Happy world theatre day! 27th March 2020
As the audience sits in a dimly lit hall and the curtain rises, months of preparation come to fruition, fictional characters come to life and a story is told.
Observed globally on 27th of March each year. World theatre day aims to create awareness about theatre arts. It talks about the importance in the field of entertainment and also about the changes that theatre brings in one’s life. From ancient times theatre arts has been one of the major sources for entertaining people. Theatre art is also known as folk media is the oldest form of mass media that dealt with an idea of addressing the large mass of audience. Different forms of theatre arts performed by theatre artists or actors in front of a live audience. They moved from place to place in order to perform.
They disseminated messages in the form of dramas related to social issues, narrated stories from our epics, and stressed on social-political issues as well.
With the advent of the present-day new media technologies and multiple modes of infotainment, the craze theatre art has gradually declined. The value of such an old and creative art form is declining day-by-day. Therefore, world theatre day serves as a ‘wake-up call’ for people to remember the existence of such an art form.
World theatre day was first initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) to celebrate the value and importance of theatre worldwide. Every year this day’s celebration is hosted by the same organization. It provides a spoken message by a famous theatre performer, to share their views about the theatre art and its future. The first spoken message was given by Jean Cocteau in 1962.
In India, the contribution of theatre art dates back to 2000 B.C.E. It is said that Bharat Muni wrote 36 books of ‘Natyashastra’, which describes the theory of theatrical performance based on style and motion rather than psychology. Sanskrit theatre is considered as the earliest form of the classical theatre after the Greek and Roman theatres. Kuttiyattam is the only surviving Sanskrit theatre. ‘Yakshagana’ – the popular art in Karnataka has existed since the 16th century; ‘Jatra’ a popular form of theatre in Bengal. The India People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) is considered as the oldest association of theatre-artists in India since 1943.
Here I bring you some fun facts related to the theatre:-
Theatre began in Ancient Greece.
Greeks celebrated it as a religious ceremony in which a chorus on men dressed in goatskins; they called it ‘dithyramb’.
The word theatre also comes from the Greek verb meaning ‘to behold’.
Ancient Greek audiences stamped their feet instead of clapping to applaud.
The oldest play still in existence is The Persians by Aeschylus, written in 472 BC.
The longest continuous dramatic performance was 23hr 33min and 54sec long.
In 1782 a lady named Mrs Fitzherbert died laughing at a performance of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera at the theatre.
We all know that due to the emergence of new technologies and digitalization the old forms of art and culture is being lost, theatre art is one of them. Therefore, this world theatre day we pledge to take small steps to celebrate it in our way. We can make people around us aware of the importance of theatre arts. We can also thank and applaud any theatre artist around us, who are working to save this form of art. “Duniya ek rang manch hai, aur hum sab is rangmanch ke kathputliyaan” (this world is a stage and we all are its wooden puppets) narrated by the veteran actor Rajesh Khanna in the Bollywood film ‘Anand.’
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