The World Celebrates International Theater Day Today; A look back at the International Conference and Theater Festival held in Kolkata

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Rabindra Bharati University’s Department of Drama in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, organized Shakespeare Reconsidered — the 25th UGC International Conference and Theatre Festival to celebrate the 450th birth anniversary of William Shakespeare. The Festival was held between March 17 and 20, 2015, at the Jorasanko Thakurbari, Kolkata. The festival had conferences and workshops, a theatre festival based on Shakespeare’s works, and also an exhibition on ‘Shakespeare and Bengali Theatre’.

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Reputed persons from the field of theatre delivered keynote addresses and special lectures. There were 48 scholar-participants from various countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Taiwan and Japan, apart from Indian delegates who came from various parts of the country.

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The inaugural session was graced by the presence of eminent theatre person Bibhas Chakraborty as the Chief Guest, along with Prof. Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury, Vice Chancellor, Rabindra Bharati University. Theater-workshop-kolkata

The theatre festival showed how Shakespeare, as a playwright has, for the last 430 years, inspired various theatre productions. This has given rise to a huge body of experimental productions on the various plays of the Bard.

The plays presented during the theatre festival were Macbeth Question – Santanu Bose – Bose Studio, New Delhi on March 17, Fall of a King – Palash Protim Mech – OFTAS, Sibsagar on March 18, Macbeth – Sudip Chakraborty – Padatik Nattya Sangsad, Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 19 and Fagun Rater Goppo – Tarun Pradhan – Theatre Repertory, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata on March 20, the concluding day.

The international theatre festival was therefore a great success and paved the way for better understanding of Shakespeare in today’s time.

Priyanka Dutta

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