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Taking theatre to the villages

BIBHUTI MISHRA

Natya Chetana aims at exposing villagers to issues that govern their life.



RURAL STAGE Natya Chetana enact a drama.

Subodh Patnaik, ace theatre person and director of Natya Chetana is fond of saying, "People throng wine shops while the milkman goes from door to door!" in order to underscore the need to get people sensitised and exposed to issues.

In keeping with this belief his Natya Chetana team has been doing theatre expeditions cycling from place to place instead of depending on proscenium theatre.

This time around Natya Chetana made forays into western Orissa. A workshop was organised with the help of the N.S.S. wing of Sambhalpur University and the play in Sambhalpuri Batar kiri had its first show at the Bargarh Women's College. The 24-member cycle expedition started from Burla on October 2 and ended in Rajgangpur on October 8, 2005. In between there were 25 shows in different villages and the team covered 228 km by cycle.

The play of about half-an-hour duration was based on a true story that focused on the impact of industrialisation on the environment. The Indian theatre tradition followed by Natya Chetana was on display with music, dance and body language. The villagers enthusiastically responded to the issue-based play as they could relate to the hazards in the wake of mindless industrialisation in the area.

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