Ram Gopal Bajaj, the founder of Bharangam to be felicitated on the Inaugural

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National School of Drama’s 20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the International Theatre Festival of India, is Back with a Bang; Gears Up to Dazzle India

The International theatre festival of India, Bharat Rang Mahotsav, BHARANGAM,  will kick off in New Delhi on 1st February, 2019 and culminate on 21st February, 2019 and will cover 6 cities in India with 111 shows and various allied events.

A key feature of the inaugural ceremony of the festival is the felicitation of its founder Ram Gopal Bajaj, who was the Director of National School of Drama. It was his visualisation of the idea of bringing best of theatre from India and later all over the world, to help the students of NSD to see the possibilities of theatre and also an experience for the audience to absorb and be enriched. 

Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM), the annual theatre festival is organized by the National School of Drama (NSD), was established two decades ago, by Ramgopal Bajaj to stimulate the growth and development of theatre across India. Originally a national festival showcasing the work of the most creative theatre workers in India, BRM has evolved to international scope, hosting theatre groups from around the world, and is now the largest theatre festival of Asia. Till date, BRM was celebrated in New Delhi and has travelled to several cities in India, presenting an overwhelming 1787 plays, and riveted thousands of audiences who basked in the glory of heart-winning stories and superior performances.

The 20th edition of BRM will include various national and international performances, and associated events such as, ‘Director’s Meet’, ‘Living Legends’, and ‘Master Class’. This year, the festival pays a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘Father of the Nation’, on his 150th birth anniversary and will stage plays depicting the Gandhian philosophy and the dilemmas Bapu had as a person. The 20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav also hold parallel festival in other cities including Dibrugarh (Assam), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Mysore (Karnataka), and Rajkot (Gujarat).

The 21-day long festival will stage plays in Hindi, English, and other regional and international languages. International productions from Bangladesh, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, the Czech Republic, Italy, Nepal, Romania, and Singapore will also enthrall the audience during the festival.

 

Apart from plays, the festival will also host folk performances and other traditional performing art forms, street plays by around 50 dramatic societies of colleges in Delhi, and national and international seminars discussing the theatre scenario in India and abroad.BRM is organized by National School of Drama (NSD), an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India and one of the foremost theatre training institutions in the world.

20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM), the largest theatre festival in Asia, organized by the National School of Drama (NSD), is all set to bring its bouquet of plays, interactive sessions, and other cultural events to cheer up the winter afternoons of theatre enthusiasts in the city.

The inaugural ceremony will be held at Kamani auditorium on 1st February, 2019 at 6:00 PM followed by the performance of ‘Karanth ke Rang’, directed by Amod Bhatt. The 50-minute long performance is a medley of songs composed by late Shri B V Karanth, a stalwart of Kannada and Hindi theatres. Shri Karanth was a prolific composer of songs and scripts for theatre and directed and acted in many productions.

The festival, which enters its 20th edition this year, is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – 4 of the plays to be staged on the life, philosophy, and principles of the ‘Father of the Nation’. The festival will host 69 Indian and 15 foreign plays across India, selected after screening. Additionally, 9 folk productions, 5 plays by NSD diploma students, 1 production from the Sikkim center of NSD, 3 plays by the NSD Repertory as well as 5 invitee plays by eminent theatre practitioners will captivate the theatregoers across India.

The national capital will host 89 plays: 25 plays in Hindi, 16 in Bengali, 5 in Kannada, 2 in Marathi, 2 in Odia, 2 in Gujarati, 2 in Manipuri, 3 in English, 2 in Assamese, 2 in Malayalam and 1 each in Maithili, Telugu, Nepali, and Sanskrit, in addition to 15 foreign plays, the festival also brings 8 folk performances to theatre aficionados in the city.

The 21-day long festival this year will include plays in Hindi, English, and other regional languages. International productions from countries such as Bangladesh, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, the Czech Republic, Italy, Nepal, Romania, and Singapore as well as non-verbal, folk, and multi-lingual performances will enthrall the audience during the theatrical spectacle.

The performances in New Delhi will be held at Bahumukh and Chahumukh (7:30 PM), Open Lawn (6:00 PM), and Abhimanch (8:30 PM) at the NSD’s Bahawalpur House campus as well as nearby Sri Ram Centre (4:00 PM), LTG (5:30 PM), and Kamani (7:00 PM) auditoriums.

Apart from the spellbinding performances and interaction with thespians and eminent personalities from the world of theatre, the festival in Delhi will also have 2 international and 2 national seminars on theatre. The national seminars to be held in New Delhi will attend to the topic ‘Is Modern Theatre Inclusive?’ and will hold sessions dedicated to ‘Notion of State and Representation’, ‘Unrepresented Form’, and ‘Non-Governmental Curating and Funding Policy’.

Besides, the NSD campus will be abuzz with street plays, ambience shows, and ‘Theatre Bazar’, a motley of stalls offering a range of products and culinary delights. The youth forum shows will comprise performances by dramatic societies of nearly 50 colleges in Delhi while ambience performances will bring folk dance and other traditional performing art forms.

In keeping with its concerted efforts to promote theatre among people and take select performances to other parts of the country, the NSD arranges parallel festivals in Dibrugarh (4th to 10th February, 2019), Varanasi (7th to 13th February, 2019), Ranchi (9th to 15th February, 2019), Mysore (11th to 17th February, 2019), and Rajkot (13th to 19th February, 2019).

“The art of theatre is the oldest and the strongest medium that conveys human emotions in a manner that defies temporal boundaries. We are delighted to usher in the Bharat Rang Mahotsav to its 20th year and have made all efforts to bring a selection of quality plays, choosing the best out of 960 submissions. There are 9 folk performances being presented in Delhi as well as invitee plays and productions in regional languages. We have tried to accommodate as many young theatre enthusiasts as we can, since the institution aim to foster the growth of young talents through the platform of BRM,” says Shri Suresh Sharma, Director In-charge, National School of Drama (NSD).

“Theatre is a celebrated art form across the world and I am happy that this festival gives us a chance to witness many of the plays which have received critical acclaim globally. BRM aims at bringing together people and hence, we have spread the festival across the country so that theatre reaches more and more people. BRM has been a very successful festival attracting a lot of audience, including first-timers and we hope a similar run this year too,” says Dr. Arjun Deo Charan, Acting Chairman, NSD Society.

About National School of Drama (NSD)

The National School of Drama is one of the foremost theatre training institution in the world and the only one of its kind in India. It was set up by the Sangeet Natak Akademi as one of its constituent units in 1959. In 1975, it became an independent entity and was registered as an autonomous organization under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, fully financed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It offers 3-years training program in every aspect of theatre with a special focus on the practical implementation of theories. The NSD has two performing wings – the Repertory Company and Theatre-in-Education Company (TiE) that started in 1964 and 1989, respectively.

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is Currently a Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he teaches are: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in & www.stagebuzz.info He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He is an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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