Minister for Public Works, Naeem Akhtar today inaugurated 11-day long 8th Theatre Olympics at Abhinav Theatre here.The Jammu chapter of Theatre Olympics 2018 is being organized by National School of Drama (NSD) under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India with the support of Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages.Eminent theatre personality M K Raina was the guest of honor on the occasion while as senior faculty member, National School of Drama Abdul Latif Khatana, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages Dr Aziz Hajini, Additional Secretary JKAACL Arvinder Amn and other theatre personalities were present in the inaugural function of Theatre Olympics in the winter capital of the state.Saying that Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed strong theatre tradition right from the beginning, the Minister said that people like M K Raina has been instrumental in revival of theatre in the Kashmir for the last two decades. He carried out theatre workshops in Kashmir and brought the children out of the state of fear as the region was witnessing tough time due to disturbed situation.The Minister further said that the eminent theaterist M K Raina has not only brought back the glorious tradition of ‘Bhand Pather’ in Kashmir but also taken it to the global level. Mr Raina started an alternate movement in Kashmir silently from whatever else was happening in the valley which is an investment for another 100 years to come, Naeem added.
Stressing on the need to go back to the roots, the Minister urged the internet savvy youth to develop interest in books, scriptures, music, and Theatre and develop man to man contact for better understanding of human values.Enlisting the steps taken by the government for promotion of Theatre in the state, the Minister said that Abhinav Theatre in Jammu and Tagore Hall in Srinagar were made operational after a gap of many years. Techer’s Bhawan at Gandhinagar and Auditorium at Bemina in Srinagar have also been constructed to facilitate the art lovers. Writers Club in Jammu and Kashmir Cultural Centre would come up in the state soon, he added.On the inaugural day, the internationally acclaimed play, Chanakya, directed by Manoj Joshi was staged that brought to life the great visionary and statesmen, Chanakya in modern context.A total of 11 theatrical productions would be staged in Jammu from March 22 to April 1, 2018 including regional, international and English language plays like Macbeth (Ratan Thiyam), Bikhre Bimb (Arundhati Nag), Salaam 1950s Ke Naam (Nadira Babbar) and Namaste Jaishree Krishna (K K Raina).The festival would also present productions including Barff (Saurabh Shukla), Gabrighichor (Parveen Kumar Gunjan), Oondra (Rakesh Khatri), Jangal Me Khulne Wali Khirki (Prashant Khirvadkar) and international plays - The Diary of Anne Frank (Nepal) and The Last One (USA, California).The festival would culminate on April 8, 2018 at Mumbai.