New Delhi: The 17th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the international Theatre Festival began in New Delhi today. The Festival opened at a ceremony in the presence of the Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma, veteran actor and theatre personality Om Puri, doyen of theatre and Chairperson of NSD,i Ratam Thiyam and Director of NSD, Prof Waman Kendre.The Festival is organized by the National School of Drama(NSD).
Introducing the Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the Director of NSD, Waman Kendre said that it has now achieved the status of ‘Natya Kumbh’ to become the largest such festival in the whole of Asia. The Mahotsav has come off age since it celebrated its 16th Edition last year and this year there are 200 entries, he added.Kendre disclosed that NSD is among the top 15 schools of the world that teach theatre but their aim is to take it to the top of the list.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma highlighted the importance of theatre to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the country. He said that the Culture Ministry will give full support to conservation, promotion and propagation of art and theatre in the country.
Veteran actor Om Puri expressed nostalgia at having stepped onto the same stage where he performed after a gap 40 years . It is owing to NSD that cinema in Mumbai has good talent to fall back upon, he said. Theatre in India is lacking in stage-craft which must be developed quickly although there is good potential in the field of acting and direction, the actor added.
Ratam Thiyam disclosed that the ‘Theatre Olympics’ was held in Beijing last year and NSD is trying to bring it to India now. He said that it is important to go into the economics of theatre to attract the best talent and strong government support is a must for rapid and desirable growth of theatre in India.
Both national and international performances/productions including those from Poland, Israel, USA, France, Bangladesh will figure in the Festival to be held from 1st-18th February, 2015.