Cuttack’s famed heritage of theatre struggling to survive, a report

Cuttack: Thousand year old silver city Cuttack in Odisha is rich in art, culture and heritage. The soil of Cuttack has produced many talented artists. Many of them have earned name and fame in the yesteryears.

However, in today’s time the rich theatre culture of this city is missing. The stage, where once artists were performing plays and earing admiration from the audience, is now in a dilapidated condition. Here is a report.

Cuttack’s famed Rangmancha (theatre) is now struggling to survive. Hence, this is high time now that artists and art lovers as well as others should come up to put their effort to save drama and stage culture.

If ‘stage’ survives, art will live; and if art lives, the artist will live. When the artists display their art, the audience can be entertained and get an opportunity to learn about our history and traditions.

No matter how interesting and different the medium of entertainment may be, the audience has not forgotten stage plays. Drama was loved by the audience.

There were many famous theatres in the city of Cuttack where popular plays were performed. But now, drama has lost its colour and people have moved away from it.

Janata Rangamancha

Established in 1953, the Janata Rangamancha in Cuttack has become dilapidated now. One day, literature, culture, tradition, and history were being dramatized in the stage of Janata Rangamancha. On this drama stage, popular plays such as ‘Jajabara’, ‘Para kalam’, ‘Bharasa’ and ‘Matira Manisha’ touched hearts of the audience.

Janata Rangmanch at Cuttack’s Banka Bazar, which was once a powerful means of conveying Odisha’s folklore, culture and tradition to the audience, is now in a dilapidated condition. Established in 1953, this once prominent theatre in Odisha is now struggling to survive.

The auditorium where people were seating to watch plays, is now in a dilapidated condition. The chairs and the roof blew during the super cyclone of 1999 in Odisha. Now, only the remnants of the ticket counter is there.

Arnapurna Theatre

Similarly, the once famous Arnapurna Theatre and Kalashree Theatre are also struggling to survive. While some plays are being performed in Arnpurna theatre with great difficulty, Kalashree theatre is losing its existence.

Drama lovers, artists and intellectuals say it is high time the government should come up to save theatre, which is regarded as the birthplace of art and artist.

Dramas based on mythological subjects are rarely seen these days. Though a few projects are being done, many of them are allegedly distorted.

The audience is no longer getting opportunity to watch staged dramas. In the past, the audience was very happy to watch the drama. Now, the interest of the artists and the audience towards social drama has increased, but the dramatic originality is no longer seen. And the audience is missing those old stage dramas.

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