New Delhi, Apr 09: With the longest play running for not more than 10 minutes to the shortest one ending in 42 seconds, India’s first ever micro-drama festival was held here today.
Named after Thespis of Icaria, believed to be the first actor in Greek drama (6th century BC), the day-long event ‘Thespis’ saw screening of 28 independent plays at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Art.
Organised by theatre group ‘Vriksh’, the festival marks the debut of the micro-drama concept in India.
Talking about the concept, theatre director and actor Ajith G Maniyan told PTI that despite being a fresh idea, they received good response from theatre groups and individuals.
“It is the first time in India and only the second time in the whole world that a micro-drama festival is happening. Despite it being a new concept, we received tremendous response as 42 scripts were submitted to us,” Maniyan said.
Out of the 42 entries, 25 plays in 10 different languages including Kashmiri, Rajasthani, Urdu, Punjabi among others were selected for the festival.
The beauty of this form of theatre, Maniyan said, lies in the fact that the brevity of the productions allows the audience to interpret a play in their own way.
“When someone is making a play for 10 minutes or shorter, they don’t have time to conclude it in a traditional way. This form leaves the interpretation to the public,” Maniyan said.
The inaugural play ‘Chamaeleonidae’ by Vriksh, for instance, showed a chameleon shedding his skin after getting disgusted by the hypocritical nature of humans.
The plays were also awarded in several categories including ‘Best Drama’, ‘Best Drama (Audience Poll)’, ‘Best Director, Script, Actor, Actress, and Technician.
The jury comprised of a panel of eminent theatre and cinema personalities including Madhavi Menon, Smita Bharti, Antony Charles, Sohaila Kapur, and Priyanandanan.
Talking about the need for such plays, particularly in the current technology dominated era, Menon said at a time “when television and the Internet have occupied the larger part of a day, short dramas can help to bring people back to theatres”.
“I am seeing a lot of talent and moreover, enthusiasm for this new concept in the young artistes. There is definitely a future for micro-drama in our country, as the current generation does not have time to sit for a 2-3 hour long play,” she said. PTI