Regular festivals of the School
Bharat Rang Mahotsav
The Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM) was started a decade ago by the NSD in order to contribute to the growth and development of theatre across the country. From being a national festival that presented the work of some of the most creative theatre workers in India, it has grown into an international event, hosting theatre companies from around the world. The Bharat Rang Mahotsav is today acknowledged as the largest theatre festival of Asia dedicated solely to theatre.
In addition to the national and international productions/ performances that are staged during the Festival, the fare also includes exhibitions, conferring of awards/tributes, interactive sessions with directors and performers for the general public and professionals, Photographic exhibitions featuring landmark productions, Open forums and meetings and a shorter festival in another city to which some of the productions travel.
The last Bharat Rang Mahotsav, organized from 6-22 January 2010, hosted 76 performances drawn from across 13 countries. Special features of this BRM XII were Natya Manthan – a two day round table, with participation by theatre scholars and practitioners from across India and abroad; and Natya Naad - special evenings of theatre music and song featuring the music of stalwarts and groups who have been integral to the theatre tradition of India.
Every alternate year the TIE Company organizes a national festival, Bal Sangam, which is essentially a cultural mela with an education objective. The festival is an ensemble of various performing traditional art forms that are presented by children belonging to traditional performing families, guru-paramparas and Institutions. The main objective of Bal Sangam is to encourage children to continue traditional performances so as to preserve our cultural heritage in this rapidly changing world. Till now the TIE Company has invited more than 40 groups well-known for their folk presentations by child artistes. While presenting a spectacular and unique confluence of performances by children of various folk & performing traditions, the Festival also includes art and craft workshops of activities like Origami, Pottery, Puppet-making, Aadiwasi Shilp, Recycling, etc.
The last Bal Sangam was organized from 12th – 18th of October 2008.
JashneBachpan showcases the works of different theatre groups working with and for children, representing various regions and languages from across the country. Eminent and emerging theatre directors and established theatre groups doing plays with and for children participate in the Festival with full-fledged productions. So far there have been 9 Jashnebachpans, with the most recent one being held from 1st to 14th November, 2009.
Sunday Club Festival
Following the success and popularity of the ‘Summer Theatre Workshops for Children’ NSD’s Sanskaar Rang Toli decided to start a Saturday Club that was basically an extension of the summer workshops. In this Club extensive work was done with children of varying age groups with the aim of creating original plays through a process of improvisation. Children in the Club jointly decided upon a theme and then proceeded to work on it on a creative manner. During 2002-03 the Saturday Club was shifted to Sundays and is now known as the ‘Sunday Club’. Training to participants is given in two parts – Part I comprises of script-writing, improvisation, etc. and aims at helping children develop a play. After completing their training in Sunday Club-I the children move to Sunday Club–II where theatre is introduced to them as a subject. Training received in the Club results in plays that are staged before parents as well as the wider public.
The most recent Sunday Club Festival was organized in January 2010.
Poorvottar Natya Samaroh
Each year the NSD, as a part of its Extension Programme, organizes a series of theatre workshops in the North Eastern states. The workshops proceed on the basis of a 3-step programme - the first is to arouse interest amongst all participants about the intricacies of the theatre experience - performance and transference; the second is to impart training in the area and the third is to help and guide them to prepare productions on the basis of the received training. Once the productions are ready, participants are given an opportunity to stage shows in different areas of the region so as to gain self-confidence and a variety of experience and audience interaction. And finally, in the form of the Poorvottar Natya Samaroh, the School provides them with a platform to showcase these productions.
Organized by the National School of Drama in collaboration with Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Government of Assam, the first Poorvottar Natya Samaroh showcased a total of 28 plays, and sought to give representation to the creative talent that lies in the region. Since then senior theatre personalities like Kanhailal, Ratan Thiyam, Dulal Roy and Ram Gopal Bajaj have participated in the Festival, allowing for a synthesis of experience and fresh talent. While most performances are in North-Eastern languages like Assamese, Manipuri, Mizo, Rabha, Garo and Nepali, there are also other plays in Bengali, Kannada, Marathi, Urdu and Hindi that are added to give the festival a variety in terms of production styles and texts drawn from a variety of sources. By underlining the unity in the diversity of human life and existence the Festival aims at achieving a space of meaningful interaction and engagement for all.
Delhi International Arts Festival & OCTAVE
For the last two years the National School of Drama has been associated with two other cultural festivals. Theses are the Delhi International Arts Festival - a cultural extravaganza of dance, music, theatre, bands, films, exhibitions and so on; and OCTAVE, a cultural festival organized by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs), in which it was one of the nodal agencies involved.
The first of these, the Delhi International Arts Festival was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture & Tourism GOI, and was co-partnered by several institutions and organizations that made up the core of the cultural spirit of the country at large and of the city in particular. These included the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sahitya Akademi, IGNCA, ITDC, Madhyotari, Directorate of Film Festivals, NEZCC Dimapur, TRIFED, FSI, ICCR, Lalit Kala Akademi and the National School of Drama.
In case of the latter, OCTAVE, a Committee constituted by the School was responsible for selecting the plays participating in the festival and thereby contributing to the dramatic and theatrical component in both years.