Nandikar’s 33rd National Theatre Festival, which focuses on youth, is all set to make your theatre experience more special this winter. The 10-day festival, which begins today, will have 23 performances from states like Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Manipur, Odisha and West Bengal. The only international participant this year is from the United States of America. Veteran theatre personality Soumitra Chatterjee will be felicitated with Nandikar Samman.
An exhibition titled, Struggle In Theatre, is another interesting segment of the festival. It highlights the state of theatre all over the world. The exhibition, which is more like a collage of events, write-ups and pictures, has been single-handedly organised and researched by theatre artiste Rudrarup Mukhopadhyay.
“I feel the current generation has a lot in them that we want to explore. There is so much to learn and share and we feel that they deserve a proper platform for the interaction to take place. Personally, the more I am counting years, the more I feel young from within. It’s like the Yule’s law, heat lost equals heat gained,” smiles Rudraprasad Sengupta, veteran actor, director and president of Nandikar, while taking about youth as their focus.
Sohini Sengupta’s Alipha and Poulami Chattopadhyay’s Phera will inaugurate the festival. Waman Kendre’s Phoolrani (National School of Drama Repertory Company, Delhi), based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, will premiere on December 19. Among others, one should not miss plays like Choumatha by Anirban Bhattacharyya (Hatibagan Sangharam), Outcaste by Randhir Kumar (Raaga, Bihar), Athhoi by Arna Mukhopadhyay (Natadha, Howrah) and Hungry Stone by Heisnam Tomba (Kalakshetra, Manipur).
There is an interesting bouquet of short plays for children too. There’s Batasbari by Anindita Chakraborty (Children’s Ensemble, Nandikar) and Ha-Ja-Ba-Ra-La by Anamitra Khan (Beadon Street Subham) on December 24. There are also three short productions by Children’s Ensemble, Nandikar, Lanka Dahan Pala by Debabrata Maity, Bobby by Samrat Basu and Joy Ke Chai by Debabrata Maity.
Two of Nandikar’s popular dramas will end the festival on December 25. Swatilekha Sengupta’s Madhabi and Sohini Sengupta’s Panchajanya will be staged back-to-back on the concluding day.