Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow
A slow and silent makeover is in the offing in the art and culture landscape of Lucknow.
Behind the curtains and far from the maddening city traffic and cacophony of voices and noises, theatre and drama is taking roots in Lucknow.
Over the past few months, a series of plays and dramas have been staged in Lucknow with people thronging to watch the live display of theatrics amid dim lights and dramatic settings. The trend continues in the linear fashion!
The spacious precincts of two theatre and drama institutions viz. Sangeet Natak Academy and Bhatendu Natya Academy in the tony Gomti Nagar area have become the centres to celebrate a revival of sorts for the much neglected theatre and drama circuit.
While the government has been supporting the cause, yet it is primarily the efforts and ingenuity of private organisations and passionate individuals, which is playing sheet anchor to proliferate the drama culture in Lucknow.
A 30-day drama fest #30Days30Plays organised by ‘Manchkriti Samiti’ is currently at play in Lucknow at the Sangeet Natak Academy to showcase as many acts consecutively during the month. All the plays are being directed by theatre veteran Triveni Sangam Bahuguna.
Even as the city theatre scene is enriched by a slew of senior personalities like Anil Rastogi, who has also made a mark in Bollywood, there is an energetic crop of young and middle-aged actors as well upping the ante.
Among them is an effervescent Bhavya Dwivedi, a multi-talented young creative persona having footprint in acting, theatre, radio, singing, dancing and anchoring.
Having acted in 25 plays apart from other creative projects to boot, Bhavya is sanguine about the future of theatre in Lucknow, although she also roots for greater support of the government as well as corporates.
“I think, the government should provide more financial and institutional support to the theatre persons so that this creative domain flourishes even more,” she underlined.
A famous quote about theatre goes: “Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But theatre will make you good.”
None could contest this fact that it is indeed theatre that connects instantly with the audience, leaving an indelible imprint with its pithy and dramatic exhibits.
“During the pandemic, it was really tough for the theatre artistes and actors to sustain themselves…there is a sheer lack of any social security net for theatre personalities, which inhibits the entry of many a budding and wannabe youth to the drama fraternity,” she rued.
Last month, a play staged at the Bhartendu Natya Academy titled ‘Bina deewaron ke ghar’ written by noted Hindi writer late Mannu Bhandari ran to a packed house with aficionados even sitting on the staircases and standing at the sidewalks through the entire duration of the play.
It is an enduring scene that provides much hope to the lovers of theatre and art in the city. However, the drama space would need generous infusion of funds to create an ecosystem to feed this circuit on its own.
Moreover, it is a harsh reality that most people throng the plays since there is no entry fee. Even a token amount would understandably deter them from visiting such theatres.
Only when theatre and drama become an aspirational commodity, it would be an epoch making event for the art and culture!
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“All the world’s a stage” should provide the much needed guiding force to bolster the theatre and drama space.