Love Watching Plays? Bookmark This List Of Theatre Festivals In The City

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From Ajitesh Bandopadhyay and Sambhu Mitra to Utpal Dutta and Kaushik Sen, the legacy of theatre is is a major reason why Kolkata is called the cultural capital of the country. If you are a budding thespian or playwright, or if you are just passionate about watching these stories unfold on stage, these are some Kolkata theatre festivals you should positively watch out for.

Nandikar Theatre Fest

Nandikar’s National Theatre Festival is one of the oldest surviving theatre festivals. It started as long back as 1984! The best part is that it’s not just limited to Kolkata groups but showcases theatrical productions from all across India and occasionally, even from other countries like United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

The festival was initially just a part of Nandikar’s silver jubilee, but it became such a huge hit among the theatre enthusiasts that they started doing it annually at Academy of Fine Arts.

If you want to watch productions by leading avant-garde theatre troupes from all over India, keep the second week of December free for National Theatre Festival. Not just plays, you’ll also find exhibitions and workshops connected to the festival as well.

Keep tabs here.

Sabhaghar Theatre Fest

For performances by globally reputed thespians like Lilette Dubey, Kalki Koechlin, and French director Jean Frederic Chevallier, head to the Sabhaghar Theatre Festival. Stage plays are not the only thing you can watch, Sabhaghar Theatre Festival also hosts street plays, musical performances, university productions, flash mobs and a variety of other things to keep you entertained. Last year, they even hosted a series of performance poetry events and live art installations to start off the festival. Tickets are generally from INR 7– to INR 2,000. Keep tabs here.

Vodafone Odeon Theatre Fest

If university and college productions are your forte, you should definitely visit the Vodafone Odeon Theatre Festival. Not only does it stage productions by eminent theatre personalities like Sharman Joshi, Bratya Basu, Debshankar Haldar, Anupam Kher et al, the 15th edition of this festival extended the platform to young theatre enthusiasts as well. In fact, a total of 20 colleges and 20 renowned theatre groups across the city competed in different segments. This year, this theatre festival staged plays at Science City Auditorium, GD Birla Sabhagar and Vidya Mandir from February 22 to February 25 {with tickets from INR 100 to INR 200}.



West Bengal State Natya Academy

Ever wondered how it feels like to watch a play on the grand stage that pioneered Bengali theatre — Minerva? Watch plays back to back at the annual theatre festival organised by West Bengal Natya Academy at Minerva Theatre around late Novembers. Expect the best of traditional Bengal theatre at the Natya Akademi’s festival.


Nandik Theatre Fest

If this list is making you want to watch a couple of plays right now, this Sunday at the Academy of Fine Arts, Theatre Nandik is hosting its very own theatre festival. Not only will you be able to watch a play by the host troupe themselves, you can also watch productions by new and upcoming theatre troupes like Forth de Wall who are adapting a classic play by Sadat Hasan Manto. They have even got troupes from the Sunderbans. Check here for more.


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