No Kid’s Play at NSD’s Jashne Bachpan

New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) Children have a reason to smile as National School of Drama here on Thursday announced the 13th edition of the prestigious Jashne Bachpan theatre festival to showcase the works of different theatre groups working with and for children.

To be held from November 14 to 25, the theatre fest will have around 500 artistes from across the world taking part.

“Children’s theatre is the most important aspect of theatre expression. Through Jashne Bachpan we are trying to build the foundation of theatre from the grassroots and inculcate interest about theatre amongst the children from their childhood,” NSD Director told media here on Thursday.

“Children from various cultural and demographic background will get a chance to interact and exchange their ideas. In the process, they will make friends from across the world,” he added.

“This is a testing ground for world children theatre because if we succeed in generating interest towards theatre among the kids, this will be an opening door for them for future theatre expression,” he explained.

It will feature some of most eminent as well as emerging theatre directors and established theatre groups enacting plays (with and for children) with full-fledged productions.

As with the previous editions, the National School of Drama campus will be converted into a veritable mela for the 12-day carnival as thousands of children are expected to be a part of the event.

“Jashne Bachpan stands to be the first ‘National Theatre Festival’ of National School of Drama held in 1998 which was followed by Bharat Rang Mahotsav,” said NSD Professor Abdul Latif Khatana.

“I expect the Jashne Bachpan to emerge as one of the major International Theatre Festival for children in next few years.”

Twenty productions from India and seven productions from foreign countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Turkey, Israel, France and Switzerland will feature.

The 20 productions selected out of 149 entries comprise plays from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi, West Bengal, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Tripura.

The festival comprises three distinct categories – performances by children, performances by children and adults and performances by adults.

Underprivileged children from various NGOs will be invited to come and enjoy the theatre festival. The idea is to bring those children to the mainstream and inculcate enthusiasm for art and culture along with entertainment at a global platform like Jashne Bachpan.

There will be Directors Meet where three various groups will interact everyday within themselves and share their experience with the audience. Audience would be able to interact with the directors and artistes of the plays from the previous days, to understand the nuances and craft behind making of the plays.