New Delhi, 21st Feb, 2019: After a successful run for the past 21 days, 20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the international theatre festival of India organized by the National School of Drama (NSD), drew to a colourful culmination here today with a pledge to come back next year with a more diverse repertoire.
The closing ceremony was held at Kamani Auditorium where renowned Kathak maestro, Guru, Choreographer, and poet, Padma Vibhushan Pt. Birju Maharaj was the Chief Guest and Shri Arun Goel, Secretary, Ministry of Culture was the Guest of Honour.
Dr. Arjun Deo Charan, Acting Chairman, NSD Society presided over the ceremony. Shri Suresh Sharma, Director In-Charge, National School of Drama, welcomed the chief guest and the guest of honour. A book on the collection of plays staged during the 20th BRM was released on this occasion. Token of thanks was presented by Shri Abdul Latif Khatana, Associate Professor, Acting and Chief, Sanskaar Rang Toli.
The closing ceremony was followed by ‘Dhumrapaan’, a bilingual play directed by Shri Akarsh Khurana and performed by the group D for Drama from Mumbai. The play is a comedy that takes a dig at the stressful corporate life and the toll it takes on the health of an individual.
Padma Vibhushan Pt. Birju Maharaj says, “It is important that we spread love and happiness. Much like the art, we need people who appreciate art. I have a very close relationship with National School of Drama and I’m very happy to come here today. I take this opportunity to extend my invitation to all of you for 23rd February, the day on which we are going to inaugurate the new building of Kalashram in Delhi.”
“I compliment NSD for this very successful organization of this festival in Delhi and 5 other cities. Theatre has a great potential to contribute to the GDP and create employment opportunities, especially for the youth. The Ministry is ready to provide platforms for discussions on addressing the economic plight of theatre artists and create technology platform to facilitate mapping of audience and electronic booking, among other things,” says Shri Arun Goel, Secretary, Ministry of Culture.
“I thank Pt. Birju Maharaj and Shri Arun Goel for taking out time from their busy schedule and come here today. As we end this year’s festival today, I am sure that the audience has enjoyed the plays staged, appreciated them and thought over them afterwards. This festival is a step forward and we are sure that you will keep on patronizing us in future,” says Dr. Arjun Deo Charan, Acting Chairman, NSD Society.
“About 2000 young theatre enthusiasts from colleges in and around Delhi participated in this year’s BRM and presented around 60 short plays. This is rather encouraging since young people have the appetite for risk and hence, give us hope to see new creative ventures. Besides, this year’s BRM presented a wide variety of plays in diverse language and forms. We had plays in several Indian languages as well as folk plays, and also organized allied activities. I welcome your suggestions and feedback that may help improve the quality of the festival in coming days,” says Shri Suresh Sharma, Director In-Charge, National School of Drama (NSD).
The ‘Meet the Director’ held at the NSD campus today was attended by Dr. Arjun Deo Charan, director of ‘Hind Swaraj’, Shri Ajay Khatri, director of ‘Privacy’, and Shri Goutam Mukherjee, director of ‘Medeara’ as well as theatre critics Shri Rajesh Chandra and Shri Ravindra Tripathi.
The 20th BRM offered 111 national and international plays including folk and other traditional theatre forms, invitee plays, and productions by the students of the National School of Drama, one of the prominent training institutions in the world.
Apart from New Delhi, the NSD arranged parallel festivals of the 20th BRM 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).
There were 25 plays in Hindi, 16 plays in Bengali, 5 plays in Kannada, 2 plays in Marathi, 2 plays in Odia, 2 plays in Gujarati, 2 plays in Manipuri, 3 plays in English, 2 Assamese and Rabha plays, 2 plays in Malayalam, 1 play in Maithili, 1 play in Telugu, 1 play in Nepali and 1 play in Sanskrit. In addition, there were 15 foreign plays and 9 folk plays. Theatre productions from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, Kerala, Gujarat and Haryana, were performed at the festival. Moreover, international productions from Italy, Singapore, Russia, Nepal, the Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Poland and Romania also graced the festival.
The invitee plays in the festival included ‘Aurat! Aurat! Aurat!’ (Hindustani; Naseeruddin Shah), ‘Nirnoy’ (Bengali; Arun Mukherjee), ‘Prithibi, Rasta, Shabdo’ (Bengali; Rudraprasad Sengupta), ‘Parashuram Vijaya’ (Sanskrit; Ajit Das), and ‘Maya Megh’ (Nepali; Tripurari Sharma). Other prominent plays staged here include ‘Shifa…The Healing’ (Hindi; Teekam Joshi), ‘Pagla Ghoda’ (Hindi; Bipin Kumar), ‘The Dumb Waiter’ (Manipuri; Thawai Thiyam), ‘Swabhavjata’ (Hindi; Baharul Islam), ‘Tajmahal Ka Tender’ (Hindi; Chittaranjan Tripathi) and ‘Kola’ (Kannada; Achutha Kumar).
The students of NSD graduate program graced the festival with plays ‘Vacant Lot’ (Apoorva), ‘Encryption’ (Susheel Kant Mishra) and ‘Privacy’ (Ajay Khatri). In a separate category, this year’s festival commemorated the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and staged four plays based on his philosophy and life including ‘Bapu’ (Bengali; Samir Biswas), ‘Stay Yet A While’ (English; M K Raina), ‘Satya Ke Prayog’, based on Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography (Hindi; Devendra Raj Ankur) and ‘Hind Swaraj’ (Hindi; Arjun Deo Charan).
Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM), the annual international theatre festival of India is organized by the National School of Drama (NSD), was established two decades ago to stimulate the growth and development of theatre across India. Originally a national festival showcasing the work of the most creative theatre workers in India, BRM has evolved to international scope, hosting theatre groups from around the world, and is now the largest theatre festival of Asia.
Till date, BRM was celebrated in New Delhi and has travelled to several cities in India, presenting an overwhelming 1787 plays, and riveted thousands of audiences who basked in the glory of heart-winning stories and superior performances. In past 20 years, the festival has travelled to Agartala (Tripura), Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Hyderabad (Telangana), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Kurukshetra (Haryana), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Panaji (Goa), Patna (Bihar), Pune (Maharashtra), Mumbai (Maharashtra), Manipur and Assam.
About National School of Drama (NSD)
The National School of Drama is one of the foremost theatre training institutions in the world and the only one of its kind in India. It was set up by the Sangeet Natak Akademi as one of its constituent units in 1959. In 1975, it became an independent entity and was registered as an autonomous organization under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, fully financed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It offers 3-years training program in every aspect of theatre with a special focus on the practical implementation of theories. The NSD has two per-forming wings – the Repertory Company and Theatre-in-Education Company (TiE) that started in 1964 and 1989, respectively.