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The West Bengal government has built new auditoriums across the state and renovated the existing ones to accommodate more theatre shows, Minister of State for Information and Cultural Affairs Indranil Sen said.
Inaugurating the 17th Natya Mela (theatre festival) at Rabindra Sadan last night, Sen said the government will be happy to host theatre shows in the state-run auditoriums.
“We have always encouraged theatre groups to stage shows in the state-run auditoriums. These auditoriums host more than 100 shows in a year. Of that fifty percent slots are usually reserved for theatres,” he said.
Replying to an observation by theatre personality Rudraprasad Sengupta during his address that troupes such as Nandikar could be allotted more shows in state-run auditoriums, Sen said the performers should look beyond Rabindra Sadan to hold their shows.
Auditoriums such as Rabindra Okakura Bhavan at Salt Lake are well connected and can host a fairly large number of audiences, he said.
“The theatre activists may think about spreading out to lesser-known halls for staging shows instead of depending on select places such as Rabindra Sadan, which also provides platform to singers, elocutionists and folk musicians,” Sen said.
The 10-day theatre festival, organised by the Information and Cultural Affairs Department of the West Bengal government, will witness plays by different groups from the state and outside at Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha, Paschimbanga Natya Academy grounds and Nandan-Rabindra Sadan premises, Madhusudan Mancha, Girish Mancha and Minerva Theatre.
To familiarise the present generation with the glorious heritage of commercial theatre in Bengal and elsewhere, an exhibition – Professional Theatre Post-independence – has been arranged at Rabindra Sadan.