Over 16 days, 71 plays will be staged in seven different venues that will in tune with the festival theme "Identity of Indian Theatre". The event, the annual theatre festival of the National School of Drama (NSD), will end Jan 19.
The festival will open with renowned Malayali theatre director K.N. Panikkar's "Chhaya Shakuntalam" at Kamani Auditorium. It is based on Sanskrit poet and dramatist Kalidasa's play "Abhigyan Shakuntalam", and will be performed for the first time at the festival.
"We have tried our best to come up to the mark, and hope we succeed in the attempt. The kind of plays you would watch will be of good quality and production, this is one thing I can assure you," NSD Chairperson Ratan Thiyam told reporters.
NSD Director Waman Kendre too emphasised on "objectivity" and "qualitative" factors.
"During selection, objectivity was very important. Our selection committee did a great job to bring to you genuine and qualitative plays," he said.
"We received around 362 entries from national participants and 54 from international theatre groups. Of which, we have selected," he added.
There will be folk performances from various parts of India.
Street performances like Therukoothu from Tamil Nadu, Marathi traditional theatre Tamasha, Rajasthan folk theatre Bhavai, Dashavatar from Konkan region of Maharashtra, and Bhand Pather from Jammu and Kashmir, among others are part of the festival.
Interactions, discussions and a few book launches will also make their presence felt at the Delhi event.
A parallel festival will be running in the northeast region in Imphal and Guwahati, respectively. It will be from Jan 9-16.
"Northeast has a culturally rich and potentially strong theatre movement. So, we decided to run a parallel festival there," said Thiyam who was born in Manipur and set up his troupe, Chorus Repertory, on the outskirts of the capital, Imphal.