Bharat Rang Mahotsav, an annual theatre extravaganza of the National School of Drama (NSD) in its 18th year opened with much fanfare. The most celebrated International theatre festival of India was established by NSD to stimulate the growth and development of theatre across the country. It is a creative platform which provides young artists a chance to showcase their talent at a big stage.
Bharat Rang Mahotsav popularly known as BRM, had its inauguration on February 1 with informative sessions featuring Prof. Waman Kendre, director of NSD, Ratan Thiyam, chairman of NSD and N.K Sinha, secretary for Ministry of Culture. Veteran actors, Nana Patekar and Anupam Kher were the guests of honour. Theatre veteran Ratan Thiyam’s Manipuri play “Macbeth” opened this year’s BRM. 15 international and 65 Indian plays will be staged during the festival.
“It is a matter of immense pleasure that along with the main festival in Delhi, parallel festivals are being organised at Jammu, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar and Thiruvananthapuram,” said Prof. Waman Kendre. “Folk performances are an important segment of 18th BRM in which significant works of eminent artist from various parts of the country will be showcased,” he added.
With the theme, “Rediscovering the magic of theatre”, the festival promises to regale the theatre enthusiasts with the much awaited plays of the year.
Talking about the BRM, Ratan Thiyam said, “This extraordinary event provides an ideal space to organise a series of programmes connected with the festival, such as exhibitions, interactive sessions with directors and artists for the general public and professionals, open forums and meetings, award ceremonies etc — followed by significant academic and allied activities.”
Anupam Kher talked about his theatre days in National School of Drama and remembered his strict sessions with veteran theatre artist E. Alkazi. “It’s always a pleasure to come here. It is always the best time of my life when I interact and talk to such young audience,” Kher said. He also urged the audience to dream big and fulfil their dreams through hard work and courage.
The highlight of the festival is that students from all over the country can be seen enjoying plays and having interactive sessions with eminent artists.
BRM had its inauguration on February 1 with informative sessions featuring Professor Waman Kendre, director of NSD, Ratan Thiyam, chairman of NSD and N.K. Sinha, secretary for Ministry of Culture.
Chandan Kumar, a Student of NSD, said, “We wait for this festival as it provides an opportunity to showcase our talent and skills to a larger audience. It is a colourful event and I truly believe each one of us present here will feel happy to see such theatre personalities working so hard.”
Every year during the festival a large number of students are seen at tea stalls near Mandi House. The owner of one of the tea stalls, Sunil Mewati said, “I still remember each one of the theatre personalities who came here. Ashutosh Rana, Ashish Vidyarthi came here and meet us. I have a very good relationship with each one of them. I want to watch plays but unfortunately due to our busy schedule I cannot. I remember watching one of Ranjeet Kapoor’s plays which was in English but I can still relate it to. I was truly engrossed in it as art has no language. It is the best part of the year as we get to see so many celebrities and students around.”
Artists from countries like China, USA, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, Austria and Italy will be performing at the festival. There is no participation from Pakistan this year. Special program like World Theatre Forum will see participation of eminent experts from India and abroad. Another program, Master Classes will see participation of eminent people from various fields, charting the emerging trends in theatre practices.
Bharat Rang Mahotsav will continue till 21 February.