HYDERABAD: Theater, an institution at the heart of world culture for millennia, now faces unprecedented challenges in a rapidly evolving society. Yet again, Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival that was held from November 7 to November 16 has a different story to tell. The festival was truly a celebration of world class theatre.
The founder and director of the festival, Mohammad Ali Baig talks about the secret mantra behind the huge success. “The festival is a legacy for us and it is a tribute to late Qadir Ali Baig. Ten years ago, theatre was confined to a group of audience but today, this theatre festival has become the bench mark of the city. It has received a flattering response and has brought about a vibrancy to the city of Nawabs. Qadir Ali Baig festival brought the best of the theatre world to the city which is exceptionally rare. The passion of the theatre artists clubbed with the enthusiasm of the audience was the key to the festivals success. The magnitude of the festival was massive and Hyderabad’s contribution was more than fulfilling”, said Mohammad Ali Baig.
With this year’s theme as biography, the theatre festival witnessed a range of issues like the victims of gender/sexual abuse, real life stories, dark plays, humour, circus theatres to name a few in vernacular languages across various venues in the city. “A theme enables us to focus and bring the best of theatre to people instead of a la carte. Five months prior to the festival, we were flooded with entries from all over the country and the biography theme helped us narrow down to cater to the best of theatre”, adds Mohammad Ali Baig.
The ten day extravaganza also saw participation from eminent theatre artists from across the world. “It is like an annual family get-together of the entire country’s theatre fraternity. We all gather here to play our tribute to Qadir da”, said Usha Ganguli, actor-director at Rangakarmee, Kolkata.
And it was not only theatre artistes from the national arena, the festival had an international touch too. Renowned European choreographer from France, Dominique Boivin said, “I am bowled by what I saw here. Such overwhelming response to even workshops in an Indian city is not even seen in France. It has been very professionally organised. Every performer was made to feel special.”
The theatre festival has received a great response from the city.
“It is flattering to see such support and response to theatre festival as this, unparalleled anywhere in the country. Believe me I have travelled the world and seen several festivals. It needs great leadership to pull off such a gigantic event”, said Dr. Mohan Agashe, Actor, Former Director, FTII, Pune. Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival has definitely added another a feather to the city’s cap.