NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Culture plans to throw open the doors of the monuments and museums across India to the public for theatre productions. It is currently in talks with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to work out the finer details of the plan.
The ASI is receptive to the proposal of opening its monuments for performances. The initiative plans to hold grand productions in the backdrop of the ruins of architectural heritage to bring alive the cultural spaces ‘alive’. It also aims to raise awareness of cultural heritage among tourists, especially the younger generation.
The first production will be held in Delhi’s National Museum in late November. The play is likely to be an English production. The ministry is also considering holding productions in the ramparts of Red Fort, the Qutb Minar complex, by the lakeside in Purana Qila in Delhi during the winter months. Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad are the other cities in the Ministry’s plan.
“Delhi theatre lovers may recall watching iconic productions set against stunning backdrops like Purana Qila and Feroz Shah Kotla in the 1980s. For some inexplicable reason, this practice died out… Museums, and monuments represent our tangible cultural heritage. Theatre and dance, our intangible cultural heritage…,” said Nirupama Kotru, joint secretary, Ministry of Culture.
“This initiative intends to bring both together,” she added. While the first production is likely to be open to ‘special invitees’, the culture ministry is now working out how to make these theatres as regular ticketed events and reach out to a bigger audience in the process.