Industry status must for
Indian theatre: Amal Allana
Nov 3 (IANS) Indian theatre has its roots in the Vedic times,
but today it is fighting for survival and needs industry status
to make it commercially viable, says acclaimed stage director
as an art form in India has its roots during the Vedic period.
But in spite of such a long period of existence, theatre persons
are still fighting to make theatre commercially viable,"
Allana, chairperson of the Delhi-based National School of
Drama(NSD), told IANS in an interview here.
cannot survive in isolation. The status of an industry will
help theatre persons work in a coordinated manner for the
growth and development of theatre," Allana, 61, said
on the sidelines of a 10-day theatre festival at Ranga Shankara,
a theatre facility in Bangalore.
festival celebrating the Nataka Mandali or company theatre
tradition began Friday with "Nati Binodini", a play
directed by Allana on the struggle of the mid-19th century
actress Binodini in Kolkata.
100-minute play in Hindi was staged by Theatre and Television
Associates. The story brings into focus how Indian women in
every stage of their lives have to fight a tough battle to
fulfil their ambition.
play set in the mid-19th century is still relevant. The position
of Indian women has not changed much since that time,"
stated Allana, who is the daughter of theatre legend Ebrahim
Alkazi and has till date directed 50 acclaimed plays.
the television and film industry being a major threat to theatre,
Allana said all hurdles would be sorted out once theatre got
the industry tag.
has to be made commercially viable for its survival. Although
thousands of theatre troupes are working hard and staging
plays in India, they are suffering from financial penury,"
it Manipur, West Bengal or Karnataka, India has some of the
most talented theatre troupes producing world class plays.
But there is no financial backing for them. The government
has to pitch in to bail out theatre from its financial bankruptcy,"
the support extended by several corporate houses, Allana said
since its inception theatre had survived because of royal
patronage. "Corporate houses coming out and helping theatre
troupes in recent times is a welcome sign. Hope more such
support comes our way," she said.
instance, the Ranga Shankara theatre festival is being supported
by cellular phone company Vodafone.
theatre is working under terrible conditions. We need to find
a solution soon," Allana said.
her stewardship of the NSD, she said "We at the NSD have
various plans to bring some elementary changes in the way
theatre across the country operates. Hope we achieve all our
goals," said Allana, who won the Sangeet Natak Akademi
award for direction in 1998.
of the well-known productions executed by Allana along with
her husband Nissar are "Aadhe Adhure", "The
Exception and the Rule", "Hayavadana", "Khamosh
Adalat Jari Hai", "Birjis Qadar Ka Kunba",
"Ashadh Ka Ek Din", "Mahabhoj", "King
Lear", "Himmat Mai" and "Begum Barve".
1990, Allana received a Ford Foundation Fellowship to research
the contemporary theatre movement in India.
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