By: Meghna Khanna @Khanna_meghna10, INN, New Delhi ;

The country is set to host the largest international theatre festival – the 8th Theatre Olympics – for the first time, by the National School of Drama under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India under the theme of “Flag of Friendship” that aims to bridge borders and bring people of different cultures, beliefs and ideologies together through the medium of theatrical art.

 With 30 participating countries like Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mauritius, Nepal, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and U.S.A, the 51-day-long event will be inaugurated at the majestic Red Fort on 17th February, 2018 by Honourable Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu.

The 8th Theatre Olympics 2018 will travel to 17 Indian cities including Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Jaipur, etc. with 450 shows, 600 ambience performances and 250 power packed youth forum shows with participation of 25,000 artists from the globe with very famous and renowned  faces in Theatre Shabana Azmi, Paresh Rawal, Manoj Joshi, Himani Shivpuri, Seema Biswas and Saurabh Shukla who will also take part during this grand theatrical treat.

During the event, numerous allied activities like seminars, symposia, ‘Interface’ and workshops with well-known academicians, scholars, authors, actors, designers, and directors are scheduled to take place across 17 cities. The allied programs would boast of 60 ‘Living Legends’ series and 50 ‘Master Classes’. Also, two International seminars in Delhi and Mumbai and 6 national seminars in Bhopal, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Varanasi are scheduled as the exclusive addition in the event.

Theodoros Terzopoulos, the Chairman, International Committee of Theatre Olympics, Greece along with Liu Libin from China and many others with the Indian theatre maestros naming Ratan Thiyam, Alyque Padamsee, Rudraprasad Sengupta, etc are invited as guests for the grand event

The best way to preserve knowledge is to pass it on. Upholding this spirit, the students of National School of Drama are all pumped up for the theatre festival.

Through the youth forum of National School of Drama, “Advitiya 2018”, young voices are being channeled through street plays, music bands, short playwriting and theatre reporting. There will be a competition on short playwriting with cash prizes of INR 25,000, 50,000 and 1 lakh.

The festival will be concluded on 8th April 2018, with a grand ceremony at the iconic Gateway of India in Mumbai.

By Editor