Kolkata has always been one of the most active centres of theatre in the country. To benefit the art, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) would soon set up a theatre repertory. It is to be located at Mohit Moitra Mancha on Raja Manindra Road in Paikpara.
According to mayoral council member, Debasish Kumar, whose department is responsible for setting up the repertory, KMC owns eight theatres (including Mohit Moitra Mancha) and so it is natural that KMC should do something for the betterment of theatre. The initiative would benefit all theatres in the state as any group could stage plays here.
The process of formation
Applications have been invited from groups which want to run the repertory. Noted playwright Manoj Mitra is responsible for shortlisting the applicants. Eight groups had submitted applications, from which he has chosen three and forwarded their applications to the corporation for the final decision.
Mitra said that the group should have the resources, organisational expertise and clarity of thought about what they want to do. Since it may not be possible for KMC to fund all projects, the group to be selected must have the ability to arrange for funds. For the first year, a Kolkata-based group would be given the responsibility of running the theatre repertory.
Mohit Moitra Mancha has two auditoria. Plays can be staged at the bigger one, whereas the smaller one can be used for rehearsals. Kumar said that 52 shows can be staged at the bigger auditorium every year. On days when plays are not staged the hall would be rented out for other purposes. There is also space for parking. He also said that Rs 15-20 lakh would be spent per year, and that the stage would be ready by the beginning of 2014.
The name of the repertory to be formed has not yet been decided, but a lot of suggestions are flowing in, from Nati Binodini to Sambhu Mitra.
The state government already has the Minerva repertory, of which education minister Bratya Basu is the chairman. He welcomed the initiative as it would add to the infrastructural support that theatre groups always need.
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