New Delhi: A repertoire of 82 plays from across the world, three photographic exhibitions, live theatre projects, an Asia-Pacific theatre showcase and new media theatre will be on display at the 13th edition of the Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the annual theatre festival of the National School of Drama (NSD), from Jan 7-22.
The festival will travel to Chennai Jan 11-19 after opening in the capital Jan 7.
Vying for space on the busy roster will be contemporary Indian classics like Girish Karnad's "Bikhre Bimb", Dharamveer Bharti's "Suraj ka Satwaan Ghora" and modern masterpieces like Henrik Ibsen's "Lady of the Sea (Sagar Kanya)", Alexander Pushkin's "Little Big Tragedies" and Rabindranath Tagore's "Visarjan" in new formats and language.
One of the highlights of the festival will be a special section devoted to veteran theatre personality Shyamanand Jalan.
The Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2011 will feature 22 foreign productions from 20 countries and two live (interactive) video theatre projects - "The Garbage Project", a comment on the piling heaps of garbage in new cities and "Social Gaming" on the impact of internet on our lives. The festival will be spread across eight venues in the capital.
It will open with an production of Habib Tanvir's "Charandas Chor" by an ensemble from Assam at the NSD campus in central Delhi.
At a packed media conference in the capital Tuesday, NSD chairperson Amal Allana said: "The 2011 edition of the festival is an exploration of where Indian theatre is going".
"Sixty of the 82 plays are by and large new productions, which all goes to say about the kind of work being done in India. They are not only of high quality but also in large quantity. We want the festival to be projected as an in-depth study of theatre this year. I think the Bharat Rang Mahotsav has played a major role in providing a platform to Indian theatre to showcase its new work. All this has generated a movement forward and has helped make theatre in the country more professional," Allana said.
This year, the drama school received 450 entries for the country's premier theatre festival - of which it chose 82 plays after eight days of rigorous screening, Allana said.
At the forefront of the international section this year is contemporary French theatre with a colourful production of Beaumarchais' classic opera "The Barber of Seville", "In Viva", a dance piece and a mime performance "Silent Words", by Laurent Decol.
The performances will be accompanied by an exhibition on the mobile French theatre company The Footsbarn Theatre, which is collaborating with the NSD for a series of theatrical performances.
A Latin American package will showcase "Santa Maria de Iquique: Revenge of Ramon", a puppet performance from "Pueta Peralta (Chile)", "En un Sol Amarillo (Bolivia)" and "Muare" (Argentina). Two repertories from Britain will speak of the diasporic experience with a stage adaptation of Farrukh Dhondy's "Miranda".
The best of African writing will be transcribed into theatre by three stage personalities as part of a special Africa package.
Contemporary dance theatre, a format that is making gradual inroads into the theatrical mainstream, will be a key component of the festival with productions by Nora Amin from Egypt, Wendy Jehlen from the US and Min Tanaka and Aki Takahashi from Japan.
"All the south Asian countries as well as China will be represented at the festival," NSD director Anuradha Kapoor said.
"What we are trying to present is how the language of theatre is expanding with young theatre and an exhibition on Asia-Pacific stage methodologies. Drama schools are the places where one can look into the box of training. We have a lot of focus on interactions, looking behind the scenes and presentation," Kapoor said.
Three seminars and workshops on performance language, scenography, set and lights will try to establish the course contemporary Indian and global theatre is charting, Kapoor said.
Tickets to the festival will be sold in three phases beginning Jan 5.