‘Fo­cus on the stage’

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page -

Nur­tur­ing univer­sity the­atre is im­per­a­tive for de­vel­op­ing and pro­fes­sion­al­is­ing the­atre in In­dia. This rea­son­ing has in­spired the Univer­sity Ib­sen The­atre Fes­ti­val which pre­cedes the Delhi Ib­sen Fes­ti­val, to be staged in De­cem­ber, af­ter a gap of two years. An ini­tia­tive by Dra­matic Art and De­sign Academy (DADA), this univer­sity the­atre fes­ti­val blends Ib­sen’s dra­matic lit­er­a­ture with ac­tual pro­duc­tions. Giv­ing de­tails, Nis­sar Al­lana, fes­ti­val di­rec­tor, Delhi Ib­sen Fes­ti­val and Di­rec­tor of Dra­matic Art and De­sign Academy, says, “Hen­rik Ib­sen was a Norwegian play­wright whose works had a strong influence on In­dian the­atre till the 1960’s. Be­cause his plays are es­sen­tially based on pure re­al­ism, they res­onate with hu­man sen­ti­ments and con­texts on a univer­sal plane de­fy­ing time and de­mog­ra­phy. For the fes­ti­val, students from par­tic­i­pat­ing col­leges got an op­por­tu­nity to re­search on dif­fer­ent as­pects of Ib­sen’s work and cre­ate scripts which are adaptations of his orig­i­nal plays and char­ac­ters. In short, this fes­ti­val is an ini­tia­tive to fa­cil­i­tate deeper in­sights into Ib­sen’s work and its rel­e­vance with con­tem­po­rary so­ci­ety. Ex­plor­ing in­her­ent in­ter­re­la­tion­ships with cul­tures is an­other ob­jec­tive.”

Talk­ing about the im­por­tance of re­viv­ing univer­sity the­atre Al­lana says, “Lots of peo­ple in our coun­try who dab­ble in am­a­teur the­atre have the po­ten­tial to take the­atre as a fullfledged ca­reer op­tion. But many get de­terred be­cause they sim­ply don’t know how to progress. Univer­sity the­atre is a link be­tween am­a­teur and pro­fes­sional the­atre. Hence, de­vel­op­ing uni- ver­sity the­atre is im­per­a­tive in terms of de­vel­op­ing a pro­fes­sional cli­mate of the­atre in In­dia.” Ac­cord­ing to Al­lana, the fes­ti­val is also aimed at train­ing students in the lo­gis­tics of the­atre pro­duc­tion. “They have been in­volved in plan­ning the sets, cos­tumes and light and sound acous­tics. In fact, par­tic­i­pat­ing students have ini­ti­ated blogs about the re­hearsal process where they talk about these plan­ning ex­pe­ri­ences.”

A pan-In­dia univer­sity fes­ti­val is on the anvil. “We want to influence a deeper ap­proach to the­atre study and en­cour­age re­search and the in­sti­tu­tion of a mas­ter’s pro­gramme in the­atre,” Al­lana con­cludes.

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