Thespians work to refine stagecraft Event aims to better quality

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  • Published 15.07.14

Bhubaneswar, July 14: Odia theatre is taking giant strides towards coming up with better productions.

A two-week workshop for theatre directors that began on July 12 with an aim to develop the standard of Odia plays is a major step towards it.

The workshop has been organised by Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi under the aegis of the state tourism and culture department in collaboration with the Calcutta-based Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre and the Odisha Natya Sangha.

The workshop, being held at Bhanja Kala Mandap, is divided into two sessions. In the first session, which begins at 10am and goes on till 1.30pm, an eminent theatre director conducts the classes. The second session, held from 2.30pm till 5pm, is further divided into classes with each being taken by noted theatre artistes of the state.

Probir Guha, Bengal’s acclaimed playwright and director, is here till July 20. He is teaching theatre direction to the participants.

During the next half of the workshop, lessons in theatre direction will be imparted by Assam’s well-known artiste Gunakar Dev Goswami in the second week. In the second sessions, veterans give lessons to the participants. Asim Basu teaches set design, Dolagobinda Rath tutors about light setting, Sadashiv Pradhan talks about theatrical dance and Sukesh Panda is keeping the participants abreast of the literature of drama.

A selection committee has handpicked the participants. Those who had a stint in theatre direction and showed an eagerness to polish their production skills were given the opportunity. “The workshop aims to encourage the theatre directors to create better productions that will be good enough to be staged at national and international-level festivals while keeping the themes rooted to Odisha’s social and cultural milieu,” said Dhira Mallick, president of Odisha Natya Sangha.

The workshop is proving to be of immense help for the participants.

“We are being taught a very modern way of direction. I have seen and closely observed the contemporary plays. But, I could never implement the style because there was no one to clear my doubts. I have got that opportunity here,” said Satya Ranjan Behera of Sambalpur’s Shree Cultural Association. Behera has directed more than 50 plays in Hindi, Odia, Bhojpuri and Sambalpuri.

“When mentors like Probir da even share an anecdote, it is a lesson worth remembering,” said Sujata of Khorda’s Natya Chetana troupe.

For the last two years, state tourism and culture department is regularly conducting workshops and theatre festivals at zonal, state and national levels to promote the art.

A similar workshop on theatre production is also going on in Jajpur at present.