The national capital today celebrated ‘World Theatre Day’ together with the 8th Theatre Olympics, the world’s largest theatre carnival being held in India for the first time, organised by the National School of Drama (NSD).
“The 8th Theatre Olympics has already travelled across many cities and is going on in several more. I am very happy to announce that everywhere it has met with warm response. When theatre comments or criticises someone and he or she takes it positively, that creates a healthy society. On the World Theatre Day, we at National School of Drama pledge to create a healthy society through theatre,” says Director, National School of Drama, Prof. Waman Kendre.
Along with a successful run of 135 plays so far and allied events as a part of the ongoing 8th Theatre Olympics, New Delhi celebrated ‘World Theatre Day’ with a musical performance at the NSD premises. The ‘World Theatre Day’ was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) with the goal of promoting theatre across the world and making people aware of the value of theatre in all its forms.
“The roles we play on stage and those we play in our lives cannot be seen in isolation. Our lives are incomplete without theatre, which is an inseparable part of our existence. It helps us to survive. William Shakespeare has said that the world is a stage and we all just perform our roles – we play several roles in one life and enrich our life,” says Prof. Kendre in a statement.
Commenting on the relevance of theatre amid the growing commercialisation of performing arts, Prof. Kendre says, “The moment you enter the realm of theatre, discriminations based on religion, gender, caste, and colour are wiped out – then you are on a platform of equality, where everyone is at a distance from the ills and evils of life. Theatre is both an equaliser and an enabler – that is the strength, magic and objective of the art of theatre.”
“The very earth itself will not survive if the collective joy of live theatre arts and knowledge (including technology) is not emancipated, re-sublimated from the mundane, the fury, the greed and the evil. Mass Media and our science and technology have made us powerful like demons. Thus, the form of theatre is not the crisis today, but it is the crisis of content, of statement and concern. We need to appeal to the man of today’s earth, to save the very planet earth and therefore ‘theatre’,” former director of the National School of Drama, Prof. Ram Gopal Bajaj, who is also a renowned theatre director and academician, said in a statement.
“‘Theatre’ will become more important for the retention and sustenance of life itself; it therefore needs to empower the live performer and the spectator without threatening each other in this cosmic era of togetherness. I hail theatre and appeal to the world to implement and facilitate this at grass root level, rural and urban all,” the statement from Prof. Bajaj says.