Back in the day, theatre was one of the most popular means ofentertainment, with eager playgoers flocking to theatres and watching the productions with rapt attention. Now, in the age of Bollywood, hardly any turn their heads to even look at a sign welcoming them to watch a play. Many seem to have forgotten that the burgeoning film industry can be traced back to the stage.
In order to remind people of these forgotten roots and to make them remember the excitement of watching a play being enacted on stage, Yavnika Theatre has organised the ongoing Theatre Fest 2013 at CIDCO Urban Haat, which was flagged off on September 22 and will continue till Saturday. The aim of the festival is to showcase various theatre productions. The event will feature as many as 12 plays in English, Hindi, and Marathi over the week, each of which will be staged from 6.30 pm to 9 pm.
Not just plays, the festival will have a night entirely dedicated to music tonight, as well as a mime show on September 27. The primary aim of the festival is to spread awareness about popularity that the plays once enjoyed, holding the audience in thrall for hours.
“Theatre plays were famous in the country in the 80s, but as time passed, the crowd began shifting their attention to the silver screen, leaving behind the theatre. Unlike films, live plays help the audience experience the emotions in a much more personal way. Hence, our aim is to revive theatre in the city, and make it known to those who have not been able to witness it over the years,” said Raman Bala, a member of Yavnika Theatre.
The 60-member crew includes child actors. The group has performed at various events in Mumbai, including the annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. The team, however, felt that Navi Mumbai residents were not adequately exposed to the theatre culture, and so, decided to take on the challenge of a seven-day programme exclusively on theatre, for the first time in the satellite city.
Dinesh Singh, owner of Yavnika Theatre, said, “Navi Mumbai is not as exposed to theatre as Mumbai is, and since it had never witnessed a week-long theatre festival before, we decided to take the opportunity and showcase many of our plays at the amphitheatre in CIDCO Urban Haat. Instead of heading all the way to Mumbai to witness live theatre, residents of Navi Mumbai can enjoy it in an amphitheatre close to their homes. This event is open for all and we want to showcase the beauty of theatre to whoever has not been able to enjoy it before.”
Singh and his team are also planning on another event that will be held on a grander, larger scale, stretched over many more days, and showcasing more talent and many more plays.