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National School Of Drama

The National School of Drama (NSD) is located in central area of 1, Bhagwandas Road, New Delhi. NSD is a theatre training institute which was set up in late 1950s by Sangeet Natak Akademi. Shri Jawahar lal Nehru was the President of Sangeet Natak Akademi at that time. It became an independent, autonomous body in 1975. In 2005, it was granted a deemed university status. This was later revoked in October 2011 upon the request of the institute. It is the only one of its kind institute for providing training in theatre arts.

The building features two theatres, a 200 seat studio and an open air theatre. The institute trains budding talent in the field of performing arts over a period of three rigorous training years. The syllabus is thorough and meticulously planned to cover every aspect of theatre. As a part of their education, the students need to produce plays which are then performed before the public. The syllabus includes the methodologies of theatre personalities of repute who have influenced the contemporary theatre significantly. The practical experience of performing Sanskrit drama, Asian drama, modern Indian drama, traditional Indian drama forms and western drama protocols provide a solid foundation to the students and enrich their perspective in this field. It has also explored new areas of Children theatre and possibility of conducting workshops based training.

The first Theatre festival on a National level was organized by this institute in 1999. This was named as Bharat Rang Mahotsav. Now, it is a regular feature and is held during the second week of January each year. As on date, it is known to be the largest theatre festival in Asia. NSD comprises of two performing wings. These are the National School of Drama Repertory Company and the National School of Drama Theatre in Education Company.

The National School of Drama Repertory Company was set up in 1964. Its aim was to promote professional theatre in India. Om Shivpuri was the first head of this company. As on date, this company has staged 120 plays based on the works of about 70 playwrights and has featured about 50 Directors in various countries. It organizes its own annual festival called the Annual Repertory Company Summer Festival. Various new and old plays are performed here.

The National School of Drama Theatre in Education Company is also called the Sanskaar Rang Toli. It was set up in 1989 and today, it is a leading educational resource company for coaching children between the ages of 8 to 16 years. The aim is to perform curriculum based participatory and creative plays in schools which are specially designed for children of different age groups. The objective is to encourage children to ask questions and make decisions for themselves in the broader context of the society. The annual festival Bal Sangam includes workshops on art and craft activities like Origami, puppet making and recycling. ‘Jashn-e-Bachpan’ is another event which showcases the works of theatre groups working with and for children, from across the country.

The publication Unit of NSD publishes text books on theatre. It also arranges for translation of such literature from English to Hindi. So far, it has brought out 82 publications on drama and subjects related to it. The collection includes brochures, booklets, informative books, plays, anthologies and translations.

For the past couple of years, NSD has been associated with two other cultural festivals, the Delhi International Arts Festival, which is a cultural bonanza of music, dance, theatre and other performing arts and OCTAVE, a cultural festival organized to showcase the best works in theatre arts.


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