20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the International Theatre Festival of India, is Back with a Bang; Gears Up to Dazzle India
20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM), the largest theatre
festival in Asia, organized by the National School of Drama (NSD), is all set to bring its
bouquet of plays, interactive sessions, and other cultural events to cheer up the
winter afternoons of theatre enthusiasts in the city.
The international theatre festival will commence in New Delhi on 1st February, 2019
and culminate on 21st February, 2019 bringing a diverse range of productions
comprising 111 shows and allied events such as ‘Director’s Meet’, ‘Living Legend’, and
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The inaugural ceremony will be held at Kamani auditorium on 1st February, 2019 at
6:00 PM followed by the performance of ‘Karanth ke Rang’, directed by Amod Bhatt.
The 50-minute long performance is a medley of songs composed by late Shri B V
Karanth, a stalwart of Kannada and Hindi theatres. Shri Karanth was a prolific
composer of songs and scripts for theatre and directed and acted in many
The festival, which enters its 20th edition this year, is celebrating the 150th birth
anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – 4 of the plays to be staged on the life, philosophy,
and principles of the ‘Father of the Nation’. The festival will host 69 Indian and 15
foreign plays across India, selected after screening. Additionally, 9 folk productions, 5
plays by NSD diploma students, 1 production from the Sikkim center of NSD, 3 plays by
the NSD Repertory as well as 5 invitee plays by eminent theatre practitioners will
captivate the theatregoers across India.
The national capital will host 89 plays: 25 plays in Hindi, 16 in Bengali, 5 in Kannada,
2 in Marathi, 2 in Odia, 2 in Gujarati, 2 in Manipuri, 3 in English, 2 in Assamese, 2 in
Malayalam and 1 each in Maithili, Telugu, Nepali, and Sanskrit, in addition to 15
foreign plays, the festival also brings 8 folk performances to theatre aficionados in
The 21-day long festival this year will include plays in Hindi, English, and other
regional languages. International productions from countries such as Bangladesh,
Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, the Czech Republic, Italy, Nepal, Romania, and Singapore as
well as non-verbal, folk, and multi-lingual performances will enthrall the audience
during the theatrical spectacle.
The performances in New Delhi will be held at Bahumukh and Chahumukh (7:30 PM),
Open Lawn (6:00 PM), and Abhimanch (8:30 PM) at the NSD’s Bahawalpur House
campus as well as nearby Sri Ram Centre (4:00 PM), LTG (5:30 PM), and Kamani (7:00
Apart from the spellbinding performances and interaction with thespians and eminent
personalities from the world of theatre, the festival in Delhi will also have 2
international and 2 national seminars on theatre. The national seminars to be held in
New Delhi will attend to the topic ‘Is Modern Theatre Inclusive?’ and will hold sessions
dedicated to ‘Notion of State and Representation’, ‘Unrepresented Form’, and ‘NonGovernmental Curating and Funding Policy’.
Besides, the NSD campus will be abuzz with street plays, ambience shows, and
‘Theatre Bazar’, a motley of stalls offering a range of products and culinary delights.
The youth forum shows will comprise performances by dramatic societies of nearly 50
colleges in Delhi while ambience performances will bring folk dance and other
traditional performing art forms.
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In keeping with its concerted efforts to promote theatre among people and take
select performances to other parts of the country, the NSD arranges parallel festivals
in Dibrugarh (4th to 10th February, 2019), Varanasi (7th to 13th February, 2019), Ranchi
(9th to 15th February, 2019), Mysore (11th to 17th February, 2019), and Rajkot (13th to
19th February, 2019).
“The art of theatre is the oldest and the strongest medium that conveys human
emotions in a manner that defies temporal boundaries. We are delighted to usher in
the Bharat Rang Mahotsav to its 20th year and have made all efforts to bring a
selection of quality plays, choosing the best out of 960 submissions. There are 9 folk
performances being presented in Delhi as well as invitee plays and productions in
regional languages. We have tried to accommodate as many young theatre enthusiasts
as we can, since the institution aim to foster the growth of young talents through the
platform of BRM,” says Shri Suresh Sharma, Director In-charge, National School of
“Theatre is a celebrated art form across the world and I am happy that this festival
gives us a chance to witness many of the plays which have received critical acclaim
globally. BRM aims at bringing together people and hence, we have spread the festival
across the country so that theatre reaches more and more people. BRM has been a
very successful festival attracting a lot of audience, including first-timers and we
hope a similar run this year too,” says Dr. Arjun Deo Charan, Acting Chairman, NSD