Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival is synonymous with world class plays and performances. It is held during the fall, every year. This annual festival brings to Bangalore a vibrant amalgamation of theatre personalities, languages, ideologies and style. Each year, the RS Theatre Festival has a different theme. And in the past decade, it has become a cornerstone for theatres and performing arts communities and audiences.
The 10th year celebration is scheduled to take place from October 28 till November 9, 2014. This 13-day festival will celebrate the 60th birth anniversary of late Shankar Nag. The Ranga Shankara is a state-of-the-art theatre facility in the heart of Bangalore. It is a tribute to Shankar‘s long-cherished dream and Arundhati‘s determination to materialize this dream against all odds.
Every year, the theatre brings together a vast network of artists from across the nation. And collectively they put up plays that light up the stage. Ranga Shankara doesn’t just offer stage performances. But provides a platform for seminars, discussions, workshops and outreach programs that add to the art form. In the last decade, each annual theatre festival was theme-oriented. From the Victorian Era to a Political Theatre theme, they have gotten more diverse and interesting.
The theatre opened its door on October 28, 2004 to a 35-day theatre festival featuring performances from every corner of India. The inaugural festival celebrated the birth of a new, world-class theatre facility.
The second edition of RS Theatre Festival had ‘Modern Indian Theatre and Playwrights’ as its theme. It was a 17-day theatre extravaganza focusing on the history of Kannada theatre. The festival also showcased classic plays from the 1960s and 70s along with innovative works from contemporary artists.
Like the first edition, Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival ’06 focused on multi-lingual plays from across the nation. The festival, held between October 8-15, 2006, staged eight dramas in total. Seven out of the eight troupes were based out of Bangalore. There were two plays in English, three in Hindi and one each of Kannada, Bengali and Marathi.
The annual theatre festival of Ranga Shankara focused on theme ‘Youth’ for the year 2007. Held from October 20-28, 2007, nine plays were staged for each day. These plays delved into issues that concerned people between the age group of 16 and 30.
The Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival ’08 took place between October 31 and November 09, 2008. This edition of the annual fest paid tribute to ‘Golden Era of Indian Theatre’. The 10-day long festival featured some of the famous plays in the company theatre (natak company) tradition.
Comedy is an evergreen theme for theatre. Hence, the sixth edition of RS Theatre Festival had ‘Laugh all the way home…’ as the central theme. Starting from November 06 till 15, 2009, the festival featured 8 special comedies from across India.
The 11-day theatre extravaganza celebrated ‘Folk and Traditional Indian Theatre’ as the main theme of the year. Held from October 22 to 31, 2014, there was a total of 15 shows in 9 languages performed by 280 artists from all around the country.
The Rang Shankara Theatre Fest 2011 followed the theme of ‘Politics in Play’. Held from October 15-23, 2011, the festival brought together a spectrum of plays based on lazily-held morals, meekly-followed customs and loudly-claimed entitlements of present times. Other highlight of the festival included a seminar, a Theatre and Art Appreciation Course; cartoon exhibitions and film screening and street plays by college students.
The Ranga Shankara Theatre Fest ’12 brought the Victorian Era to Bangalore. Starting from October 27 till November 11, 2012, ‘William Shakespeare’ took the centerstage. The annual festival featured a mix of Bard of Avon’s plays in 6 different languages drawn from across the world.
Titled Samprati: A New Generation Directs Girish Karnad, the festival took place between 18th and 27th October, 2013. The Fest ’13 payed tribute to ‘Girish Karnad’s 50 Years as a playwright’. The RS annual theatre festival was a combination of classic and modern reinterpretations, film screenings and seminars, hence making it a "bridge between tradition and modernity".
The Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival ’14 beckons all the theatre lovers. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets now and save your date for your favorite play.