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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Punjabi Theatre is making headway: Anita Devgan

Usmeet kaur, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, March 23, 2014
First Published: 13:36 IST(23/3/2014) | Last Updated: 13:37 IST(23/3/2014)

The director of the theatre group "Theater persons',  Anita Devgan, 43, was appreciated for her role in the film 'Jatt & Juliet' and its sequel 'Jatt & Juliet 2' where she played mother of singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh.

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Anita started doing theatre in 1992 and even in today's commercial era, she is one of those theatre actors who are still carrying forward the drama form of nukkad nataks and staging plays in the rural areas.

She is back with the seventh edition of the Punjab Theatre Festival, in collaboration with the union ministry of culture,
Virsa vihar, North Zone Culture Centre, Patiala.

The week-long festival commenced at virsa vihar on Thursday with the play 'Katha Kalol' by Dr Lakha Lehri from Patiala, which attracted a good number of theatre lovers.

An HT team visited the venue of the festival and spotted Anita devgan with her group rehearsing for her comic play RSVP. Talking about her vision behind organising this festival, Anita said, "This is the 7th year of the Punjab theatre festiva. I started it in 2007 with an aim to get Punjab natak from various cities on one platform. I wanted all the groups to come together and do value additions to each other's talent rather than just being centered to themselves in their cities."

In this theatre festival, she said, various groups of Punjab learn new techniques of theatre from each other. "This is very important to infuse freshness and upgrade theatre", she added.

The festival, she said, also gives a chance to the theatre groups to visit different cities and showcase their talent to new audiences.

Talking about the youth losing interest in theatre, she said  "Those who are doing theatre to be famous like Kapil sharma and Bharti are disappointed as every theatre artist cannot reach that level. If you have talent, there are many platforms to prove yourself in. Most importantly, almost no parent discourages his or her child from becoming a comedian or making a career in acting.

Rather comedy today has turned into one of the hottest selling genres, but again to enter the industry one needs dedicated theatre training".

However, she added that there are youngsters in Punjab who are deeply into theatre and know its value. "Thus Punjab theatre is heading well."

Comparing film industry with theatre, she said "Theatre budgets are not as big as films. Thus promotions cannot be done in such big way that audiences are attracted. But the future of theater is in the hands of theatre lovers and youth. If they both contribute to the industry, nothing can stop it from flourishing."

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