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Assam mobile theatre very active, says Thiyam

By Ajit Patowary

GUWAHATI, May 9 � Assam�s mobile theatre has set a trend. Assam has one of the most active theatre movements in the country. Both mobile and amateur theatres of Assam are very active.

This is the observation made by noted theatre personality Ratan Thiyam. He was speaking to The Assam Tribune on the sidelines of the 23 rd convocation of Gauhati University (GU) on the university campus here on Saturday.

He also called for steps to set up State repertory companies, which can take experimentations in theatre to a higher level and provide space to the theatre personalities for professional activities.

Thiyam, who is also a recipient of the Padmashree Award and a pioneer in contemporary dramatic form and expression, was presented the Honorary D Litt degree by GU Chancellor, Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik at the convocation.

Speaking about the role played by Assam�s mobile theatre, Thiyam said, �I appreciate their (mobile theatre companies�) roles. They are big commercial companies. Moreover, they are reflecting the contemporary developments in and around the society concerned.�

Theatre economy in the country is not good. Under such a situation, mobile theatre groups have come up and flourished, he maintained.

When pointed out to the criticism from certain quarters that mobile theatre groups have been doing more damage than emboldening the entire theatre movement in the State, he said that what they are doing is a good job. �We must appreciate the jobs done by the mobile theatre groups. They are feeding many families.�

Theatre production requires a lot of money. Sustaining it is also very difficult. Those who run the theatre groups only know how difficult the task is. It is a big thing that these groups are rendering their services to sustain some people, keeping alive the theatre movement, he said.

Speaking about the performance of the theatre groups elsewhere, he said that such groups are doing many experiments. But, unfortunately, India does not have professional groups. �Most of our directors and actors would like to excel. But production cost of theatre is high. Theatre is the most expensive art form and it is gradually becoming more expensive.

�However, production wise, this country is marvellous. We have thousands of traditions, which help us in making great contemporary theatre,� he said.

He argued that the country should have State repertory companies. �My question is to provide a little space to actors, directors, designers, among others, of theatre. We should also set up professional repertory companies.�

Besides, he said, the country needs regional schools of theatre which go with the Indian tradition. Other countries are having such centres.

On his present venture, he said that he is in a production based on Rabindranath Tagore�s Raja (English version � The King of Dark Chamber). The production will be in Manipuri. This is scheduled to be staged in August next. It needs mention here that this year marks the 150th birth anniversary of Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore.

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Assam mobile theatre very active, says Thiyam

GUWAHATI, May 9 � Assam�s mobile theatre has set a trend. Assam has one of the most active theatre movements in the country. Both mobile and amateur theatres of Assam are very active.

This is the observation made by noted theatre personality Ratan Thiyam. He was speaking to The Assam Tribune on the sidelines of the 23 rd convocation of Gauhati University (GU) on the university campus here on Saturday.

He also called for steps to set up State repertory companies, which can take experimentations in theatre to a higher level and provide space to the theatre personalities for professional activities.

Thiyam, who is also a recipient of the Padmashree Award and a pioneer in contemporary dramatic form and expression, was presented the Honorary D Litt degree by GU Chancellor, Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik at the convocation.

Speaking about the role played by Assam�s mobile theatre, Thiyam said, �I appreciate their (mobile theatre companies�) roles. They are big commercial companies. Moreover, they are reflecting the contemporary developments in and around the society concerned.�

Theatre economy in the country is not good. Under such a situation, mobile theatre groups have come up and flourished, he maintained.

When pointed out to the criticism from certain quarters that mobile theatre groups have been doing more damage than emboldening the entire theatre movement in the State, he said that what they are doing is a good job. �We must appreciate the jobs done by the mobile theatre groups. They are feeding many families.�

Theatre production requires a lot of money. Sustaining it is also very difficult. Those who run the theatre groups only know how difficult the task is. It is a big thing that these groups are rendering their services to sustain some people, keeping alive the theatre movement, he said.

Speaking about the performance of the theatre groups elsewhere, he said that such groups are doing many experiments. But, unfortunately, India does not have professional groups. �Most of our directors and actors would like to excel. But production cost of theatre is high. Theatre is the most expensive art form and it is gradually becoming more expensive.

�However, production wise, this country is marvellous. We have thousands of traditions, which help us in making great contemporary theatre,� he said.

He argued that the country should have State repertory companies. �My question is to provide a little space to actors, directors, designers, among others, of theatre. We should also set up professional repertory companies.�

Besides, he said, the country needs regional schools of theatre which go with the Indian tradition. Other countries are having such centres.

On his present venture, he said that he is in a production based on Rabindranath Tagore�s Raja (English version � The King of Dark Chamber). The production will be in Manipuri. This is scheduled to be staged in August next. It needs mention here that this year marks the 150th birth anniversary of Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore.