For the love of theatre

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  • Published 26.03.11

Bhubaneswar, March 25: The capital is all set to celebrate World Theatre Day on March 27. A number of city-based theatre troupes have come together with theatre festivals to promote viewership and awareness about the various forms and genres of theatre.

First launched in 1961 by International Theatre Institute, Paris, this annual celebration of stage plays was also adopted by the Unesco. In Orissa, while the golden period of theatre is believed to have been 1970s, a group of amateur theatre artistes under the guidance of a few veteran personalities such as Ananta Mohapatra, Brindaban Chandra Rath and theatre professionals such as Mihir Meher, Surya Mohanty, Ajit Dash, Abhinna Routray and so on, have kept renewing efforts to save the field. Celebrating World Theatre Day is part of this effort.

“We founded our group International Theatre in 1975 and have been celebrating the occasion ever since,” said Mihir Meher, director.

The International Theatre Group will be holding a theatre workshop and play ‘Dhol Senapati’ on March 27. The play will be performed by artistes of their Rayagada branch. “We have also initiated felicitation for lifetime achievers in the field since the past six years. This year we will be awarding actor Bijay Mohanty,” said Meher.

Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, the only institute in the state that offers courses on theatre, is observing Natya Saptaha or Theatre Week. “We will be staging 10 plays directed and performed by the alumni of the institute and present students,” said playwright, director and principal of the institute, Nabin Kumar Parida. The theatre festival will be on from March 27 to April 2.

“Alumni from the institute who have made their mark in national and regional cinema and theatre will be here. Many of them are also products of the National School of Drama. Interacting with them will allow the students to learn about technical aspects and aesthetics of theatre all over the world,” Parida added.

The institute will also hold seminars and workshops from April 3 to 5 on famous theatre activist Bertolt Brecht’s style of acting, stage craft, writing and direction. A session on pantomime by Calcutta’s Ronen Chakroborty will also be held.

Theatre group Uttarpurusha too will hold its festival Nataka Parikrama. Four plays by well-known groups will be staged. “We are holding the festival in the first week of April due to unavailability of auditoriums on World Theatre Day. Nevertheless, we are celebrating the spirit of the stage,” said Abhinna Routray of Uttarpurusha. The festival will be held from April 2 to 5.