Theatre has been around since ancient times among the performing arts of India. With plays being staged in multiple languages across the country, it is befitting for India to host the prestigious Theatre Olympics in 2018 . This was announced recently at a press meet organised by the National School of Drama (NSD).
The premier theatre institution will hold the Olympics in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Culture.
To be held from February to April in 15 cities, the theme for the 8th edition is “Flag of Friendship”. It will be attended by theatre artistes and personalities from across the world and will witness more than 500 plays and 700 ambience performances. This apart, there will be allied activities like exhibitions. seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with academicians, authors, actors, designers and directors.
The Minister of State for Culture, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, who was present at the meet, said holding the Olympics was a milestone. Stating that the identity of a country is its rich culture and people, he commented, “In the international arena, we don’t talk about billions and trillions but of our rich culture and heritage which is our strength and identity.”
Expressing his happiness, Ratan Thiyam, chairperson, NSD said in a technically advanced world, one needs art to express the experiences and aspirations of human spirit.
Professor Waman Kendre, director, NSD said, “This is for the first time that India is trying to showcase its theatre practice to the world and embrace the best of traditions from across the world. When it comes to theatre, it doesn’t get any bigger than the Theatre Olympics.”
Established in 1993 in Delphi, Greece, as the first international theatre festival, Theatre Olympics is an initiative to connect the cultural past with the present and future, bringing the richness and diversity of theatre heritage to the experiments and research of contemporary theatre.