World Theater Day Special: Theater Fighting Capitalism

World Theater Day Special: Theater was very rich in Jamshedpur during the eighties and nineties. But due to lack of dedication, dreaming of Mayanagari and other reasons, theater activities started to slow down over time. Theater artists say that the main reason for this laxity is the lack of an auditorium.

Actors do not get space for rehearsals, there is no open stage

Theater actors do not get rehearsal space, there is no open stage. Although there are some auditoriums, their rent is too high for theater workers to afford. Theater workers say that the company has given land to various clubs and organizations to promote drama and other arts.

The hall has been professionalized

In the initial stages everything was fine but today the clubs and halls of various organizations have become commercialized. In such cases, halls are available at higher rates. It is not within the power of stage artists to stage affordable plays. An attempt has been made in this report to review the theaters in the city on the occasion of World Theater Day.

Auditorium rent 40-50 thousand rupees

Senior stage actor Hari Mittal says that lack of auditoriums is the main reason for the decline of theatre. Auditoriums are available on rent for 40-50 thousand rupees. No theater organization can afford such a huge amount. Another main reason is lack of good plays. This is because the audience is turning away from the play. The sense of dedication towards the theater has also decreased among the artists. Youngsters start out in theater but aim to go into TV or film. Theater is being murdered in every way.

Also Read: World Theater Day: Ghatshila artists engage in revival of theatre.

The company and the government should build the hall

Hari Mittal says that the industrial house of Jamshedpur i.e. Tata company and the government should build a theater hall. Theater institutions should get this at a nominal rate. Secondly, a small auditorium can also be built on the Kala Mandir Bistupur side.

Quality plays should be staged

Senior colorist Krishna Sinha says that we did a lot of work during the 1980s and 90s. At that time the auditorium was available at low rent. But today paying the rent of the auditorium is becoming a difficult task for any theater organization. She says that a committee should be formed. Who decides the theater rates for the play? There should also be a condition that only quality plays should be staged. Such an effort could perhaps revive the tradition of seeing and staging plays.

Public spaces are reduced

IPTA Secretary Arpita says that the nature of theater has changed in Jamshedpur. Now everything is getting sponsored. Simply put, public spaces have shrunk. Open gardens are not stages. The hall rent is very high. We have to face this in capitalist times. Theater artistes do not have enough funds to rent theaters and perform plays. She says there may be times of the year when the auditorium is available for free or at very little cost.

Also Read: World Theater Day: Theater workers express grievances, say government should provide auditorium instead of money and programs

Small spaces have to be found

Arpita also says that there is a shortage but we also have to show dedication towards theatre. Staying in this, we have to find an alternative. Small spaces have to be found for theatres. An audience has to be created. Schools and colleges can be a good place for this. Currently Arpita Little is working in IPTA. Along with children she is doing small works on Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Verma etc.

The sequence started again

Theater director Aruna Jha says that theater is a bit slower now compared to the old days. People want fame in less time and hence they rush towards movies. One has to spend time in the theater. Our city lacks theaters to stage plays. The rent is so high that you cannot afford the hall.

First, one has to do rehearsals for a month at their own expense, then they get a hall at a higher rate, which becomes difficult for theater artists. We are trying to get the auditorium at discounted rates. In recent times, a play has been staged in Jamshedpur. Recently Bhojpuri Theater Festival was held at Tulsi Bhavan Bistupur.

We can't do drama in our city

Theater director Shivlal Sagar says that it would be wrong to give an excuse for the audience not coming to watch the play. If there is no drama, where will the audience come from? We are active. He is constantly doing plays but there are no plays in his city. They go to Bhubaneswar, Agra and other cities and perform plays. The reason for this is the cost of the hall here. 60-70 thousand rupees have to be spent to make a play.

What do hall owners say?

We are providing halls for plays at very reasonable rates. They provide the auditorium for five thousand rupees. The cost of electricity is also the same. Commercial activity rates are slightly higher.

Dipankar Dutta, General Secretary Milani, Bistupur

We are making the auditorium available for performing plays at 50 percent discount. They also offer free space for rehearsals. The stage date of the play is almost fixed in December every year.

Prasenjit Tiwari, General Secretary Tulsi Bhawan, Bistupur

We provide auditoriums at subsidized rates to theater institutions for staging plays. A theater is provided free of cost to any theater organization jointly producing a play with the Bengal Club. They also provide free chairs for spectators. We have a separate drama department here.

Devashish Naha, Former General Secretary, Bengal Club, Sakchi


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