Guwahati is all set to co-host the 8th Theatre Olympics from March 11 to March 25 as India is hosting the world’s biggest theatre extravaganza in 17 cities.
The Guwahati chapter of Theatre Olympics 2018 is organised by National School of Drama (NSD) under the aegis of Union culture ministry and the Assam government.
Announcing the festival on Tuesday, noted film and theatre actors Pranjal Saikia and Baharul Islam said that the 15-day festival will be organized at the Sri Sri Madhavadeb Auditorium at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati.
In the inaugural ceremony at 6pm on March 11, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal will be the chief guest where Assam cultural affairs minister Naba Kumar Doley, Padma Bhushan Jahnu Barua and Padmashree Nrityacharya Jatin Goswami will be the guests of honour.
The mega event will provide the people of the city to catch a series of 15 stimulating performances, including specially invited plays from renowned masters of the form such as Bibhash Chakraborty (Raj Rakto), Roshan K Meheta (Jiudo Aakash), Fakiraiya Amoghi Math (Daksha Brahman Vadhe), Mahmud Alam (Safarnama), Ovlyakuli Khodjakuli (To Kill Or Not To Kill), Sandip Bhattacharya (Santaap), Rajan Khatiwada (Antigone), Debasis Majumdar, (Baijayantika), Subash Chandra Pradhan (Lal Paen), Vinicius Piedade (Jail House), Vyomkesh Shukla (Panchratram), Prithunandan Ghose (Ebong Andhokar), Anagha Deshpande (Swapnavasavdattam), Prokash Bhattacharya (Aarshi), and Urmil K Thapaliyal (Aurat Ki Jung).
“Art has been the earliest form of communication and nothing gives an artist more delight than performing in front of an audience that appreciates art, no matter from which part of the world they come. In a way, theatre is a great equaliser and unites people of multiple cultures and traditions under one umbrella. We are extremely proud to bring the world’s largest theatre festival to India. During this 51-day long nationwide celebration of the 8th Theatre Olympics, we attempt to bridge the borders across countries through the call of theatre and engage in creating a global village,” says Arjun Deo Charan, acting chairman of National School of Drama Society.
“For the past 3 years we had the dream to bring Theatre Olympics to India. The dream that we had seen has come true. Since we began to envision and achieve this feat, Mahesh Sharma and the culture ministry have extended wholehearted support to the idea and have played an instrumental role in making it a reality. Throughout centuries we have seen playwright like Shakespeare and Bertolt Brecht becoming a part of Indian theatre, while despite having our own extraordinary playwrights and theatrical figures, we are still to make similar impact. This is a huge leap towards that direction of putting Indian theatre on the world map. We should be proud of our theatre legacy that is more than 2500 years old,” says Waman Kendre, director, National School of Drama.
The festival will culminate on April 8 at Mumbai.
About Theatre Olympics:
The Theatre Olympics was established at Delphi, Greece in 1993. The Theatre Olympics presents some of the greatest theatre practitioners from around the world. It is a platform for theatrical exchange for students and masters, where a dialogue despite ideological, culture and language differences is encouraged. So far, the Theatre Olympics has been held seven times in the following countries: Japan (1999), Russia (2001), Turkey (2006), South Korea (2010), China (2014), Poland (2016). The theme of this edition is “Flag of Friendship”.