26 September, 2020


The celebrated director and NSD alumni sounds off on the vulgarisation of theatre

Why did you tick off the NSD director for inviting Bombay actors, school alumni, to perform at the convocation ceremony?
My protest letter is symbolic. When you have doyens like Dharmavir Bharati presiding, why do you need to import Utsav Bhartis from Bollywood? Why should film dominate an event that's meant to celebrate theatre?

So your objection is to the attitude this indicates?
Absolutely. Naseer, Asheesh Vidyarthi, Pankaj Kapur are excellent actors. I question the cultural manager's mind-set, not these actors' talents.

You feel films might subsume theatre?
In Assam, our graduates perform for Bhramar Mandalis, get Rs 3 lakh per season. To perform what? Pedestrian adaptations of Hindi films, serials. It's pathetic.

Are government-run theatre institutes competent to counter this threat?
NSD positions are sinecures. Three of our graduates, stars of cheap Oriya films, are faculty at the Orissa drama school. Go there once a month to sign registers, receive pay cheques.

So your volley is against...


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