The Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the  8th international Theatre Olympics 2018 at the majestic Red Fort in New Delhi.

The Minister of State for Culture (I/C) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr Mahesh Sharma,  Theodoros Terzopoulos (Chairman of International Committee of Theatre Olympics, Greece), Acting Chairman of National School of Drama Society, Dr. Arjun Deo Charan, Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama,  Culture representatives from Poland ; Secretary, Culture, Shri Raghvendra Singh and a large number of dignitaries representing various fields of art and culture were present on the occasion. The Vice President also released the festival logo.
 
What
  1. The 51-day-long event will be theatrical extravaganza is being hosted in India by the National School of Drama under the aegis of Ministry of Culture. 
  2. The theme of the 8th Theatre Olympics is “Flag of Friendship” that aims to bridge borders and bring people of different cultures, beliefs and ideologies together through the medium of theatrical art.
  3. The Vice President said that art and cultural ties have united humanity from time immemorial and ancient civilizations like the Greek, Roman, Babylonian, Egyptian and Indus Valley civilizations have enriched the cultural capital of the world. 
  4. Art is a mirror of the society and is reflection of the lives of people. It is a creative transformation of the stories of ordinary lives into an extraordinary art form.
  5. The Vice President also said that art forms touch human hearts like no other impulse and it can produce different aesthetic responses in the viewers. 
  6. This is the message that India has been giving the world for many centuries and it is probably a message that is most relevant in a world that is torn with narrow, fractured vision.
  7. India, which has a proud heritage of theatre culture, has produced theatre geniuses from the classical ages onto the modern times. 
  8. The 8th edition of theatre Olympics which will showcase finest productions from across the world will present a unique and rare opportunity to all the theatre enthusiasts in the country to appreciate the richness of the world theatre movement.
  9. In his message, Dr Sharma said that it is a matter of great pride for India to host the international theatre festival . India has a rich and diverse theatre tradition since ancient times and the Olympiad will bring together people to share and celebrate the unparalleled bonding of artists’ fraternity.
  10. The Theatre Olympics 2018 will travel to 17 Indian cities with 450 shows, 600 ambience performances and 250 power packed youth forum shows with participation of 25,000 artists from the globe. The festival will be concluded on 8th April 2018, with a grand ceremony at the iconic Gateway of India in Mumbai.
  11. The National School of Drama is the torchbearer of theatre in India and has trained some of the most respected actors and theatre stalwarts of all time. Established in 1959, it has a proud legacy spanning over six decades of theatrical perfection. Hosting the 8th Theatre Olympics adds another feather to the cap of this history institution
  12. The festival is considered the biggest international celebration of theatre in terms of plays, participants, performances and number of days. 
  13. During the festival, plays will be held in Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Imphal, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram and Varanasi.
  14. The foreign invitees are Theodoros Terzopoulos (Chairman of International Committee of Theatre Olympics, Greece), Tadashi Suzuki (Japan), Robert Wilson (U.S.A), Liu Libin (China), Jaroslaw Fret (Poland), SahikaTekand (Turkey), Eugenio Barba (Denmark), Romeo Castellucci (Italy), Heiner Goebbels (Germany), PippoDelbono (Italy), Jan Fabre (Belgium). Among the Indian theatre maestros are RatanThiyam, AlyquePadamsee, Rudra Prasad Sengupta, M.K Raina, Raj Bisaria, Bansi Kaul, Prof.Tripurari Sharma, Maya Rao and Soumitra Chatterjee.
Flashback
  1. The Theatre Olympics was established in 1993 at Delphi, Greece. Being an international theatre festival, the Theatre Olympics presents some of the greatest theatre practitioners from around the world. 
  2. It is a platform for theatrical exchange, a gathering place for students and masters, where a dialogue despite ideological, culture and language differences is encouraged. 
  3. Since 1993, the Theatre Olympics has been held seven times in the following countries: Japan (1999), Russia (2001), Turkey (2006), South Korea (2010), China (2014), Poland (2016). 
  4. The theme of the latest edition of Theatre Olympics being held in India is “Flag of Friendship”. This most awaited event of world theatre in India attempts to bring all the creative minds from across the globe to this ‘NatyaMahakumbh’.