NSD Varanasi Updates

‘Natya Shastra’ to be the prime focus of new NSD’s Varanasi campus

Ministry of Culture’s National School of Drama (NSD) has set up its new centre in Varanasi, the ancient hub of art and culture, which will offer one- year diploma in Indian classical theatre.

In a bid to revive the roots of the Indian culture, that are rich and modern, Ramji Bali, director for the new centre, says the programme will focus on Sanskrit plays translated in Hindi and Natya Shastra as the mode of delivery for acting.

“The Russian method acting or the German methods, all have originated from the Natya Shastra, which is suffering from the perception of being out dated and irrelevant. It is as modern as today’s society. Look at the Sanskrit play Shakuntala for example, where the main character was talking about women rights and freedom in that age” said Bali.

The new centre, located in the Nagari Natak Mandali’s campus in School Kabir Chaura, has 20 seats. The last date for submitting the forms is July 20 and the final interviews will be held between July 25-27 in Varanasi. The selected students will receive a stipend of 4,500 per month.

Informing about the selection process, Bali said, “There is no written exam, but direct audition for the shortlisted candidates. During the auditions, the students have to deliver a speech on one of the topics provided to them beforehand and have to play any character of their choice from their favourite play. They can also choose to deliver a dance or music performance.”

The right candidate

Bali says that they look for candidates who are dedicated and have a general understanding of theatre and literature. They should also be
familiar about various well-known theatre productions and exposure to their work and also the theatre community from their native place.

The efforts put in the aesthetics of the audition are as important as the content, he adds.


The students should have an experience of working in at least four plays. The maximum age limit is 30. Reservation is as per the Supreme Court guidelines for national institutes.

There will be two major productions as a part of the curriculum. Also, the students would be taken on month-long trips to various part of the country to acquaint and teach them the various regional folk art forms.

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