A 12-day theatre festival starting from November 1; 19 participating countries; 15 stage performances; a critics forum; workshops and seminars — that in nutshell is the template for the International Association of Performing Arts and Research (IAPAR)’s International Theatre Festival. “The second edition of the festival has invited countries like Argentina, Germany, Korea, Sri Lanka, Italy and Turkey to participate. There will be three plays from National School of Drama repertory and Master Class with Ram Gopal Bajaj, Aniruddha Khutwad and Abhiram Bhadkamkar,” informs Vidyanidhee Vanarase, the festival director.
“IAPAR encourages independence and openness for inter-disciplinary thinking and action. The ‘r’ in IAPAR stands for ‘research’ or the academic part. At this festival, we are trying to bridge arts and academics. So we identified some universities, where they have theatre studies or performance studies department. And, we invited them to send in their students at highly subsidised rates, to be a part of the festival. Accordingly, four students will be coming in from Aligarh Muslim University, another four from Kolkata and two students from Wardha. They will be here from November 7-12,” adds Dr Ajay Joshi, associate director of the festival.
He also lists the variety of art forms that the festival team has managed to rope in. “We have got more variety of theatre forms like mime. We have something on circus technique, realistic play and then we have a musical too. We are also glad that there was a lot of collaboration amongst the artists who were here last year. For example, Julio Filleto from Italy, who did a workshop last year collaborated with Safir, a director from Sri Lanka, on a new stage production. This is in keeping with the intention of IAPAR to learn from each other,” adds Joshi.
He also speaks about the International Association of Theatre Critics (ITC) — which has a ‘Young Critics Forum’. “We have an Indian chapter of ITC of which I am a member. So
we sent out appeals for young theatre critics to be a part of the festival. This is for the first time that such a forum is being held in India. Eight countries will be represented in the Young Theatre Critics Forum. I will be co-ordinating for this with Deepa Punjwani, who initiated the Indian Chapter of the forum and is also the editor of Mumbai Theatre Guide,” he shares.
“The bottom line,” says Joshi, “is to involve the local population and artists in this festival. In the coming years, we plan to make it a festival of the city.”
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The IAPAR International Theatre Festival will be held at Kalachhaya Cultural Centre, Sant Namdev Sabhagruha, Savitribai Phule Pune University and MCC’s Jyotsna Bhole Sabhagruha. For more details, write to email@example.com