HYDERABAD FEST New theatre groups performed to increase awareness about the art form. FAIZA HASAN
The recent Hyderabad Theatre Festival was an outrageous success! It also proved to a fantastic platform for many young people to discover and declare their love for theatre.“The purpose of the fest was to mobilise the various theatre groups in the city and increase awareness about theatre, particularly among the youth,” says Rathna Shekar Reddy, Director of Hyderabad’s first theatre company, “The Magic If Creations”, whose branch Samahara organised the event. He adds, “Samahara aims at giving upcoming theatre groups in Hyderabad the right platform, exposure, required technical help and skills. And this year it was fantastic to see so many young people involved, be it as participants or even audience!” Interestingly, almost all the ‘organisers’ were college goers between 18 and 22 years. “There were about 30 of us working since the beginning of March to make the Hyderabad Theatre Festival happen,” says Faiz Rai, a third year engineering student and an active member of Samahara. “We handled almost all aspects from the publicity to sponsorships and even the various creative requisites, under Rathna Shekar Reddy’s guidance,” he continues.
Also, two of the five finalists short-listed to perform at the event were school and college goers. The Nasr Dramatic Society, a group of 13-17 year old school-going girls, performed Ayn Rand’s ‘Night of January 16th’ and left the audience spell-bound! Similarly, D-Fir Dramatics, launched recently by 20-year-old Firdous Majeed and 21-year-old Deeksha Marur, was a huge hit with their performance of Mahesh Dattani’s “Bravely Fought the Queen”.In fact, theatre in Hyderabad has seen many new groups come up recently. Most began with the motive of making theatre more accessible and giving it a fresh new face. “For us, theatre is all about doing something different, breaking stereotypes and doing something that will appeal to younger people,” says Vichitra Chandra, co-founder of Ingenium Dramatics. Harshvardhan from H ka O2, tells us, “Theatre is a great way to connect with people and spread cheer! The only drawback is that people still need to appreciate theatre as an art; many still treat it like a Page 3 or charity event.”Both Divya Damaraju from Clockwork and Nidhi Dugar from Shoelace conclude, “Theatre in Hyderabad has developed, but still has a long way to go.”
Faiza is a II year student at J.N.T.U College of Fine Arts, Hyderabad
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