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12-day inter-university theatre festival in Mysore

Staff Correspondent

‘Vishwa Vidya Rangotsava’ to start on September 17

MYSORE: The curtains for the first ever national-level inter-university theatre festival to be held here will go up on September 17.

Apart from eight universities from the State, students from various universities of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh will stage translated versions of Kannada plays during the festival. Stress has been laid on Kannada plays in view of Suvarna Karnataka celebrations, according to Minister for Kannada and Culture H.S. Mahadeva Prasad.

The State Government, in association with Karnataka Nataka Academy and University of Mysore, has embarked upon this ambitious venture. The festival has been named “Vishwa Vidya Rangotsava”. According to Mr. Prasad, a theatre festival of this kind is being conducted for the first time in the country.

In order to divert the attention of the youth towards traditional art forms, especially theatre, the concept of conducting a national-level inter-university theatre festival was envisaged by the academy, said Chairman of Karnataka Nataka Academy, Kappanna. The festival will be inaugurated on September 17 at Kalamandira and will conclude on September 28. As many as 21 universities will produce plays, which are selected by the academy. They have adopted Kannada plays, novel, story and poetry for theatre.

Plays including, “Nagamandala” by Girish Karnad, “Jokumaraswamy” by Chandrashekara Kambara, “Teregalu” by P. Lankesh and “Sayo Aata” by Da.Ra. Bendre will be staged during the festival. The University of Mysore is extending co-operation for the festival.

To avoid unhealthy competition, it has been decided to conduct a theatre festival instead of a competition and for the first time a platform has been created for theatre artistes to render “Ranga Geethegalu”, (songs of professional and amateur theatre).

According to Mr. Prasad, the Government has plans to make this festival an annual event in view of promoting theatre activity in universities.

On selecting Mysore as the venue for the festival, Mr. Kappanna said that since Mysore is the cultural capital of the State and gets a wonderful response for theatre activities, it is a natural choice. The festival is aimed at creating interest among youngsters on the great theatre tradition, he added. These kind of festivals will create congenial atmosphere for the students to engage in theatre activities.

For the first time a play-reading session and rendering of Ranga Geethegalu have been included in the event to promote these two forms of theatre, Mr. Kappanna said.

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