Extension Program – Extension Programmes, under which NSD faculty and alumni conduct workshops in various parts of the country, were launched in 1978 and since then has conducted workshops and programs for adults and children across the country including some in Nepal, Sikkim, Ladhakh and Bhutan as well. The Traditional Theatre Project initiated in 1980 has facilitated creative interaction between traditional and contemporary theatre artists on a regular basis. Along with an introduction to theatre, these workshops also seek to develop personality and expand the emotional horizons of the participants.
As the National School of Drama is able to admit only twenty students per year from across India, the School also runs an Extension Program, which works as an outreach program seeking to reach out to theatre enthusiasts across regions and languages by conducting theatre workshops of various kinds. This outreach program conducts short-term teaching and training workshops that deal with a whole range of subjects related to and with theatre. Subjects such as acting, movement, light, make-up, theatre history and literature among others, have been taught at such workshops. With about 55 events per year, they have led to a major revival of theatre activity in the regions. Over the last few months various workshops have been held under the auspices of the Extension Program of the National School of Drama.
The Extension Programme of National School of Drama connects the school based in Delhi to various regional theatres in the country. Through a series of well planned theatre workshops, taking into account the specific needs of each region, the School has been imparting training and producing plays with the theatre workers spread all over the country. Those who cannot afford to spend three years at NSD, and those who have been doing theatre for considerable time are trained in these workshops.
Through this programme the School also establishes contact with a large number of theatre groups and institutions that are doing excellent work in the regions by undertaking collaborative projects.
In recent years, NSD under its Extension Programme organized a series of theatre workshops in the North Eastern States. The workshops proceeded on the basis of a 3-step programme – the first was to arouse interest amongst all participants about the intricacies of the theatre experience – performance and transference; the second was to impart training in the area and the third was to help and guide them to prepare productions on the basis of the received training. Once the productions were ready participants were given an opportunity to stage 10 shows each in different areas of the region so as to gain self-confidence and a variety of experience and audience interaction. And finally, the School decided to come up with a platform to showcase these productions, wherein lies the genesis of the Poorvottar Natya Samaroh.
The first Poorvottar Natya Samaroh was organized in Guwahati in 2007 and the second at Gangtok, Sikkim in 2008. The plays participated in the Poorvottar Natya Samaroh dealt with a variety of subjects ranging over romance, social issues like caste, gender, exploitation in a feudal society, survival and hope in a conflict-torn social context, philosophical principles and resistance.
This mix of the theatre experience will not only allow for an intermingling of all those involved, but the range of representation and performance will also underline different forms of portrayal, each one as valid as the other. By underlining this unity in the diversity of human life and existence, the Festival hopes to provide a space of meaningful interaction and engagement for all.
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