“The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life.” – Oscar Wilde.
Storytelling is always enthralling, whether it’s listening to nani’s favorite folklore, trickled down from generation to generation or your friends narrating a life-changing experience - but there’s an old world charm to storytelling through plays. The hushed whispers, the curtain rising and the snapping of fingers when a scene or dialogue strikes a chord with your current situation, it all entices you to a whole new world. Merging this vibrant theatre experience with an international and cultural escapade, India’s National School of Drama takes immense pride in hosting the eighth Theatre Olympics under the aegis of the Union culture ministry.
Conceptualized by Theodoros Terzopoulos, Theatre Olympics was established in Delphi, Greece as a platform to share and exchange stories and ideas of theatre practitioners from all around the world. Since its inception in 1993, the illustrious theatre Olympics has charmed and traveled to various countries and is all set to celebrate the cultural and linguistic diversity in India.
Over the course of time theatre has a become a medium of communication from conveying social messages to opening doors for self-expression but India’s affair with the theatre began 5,000 years ago with Bharat Muni’s Natya Shastra. Hailed as the world’s first recorded book on drama that covers all the aspects of the craft and earned itself a name as the founding stone of fine arts in India.
Inaugurated on February 17 at the Red Fort by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu the theatre Olympics will conclude in Mumbai on April 8. The 51-day theatre spectacle will travel to 17 cities with 450 shows, more than 60 shows by international troupes along with other events like workshops, seminars, discussions, master classes, director meets as well as a living legend series with famous practitioners.
With the theme ‘Flag of Friendship,’ the 8th Theatre Olympics aims to hoist the flag of brotherhood and bridge the cultural and ideological gap through the theatre as a medium. With More than 30 countries participating, this event is not only bringing international theatre experience to India but also glorifying the divergent theatre forms of India. “We keep saying we have a 2,000-5,000-year theatre history; we have to exhibit it and promote it,” says Waman Kendre, director of the National School of Drama “Indian theatre needs a push, a ‘vibration’, and this festival will do that.”
While the festival will play host to various international theatre artists, eminent Indian theatre personalities like Shabana Azmi, Manoj Joshi, Seema Biswa, Alyque Padamsee and Saurabh Shukla will also be a part of this theatrical extravaganza.
The 8th Theatre Olympics commenced on 17th February in Delhi and will travel to 17 cities in the countries. For details and schedules, visit their website.