Giving first stage presentation, the first batch of students of the newly opened Varanasi centre of the National School of Drama (NSD) garnered a lot of appreciation through their play, ‘Bhagwat Ajjukam’. The play, which was in Sanskrit, was staged on the conclusion of the Ashwin Theatre Festival organised at Nagari Natak Mandali. The play was directed by Ramji Bali, who is also the Director of the Varanasi centre of NSD. Spelling out the plans of the Centre, Bali says, “The centre, which is dedicated to Natya Shastra, became functional a few months back and we have selected 20 students from different states which include , MP, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Delhi and UP. These students are not only being taught various aspects of classical theatre but also folk art forms since both are closely related.”
The students on their part were quite happy to give their first performance before the Varanasi audience. Lallan Kumar from Gorakhpur, who won a loud applause for enacting the character of Shandiliya in the play , said, “I am really encouraged that the audience liked my enactment. Though I have done theatre back home, this is my first stage performance in Varanasi. Learning the classical style of theatre through this course will certainly widen my horizon as an actor.”
While Pooja Seth from Satna, who played Vasant Sena in the play, says, “The audience’s overwhelming response has wiped out a trifle bad start to my stay in Varanasi. I am really happy with what I am doing right now,” she said.