New Delhi, 13th October: 2016 When the best of theatre schools from different corners of the world meet, the confederation that happens is nothing but grand. The lights are on, the stage is set and the curtain rises on the National School of Drama, which is hosting the 9th Asia Pacific Bureau (APB) meet of Drama Schools. Fourteen schools including National School of Drama (NSD) New Delhi, of which thirteen schools from ten countries including Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, will gather at NSD premise for the annual meet of theatre schools of the Asia-Pacific Region. Overall the festival will see the representation from twenty countries in form of observers, faculty and students
There is palpable excitement in the air at NSD, as the premier drama school prepares to play host to yet another cross cultural theatre extravaganza. Preparations are on full swing at NSD to ensure a smooth event to be held from October 19 to 25. The theme of this edition of APB meet is ‘The strength of Asia in Contemporary Performance Culture.’ The confluence will examine contemporary performance culture in Asia, the elements of traditionalism, modernization and other factors that have contributed to it in terms of content, form and style.
The APB meet is one of the most interesting international level theatre festivals that provide a platform to theatre schools of the Asia Pacific Region. The participating schools will dive into and explore the nuances of different cultures in theatre performances and the technical aspects of it; for theatre is all about adapting and becoming a new. The festival will be a rare treat for students and faculty alike.
This edition of the festival has an elaborate learning program for the participating schools. It will consist of festival performances, directors’ meet, interactions and workshops. Each school will conduct a workshop for all other participants providing a glimpse into the school’s training methodologies through a series of exercises for the participants. There will also be a practical session, where a studio space will be provided to each school to perform. Participating schools will perform a 45-minute student presentation, which will be held in the Flexible Performance Space at NSD.
Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama, says, “This is yet another occasion where all Asia Pacific Bureau school will show their strength and exchange it to each other. This is also a platform for NSD to show rich Indian performance heritage and showcase contemporary and traditional theatre variety to the world”
The idea that the Asia Pacific region has a diverse culture different from the western theatre needs to be explored and exchanged among theatre artists, playwrights, and also the audiences, led to the establishment ofthe Asia Pacific Bureau of Theatre Schools. Every year, the APB meet creates opportunities for theatre students and teachers to interact with each other in multiple ways – by way of sharing their philosophies in a workshop environment, in pedagogy outlined in a presentation by the faculty members, and in practice, in a show that each school prepares to showcase in the week-long festival.
Tripurari Sharma, Professor, NSD, who is heading this edition of the APB meet, says, “Cross culture mixing and matching themes, stories and performative concepts are enriching for the art of theatre. “
The spirit of the APB meet is one of coming together, sharing, interacting, and learning something that is very essential and valuable to the teaching and practice of theatre. Hosting the APB meet is an honour that has been rightly entrusted to the National School of Drama for the second time (last time being in 2011).
National School of drama which was established in 1958 has over a period of time become one of the best theatre schools in the world, through the merit of its students, efforts of its skilled faculty and the guidance of its esteemed directors. The School has two performing wings – the Repertory Company and Theatre-in-Education Company. In addition to these two wings, the School also has an active Extension Programme, a publication section and a literary forum named Shruti.National School of Drama has taken some great initiatives to contribute to the growth and development of theatre & other arts forms across the country. Some of these includes; Bharat Rang Mahotsav, Bal Sangam, Jashn-e-bachpan, Sunday Club Festival, Poorvottar Natya Samaroh and National North East Theatre Festival. Prof. Waman Kendre, since his appointment has worked for bringing some positive changes including academics, infrastructure improvement, beautification of the campus, etc. He has been elected as the Vice President – Asian Affairs, for the year 2016-17 by GATS General Conference in Lima, Peru, which is yet another feather in the cap for the institution.
About Asia-Pacific Bureau (APB) of Theatre School: The Asia-Pacific Bureau (APB) of Theatre School was established in 2008 under UNESCO’s International Theatre Institute. The aim of the Bureau is to promote interaction and exchange among Asia Pacific theatre schools. APB members meet annually for sharing, showcasing and experimenting with diverse performance practices and pedagogies of different countries and cultures in the region. Each year, APB meet is rotated amongst different member schools from countries across the Asia Pacific region.
About National School of Drama (NSD):The National School of Drama is among the premier theatre training institutes in the world. It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India..Over the years, the institute has produced some of the finest actors, directors, scriptwriters, technicians and educationists who work in theatre, films and television. The alumni of NSD are recipients of some of the highest honours in the country and internationally, including Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.The institute hosts many annual and bi-annual national and international level theater festivals, such as Bharat Rang Mahotasav (Since 1997), Jashnebachpan, Bal Sangam, Poorvottar Natya Samarohand North East Theatre Festival. Prof. Waman Kendre is the Director of NSD since 2013.