Stage set for 8th Theatre Olympics, 30 countries to participate

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) India is all set to host the eighth edition of the global Theatre Olympics for the first time – that will see participation from 30 countries with performances in cities across the country, over 50 days.

Hosted by the National School of Drama in collaboration with Ministry of Culture, the global theatre festival will have 17 Indian cities hosting 450 shows, 600 ambience performances, and 250 youth forum shows. It will also have more than 25,000 artistes from across the globe participating in the festival.

During the festival two international seminars will be held in Delhi and Mumbai and six national seminars will take place – in Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Varanasi – hosting national and international academicians and scholars with eminent theatre practitioners.

“Many relevant issues which are usually not spoken or not talked about are often expressed and conveyed efficiently through theatre, its appeal is strong. India has got the opportunity to host the 8th Theatre Olympics where the Indian culture will be taken to the world. And I hope the next 50 days of the Theatre festival will help everyone to exchange cultures,” Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said during a press conference here on Tuesday.

During the festival, the plays will be held in Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Imphal, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram, and Varanasi.

Countries like Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mauritius, Nepal, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, Britain, and the US will be participating at the Theatre Olympics.

Theatre veterans like Shabana Azmi, Paresh Rawal, Manoj Joshi, Himani Shivpuri, Seema Biswas and Saurabh Shukla will also take part in the festival.

“With this international event, we wish to express our theatre practices, its variations, philosophies and sheer strength of our texts, narratives, and ways of presentation in front of the global audience. The objective is to create a platform for conversation between Indian and global artists with an intent to enrich our collective understanding and expression of art,” Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama said.

The festival will be inaugurated at the Red Fort on February 17 and conclude at the iconic Gateway of India in Mumbai.

The Theatre Olympics was established in 1993 at Delphi, Greece, and since then it has been held seven times in countries like Japan, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, China, and Poland.

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