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World Theatre Day: TMC’s Natak Fest is on with a different exhibition - Creative Yatra

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World Theatre Day: TMC’s Natak Fest is on with a different exhibition

The Theatre Media Centre (TMC) located on the outskirts of our city in Kaligam, New Ranip area makes its presence felt significantly with its regular work in the domains of theatre and films. The work ranges from training of thespians and film professionals to production of plays and films as end products for the local audiences while attempting incidental things in between the two objectives.

Established in 2000 by well known thespian late Hasmukh Baradi and his associates in BUDRETI Trust, including his daughter Manvita Baradi, – who is now its Director – the TMC has been offering training courses for groups of theatre interns in a flexible round-the-year schedule, depending upon when a set of such young trainees can come forward for enrollment.

TMC’s Natak Fest in on With a Different Exhibition

The facilities at this Centre include a huge rehearsals and shooting hall – nay, the black box studio – an editing studio, an amphitheater for performances and an open space also for training and theatre workshops, a library and and a script bank which is made use of by educational institutions and others for local University level theatre competitions. The Faculty is in place for teaching theatre and TV Journalism.

The TMC even claims a floating Repertory of actors trained by it over time who can be relied upon for occasional productions of its own. The TMC also brings out a quarterly – even if with a lag – theatre journal ‘Natak’ the hundredth issue of which appeared recently in 2022.

TMC’s Natak Fest in on With a Different Exhibition

The Centre is currently having a Theatre Festival since March 05, which is happening as a run up to the World Theatre Day marked annually on March 27. There is an interesting line up of plays scheduled as part of this Fest. The Festival also included half-day workshops for beginners, one of which happened on last Saturday.

An interesting and important part of the ongoing Festival is an exhibition showcasing the history of the Gujarati theatre from its olden days in and around 1850s to the twentieth century and present, though the latest decades are represented rather minimally and await further inclusions, informs Yogesh Trikmani, the Senior Manager at the Centre.

TMC’s Natak Fest in on With a Different Exhibition

Put up in the multipurpose black box studio of the Centre, the exhibition not only depicts the trends and the evolution of the Gujarati theatre through text-and-picture panels, but has also displayed costumes, props, very old play-scripts handwritten with kalam (kitti) and ink, production scripts showing director’s visualization of the play with notes for blocking & movement of actors and scene compositions.

The material for the exhibition has been mainly contributed to the collection of the TMC by families of late Hasmukh Baradi and another Mumbai based late Gujarati theatre director, as also by some other people, all of whom identified with the idea and need to create an archive related to the growth of Gujarati theatre in Gujarat as well as in Mumbai where the theatre-patronizing Gujarati community has a significant presence; and the popular language theatre has thus been doing very well in the metro.

TMC’s Natak Fest in on With a Different Exhibition

The exhibits include hanging panels comprising of text and pictures of veteran actors, playwrights and directors of the bygone era. These panels have been prepared on the basis of the history of the Gujarati theatre published as a book written by late playwright and director Hasmukh Baradi who passed away in 2017 after founding and bringing TMC in shape. All these exhibits give a fair idea of the evolution and trends in Gujarati theatre and invoke an interest in further exploration of the subject.

A section of the exhibition displays the books written by Baradi and the personal items like a rocking chair, ash tray and pipes used by the thespian with his picture as his memorabilia. Another interesting general exhibit in the midst of Gujrat specific exhibits is a wooden model of the Rangshala prepared as per the parameters and indicators available in the Natyashastra, the theatre-related epic by Bharat Muni.

TMC’s Natak Fest in on With a Different Exhibition

The TMC started in its present campus in 2003 with facilities having been constructed on a government allotted plot of land measuring about 3000 sq yards. The BUDRETI Trust-held management at the TMC facilitates and widens the practice of theatre by other theatre groups of the city-region by allowing the use of its rehearsal space, studio as also the amphitheater and other resources in keeping with the collective and cooperative approach of its visionary founder, which legacy is being carried forward in the right earnest.

The current Natak Fest still has a week to go till March 27 and promises some interesting plays by invited theatre groups and individuals. The Fest fare can be checked on TMC website as also on Creative Yatra’s weekly calendar.

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