7 awesome Indian theatre festivals that are making the theatre culture vibrant

Posted on 11 March, 2016 by Team Wishberry

Theatre-festivals-every-theatre-lover-should-know-of Theatre festivals can be credited to not only catalyzing the theatre culture in its home city, but also provide a platform for new talent and unique works. These festivals are doing their best to keep the creative culture on its toes in the country. Because they’re held in different states and cities, each festival comes with its own flavours and features imbibed from the culture around it. Additionally, they explore a myriad palette of talents and styles of theatre, making it an experience NOBODY would want to miss. If you’re planning to take it to the stage and explore some good, old theatre for yourself, these festivals are a good place for you to start.

Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival

When: October Where: Ranga Shankara Theatre, Bangalore This festival is hosted by the Ranga Shankara Theatre in association with Vodafone every October. Each year, the festival follows a different theme and brings to its audience cutting edge theatre productions from all over India, in line with the chosen theme. For instance, last year’s theme was Youth Yuga and brought together some of the best plays from theatre directors under the age of 40, spanning languages like Hindi, English, Kannada, Rajasthani, Urdu and even Spanish!

Going Solo

When: October Where: Mumbai Going Solo is India’s first and only international solo theatre festival. Run by Teamwork Arts, the festival brings together unique, awe-inspiring and award-winning solo theatre acts from all around the world, under one roof! This is a 3-day event and a must-see for those who are interested in or enjoy solo theatre!

Prithvi Theatre Festival

When: Early November Where: Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai Mumbai’s Prtihvi Theatre is more than just a venue – it’s a melting pot of ideas, talent and inspiration, and a symbol of Mumbai’s buzzing theatre culture. It is only fair then, that it has a festival of its own, which happens to be one of the most exciting theatre events in the city. Prithvi Theatre Festival too stays true to this eclectic spirit. Each festival has its own theme and in addition to plays you’ll also find music concerts, jam sessions, recitations, theatre talks and workshops and fringe shows. Last year there was even a circus act!

Centrestage

When: November/December Where: NCPA, Mumbai Centrestage is a 10-day theatre festival organized by the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) that aims to tap into the  best as well as newer and fresher theatre productions from within and outside the country. Last year, the festival hosted 15 premiere plays in 5 different languages, spanning languages like Punjabi, Gujarati, Rajasthani, Marathi and Hindustani. This year will be the sixth edition of the festival.

Nandikar festival

When: December Where: Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata Started in Kolkata in 1985, this festival is organized by the Nandikar Theatre Group with an aim to promote theatre as a key cultural element in the country as well as to bring together and spark a dialogue between theatre lovers from all parts of the country. Leading theatre groups from all over India as well other countries like USA, Switzerland, Norway, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh bring their performances to this festival.

International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFoK)

When: January Where: Thrissur, Kerala International Theatre Festival of Kerala is the country’s most renowned theatre festival. Organized by the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi – under the government of Kerala, the festival is a magnificent hub of audiences and theatre performances from all over the world. First started in 2008, this is an 8-day festival held in the cultural capital of Kerala that hosts regional, national and international, independent and experimental works of contemporary theatre.

Bharat Rang Mahotsav

When: February Where: National School of Drama, Delhi Also called as the National Theatre Festival, this festival is hosted by the prestigious National School of Drama. First started in 1999, it has gone on to become Asia’s biggest theatre festival since then. Bharat Rang Mahotsav is a hotbed of some of the most praiseworthy and eclectic acts from new and established productions within and outside the country. BRM 2016 saw as many as 80 acts selected from about 500 applications. You’ll also find a bazaar, live music performances, lecture-demonstrations by renowned artists among others – this is truly a theatre extravaganza to behold! Although a few of these are already over, it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead already, does it? So which festival are you marking your calendars for?

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