TILL A few years ago, at almost every get-together involving the Bengali community in the city, ‘audio drama’ or ‘talk theatre’ was a must-have activity. “This activity, wherein artistes would read a play without acting but instead using a voice-modulating technique to enthrall listeners, brought people together,” says Amit Mazumdar from Upasana, a cultural forum in the city. “But this art is dying, and we have to revive it,” says Mazumdar, blaming the different media for writing a funeral oration to this form of art.
While last year the group had independently organised an event titled Srutir Aashore that saw talk theatre at Sawai Gandharva Hall, this year, it has tied up with the All India Radio to organise an event titled ‘Srutir Aashore 2016 – A Festival of Talk Theatre’ on February 6 and 7 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the AIR Auditorium, Shivajinagar.
“The AIR has been a pioneer in holding radio plays or audio drama since time immemorial and hence, we approached them with the concept; they gave a go-ahead considering the aim behind the initiative is to popularise the creative vocal medium of expression, including drama, recitation, script reading, vocal collages and so on,” said Mazumdar, adding the programme is being organised under the guidance of artistes from Kolkata —Jagannath Basu and Urmimala Basu.
This year, the festival will have two segments. While the first will be held in February, the second segment is to be held later in August in memory of Shambhu Mitra and PL Deshpande, the legendary figures of Indian drama.