teaching will be conducted in both Assamese and English and the number of seats would be around 15.
Each semester will have two theories and two practical papers.
She said the syllabus would cover the history of world theatre along with Indian theatre and theatre of the northeastern region and also added that different trends of contemporary theatres and its comparisons have been included in the course.
The director said noted personalities associated with traditional and modern theatre including teachers from the NSD, Delhi, will be brought in as guest lecturers.
“For bhaona we will request the scholars of Vaishnavite and Xattriya culture to take classes,” Hazarika said.
She said priests from xatras, which have been practising the various components of Xattriya culture, would also be requested to take classes.
Students from the degree course on performing arts run by the centre since 2008, will be given preference to pursue the new postgraduate course, while interested graduates from the general stream will have to hold a certificate of appreciation won at the state-level or national-level drama competition.
Goutam Sarmah, a drama teacher of the Centre, said acting would be an area of prime focus, followed by other aspects like direction, dialogue-delivery, music, light and sound.
Students will be taught scenography or theatre designing that will include use of costumes, make-up, stage setting and management.
He said students would have to produce dramas and present it before the faculty as part of the curriculum.
Xattradhikar Narayan Chandra Goswami of Natun Kamalabari Xatra of Majuli, a scholar and researcher on Xattirya culture and Sankardev Award has welcomed the university’s decision.
He had taken classes twice in the last year at the university as a visiting teacher in the postgraduate Xattriya dance course.