Increasingly, the notion that theatre is a dying medium of expression is fading and the art form is again becoming a popular and sought-after one, especially in the city’s colleges. Theatre-centric events seem likely to dominate campuses in the coming months.
The amateur theatre in colleges like St Xavier’s and DG Ruparel, is built completely by the students, with them choosing the theme and the productions performed, as well as the management aspects of it.
‘Ithaka’, the annual theatre festival organised by Xavier’s English department, is set to begin on December 8.
The annual event is organised by two student heads and is supervised by Pearl Pasthakia, the head of the English department.
Students from all streams are encouraged to send in original scripts for plays and sketches, and based on the scripts selected for production by the heads and Pastakia, the theme of the festival is decided.
A ‘sketch’ is Ithaka’s version of a short-story.
This year, Ithaka is focusing on communicating a message. “Most of our productions have an underlying ecological message. We’re using art as a medium to talk about the importance of the environment, to evoke a love for nature,” says Sasha Mahuli, Content Head Ithaka 2016.
Along with plays that are adaptations of classics like ‘Catcher in the Rye’, Ithaka is also offering a wide range of workshops on acting, creative writing and Shakespeare.
Broadening the artistic range beyond geographic boundaries is Mumbai University with the ‘Metta International Theatre Festival’ that started last Sunday and will go on till September 24.
“The word ‘Metta’ is from the Pali language and means friendship, benevolence and joy. The objective of this festival is to promote the values that Babasaheb Ambedkar believed in, values like unity and peace. The plays all had messages of social justice and equality,” said Pritish Ambhore, of VOICE Delhi, one of the organisers of Metta.
The countries that have participated in this festival are Sri Lanka, Nepal, Armenia, and Rwanda.
The festival received entries from all over India, and two theatre groups from Delhi — Mandala and Asmita Theatre groups — were chosen to showcase their productions.
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