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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Drama’s undying spirit

SD Sharma   January 11, 2013
First Published: 11:16 IST(11/1/2013) | Last Updated: 11:18 IST(11/1/2013)

Over the years there has been a spurt of theatre activities in the tricity opening new vistas and achieving new milestones in the realm of theatre and art. One of the productions of Theatre for Theatre (TFT) group, Hindi play Court Martial has won laurels for going into the staging of its 400th show at Tagore theatre on Thursday.

The feat is a tribute to the creative excellence of playwright Swadesh Deepak and the directorial skill of city-based theatre person Sudesh Sharma.

“Drama is one of the greatest mediums of expression, a comprehensive art which enforces social activism, expresses and addresses concerns of humanity more directly than any other art form. Court Martial rips open the caste prejudices with empathy for the victims of this social stigma,” says Sharma expressing gratitude to his team of actors for taking the play to its 400th edition.

Some of the actors who have been integral to the play include the Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Parvesh Sethi, Naresh Bhagat, Tejbhan Gandhi, Neena and Arjun Singh among others.

This play has been instrumental in generating awareness among the masses for over two decades, says Sharma, adding that there were many occasions when they, a cast of 15 actors, staged Court Martial for an audience of five people at Punjab Kala Bhawan.

Sharma, who has directed 30 plays and has acted in hundreds of them besides doing films and tele serials, says, “Plays with a socio-cultural relevance have a mass appeal and shelf life. My other play Chehrey has also been staged for more than 125 times. Talking about future of performing arts, especially theatre in tricity, the artiste is optimistic.

“With just about 10 plays in the 1970s, over 20 national-level theatre festivals are held in tricity. TFT alone hosts four festivals and is adding one more this year. There are well-equipped halls in tricity, including those in schools, but unfortunately artistes are denied

access to them and they are left with no option but the costly Tagore theatre,” says Sharma.

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