July 14, 2017
In a development that puts India firmly among the top nations in the world theatre map, the country is all set to host the next edition of the prestigious Theatre Olympics. Established in 1993, the Theatre Olympics is the foremost international theatre festival, presenting the finest productions of well-known theatre practitioners from around the world.
The Theatre Olympics, being held in India for the first time, is being organised by National School of Drama, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The country’s tryst with the biggest celebration of theatre in the world will take place from February 17 till April 08, 2018 and will be held in 15 cities across India.
The announcement was made today by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India, along with Shri Ratan Thiyam, Chairperson, NSD Society & Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama. “We are thrilled to know that we will get to see some great theatre, some great personalities. This will give theatre and the artists some much needed push,” says Sudebi Banerjee, Theatre Artist.
It was also announced that the inaugural ceremony of the Theatre Olympics will take place in New Delhi, in a gala function with performances by hundreds of artistes while the closing ceremony will take place in Mumbai.
The Theatre Olympics 2018 will be the 8th edition of the event and will feature maximum number of Indian & International theatre groups, invitee eminent theatre personalities along with their performances.
In addition, there will be ambience performances with allied activities like exhibitions, seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with well-known academicians, authors, actors, designers and directors.
Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India, said, “I strongly believe that the 8th Theatre Olympics will make its mark in India’s rich cultural history and will prove to be a milestone. Cultural Ministry, Govt of India is committed to support this grand initiative. We will request Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to inaugurate the 8th Theatre Olympics in New Delhi and Hon’ble President of India to be a part of the concluding ceremony in Mumbai ”
Talking about the Theatre Olympics, Shri Ratan Thiyam, Chairperson, NSD Society said, “It is a great feeling of joy and happiness that the prestigious event of Theatre Olympics is taking place in India, a country which is proud of its innovation and heritage and it will provide a valuable platform to showcase significant productions of groups from India and abroad. India is proud of its ancient tradition and cultural heritage.”
“We live in a changing world with a new cultural landscape where the technological fanfare has already penetrated in all spheres of our life, making us more intoxicating day by day with limitless external comfort and new discoveries. We also require a compatible ambience, peace and happiness and art provide us the expression of experience of the world and aspirations of the human spirit.
In this changing world and challenging journey, I sincerely feel that theatre serves as a confluence of river of modernity, the past, present and future where very important issues, complex, aesthetics and philosophical challenges are negotiated.”-Shri Thiyam further added.
Speaking on NSD playing host and organising the Theatre Olympics, Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama said, “This is for the first time, as a country India is trying to showcase and exchange theatre in front of the world. When it comes to theatre, it doesn’t get any bigger than the Theatre Olympics, and it is indeed a proud moment for National School of Drama that it has got the opportunity to organise this prestigious event. NSD is all geared up to play the perfect host as India will be the cynosure of the theatre world and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the Theatre Olympics in India is a grand success.”
The Theatre Olympics was established in 1993 in Delphi, Greece, as the first international theatre festival. With the tagline ‘Crossing Millennia’, this is an initiative to connect the cultural past with the present and future, bringing the richness and diversity of theatre heritage to the experiments and research of contemporary theatre.
The first country to host the Theatre Olympics was Greece in 1995. Japan hosted the second edition in Shizuoka in 1999, followed by Russia in 2001. In 2006 the Olympics were held in Istanbul, Turkey and four years later, in 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. China hosted them in Beijing in 2014 and in 2016 the 7th Theatre Olympics were held in Wroclaw, Poland. India is all set to join this illustrious list as it plays host to the 8th edition of this global event.