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Theatre aspirants in the state have a reason to rejoice as the National School of Drama (NSD), the theatre training institute in Delhi, is planning a Mumbai centre in few months.
Waman Kendre, director, NSD, said the institute and the state cultural affairs ministry have plans to start NSD's fourth regional centre outside Delhi, at PL Deshpande Kala Academy, Prabhadevi.
Kendre, an NSD alumnus and one of the frontrunners of the Dalit theatre movement of Maharashtra in the late 70s, who took over as NSD director last year has been consistently demanding a centre in Maharashtra. "With an opening of Mumbai chapter, NSD will take on a truly national character," said Kendre.
Sanjay Patil, director, directorate of Cultural Affairs, Maharashtra said, "The state government is in favour to start NSD centre in Mumbai. We are taking necessary steps to start the centre initially on the fourth floor of PL Deshpande Kala Academy. We are also considering giving a permanent place for NSD in the city."
"The state government has not signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yet. However, Sanjay Deotale, cultural affairs minister of Maharashtra has principally agreed on the formation of NSD centre at Mumbai," said Kendre.
Some theatre veterans are sceptical of the plans. Hrishikesh Joshi, renowned Marathi actor and alumnus of NSD raised a question about the quality of teaching and availability of a peaceful atmosphere for theatre training in Mumbai. "Decentralisation of NSD is required, but a city like Mumbai already has enough acting schools .The proposed centre should be in the interior Maharashtra to cater the aspirations of the students there," Joshi said.
"We hope that the state government will take a prompt decision to benefit theatre aspirants. Students from the state will be given 50 % reservation as per the demand made by state government," said Kendre.
National School of Drama (NSD) has already been launched in Bangalore (Karnataka), Agartala (Tripura) and Sikkim regional centres to meet the growing need for training in the dramatic arts in the region. Their main centre is in Delhi.
Sanjay Patil, director, directorate of Cultural Affairs, Maharashtra,
"The state government is in favour to start NSD centre in Mumbai. We are taking necessary steps to start the centre initially on the fourth floor of PL Deshpande Kala Academy. We are also considering giving a permanent place for NSD in the city"