Millennium Post

‘All performing institutes should come together to create impact’

‘All performing institutes should come together to create impact’
National School of Drama (NSD) has an eventful history. How do you think it has evolved over the years?

Its almost 55 years since its establishment. It is quite an eventful and glorious organisation, which has started from the scratch and has become one of the reputed institution. As far as the world is considered, in India it is a prime institute, Asia it is a leading institute and far across it is recognised as one of its kind institution.

Do you feel NSD is producing the same kind of talent which it used to now?

You can't compare time to time because it changes, life is changing so training is also changing. Nature of entertainment industry is changing and the requirement outside world is changing, so accordingly we modify the training module. Though we have produced great legendary actors, directors, playwrights etc. And we are still committed to the same up till now.

With more commercialisation, TV and cinema taking a hold do you think people are still interested in theatre. What’s the trend?

See, it is still there. If you go to states like Maharashtra and <span style="border-bottom: 1px solid #0000FF !important;text-decoration:underline !important;color:#0000FF !important">West Bengal you would see that theatre personalities are more regarded and respected as compared to TV or cinema. Its still there because the tradition of watching theatre is still alive including going and doing. Though one cant deny that TV and cinema has more reach than theatre because it can easily and freely enter your homes without costing you much. Films can be shown at a time across the world. But theatre still has its magic pertaining to performing themes and its a one to one kind of a medium.

How about the Delhi theatre circuit?

Delhi theatre is always a developing theatre for me. As I am an alumni of NSD so I am seeing a evolvement since 1979 in the field. It is more of a big junction because plays are coming from different languages are transcripted, adapted, transcreated in English etc. Then most of the experiments happen in Delhi theatre.

How have you revitalised the curriculum of NSD including launching of new courses?

Its been three months that I have taken this seat. So we are still under the process of doing that. Some of the ideas are launching courses apt with the demand of the entertainment industry. NSD started because there was dearth of training in India as far as theatre is concerned. Now the nature, demand, requirements of theatre is changing including specialisations. So we have to find that approach in future training by branching out. Also introduce courses which are not existing, for example - play writing, children theatre specialisation, art administration, theatre criticism, theatre music and choreography and we are planning to design a course in one and a half year according to primary demands with discussion with faculties and experts.

Any plans to collaborate with foreign theatre groups?

We want to open the doors for every collaborator who are genuinely concerned with development of theatre. Recently there was a drama troupe from France which wanted to do theatre in the country. Like wise we want to join hands with parallel institutes like Sangeet Natak Academy, Sahitya Academy, so we have to come together to bring about a change in Indian performing culture and devise a programme to bring an impact.

Has society given due recognition to theatre artists who have moved to films and TV?

In states like Maharashtra and West Bengal there is a sensitivity towards the medium and people have understood the real magic of theatre. There are and will be theatre stars coming into the picture, but since the focus has shifted to TV and films, it is lacking behind. But if you look at Manohar Singh, Uttara Baokar, Utpal Dutt, Shambhu Mitra, Dr Sriram Lagoo. So the basic prime concern of NSD is to promote and project artists who are doing theatre.
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