Natya Chetana:A Cultural Action Organization and Resource Center For Mass Awareness
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Who We Are?

Natya Chetana

A Cultural Action Organization And Resource Centre for Mass Awareness

Natya” means theatre, “Chetana” means awareness. A group of young theatre students of Drama department - Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, the only degree college of performing arts in the state of Orissa, performed a short improvised drama ‘Bana Manisha’ (Wild men). It was in  a slum of Bhubaneswar (the capital of Orissa) during  a NSS (National Service Scheme) camp. This play provoked the audiences to think about the subject instead of enjoying the form. The slum dwellers joined hand with the NSS volunteers to dig a drain for their tube well which was not possible before this play was performed.  This created a thinking - to develop a style of theatre which can draw the attention of the audiences towards the 'subject' of a play crossing the limit of enjoying the show.

img0110th November 1986 the group of drama students under the leadership and guidance of Subodh, legally established as a Non profit making, socially committed voluntary organisation by registering the name "Natya Chetana". They started doing a very unfamiliar form of theatre which was named as - 'street theatre' and interacted with Safdar Hasmi who was leading a known street theatre group named Jana Natya Manch in New Delhi. Several theatre productions were performed with a mission to help a social changing process through voluntary organisations of those days. Koraput, Mayurbhanj, Phulbani, Puri and Cuttack were important districts of these attempts.

In the field of theatre art, there were debates going on and serious efforts made to come out of the influences of British theatre form (known as proscenium style of theatre) in the file of Modern Indian Theatre. A lot of thoughts and applications have been attempted taking inspiration from Traditional/Folk Indian  Theatre and from the Natya Shastra (the only complete theatre theory book written in 3rd Century BC to guide the Classical Indian Theatre). One can observe the real Indian theatre practices which exists in a large scale in the villages by continuing  several indigenous forms of theatre. On the other hand the social changing initiatives were addressing influences of the modern choices of life following the city culture in different sector like - food, clothes, housing, education etc. which includes the form of cultural expression being a victim by movies and television.

img02So Natya Chetana  come up with a mission to connect the artistic struggle developing a Modern Indian  Theatre style with  social movement for changing peoples’ mind and choices of life, through demonstrating alternative cultural life and performances. Theatre was major instrument to experiment with such as :  Theatre for Awareness (for performers as well as the audiences); Revival of Puppetry with modern theme; Theatre in Education, Women's empowerment through theatre, Theatre as a personality building exercises being always with a peoples oriented movement.

This is the time when Natya Chetana got exposure to PETA (Philipines Educational Theatre Association) to realise the method of workshop to create a play by 'non-artists'. This is the phase when the father of Third theatre in India Mr. Badal Sircar accepted Natya Chetana's invitation to visit and conduct a theatre workshop to giving a confidence in taking a stand beyond Proscenium for creating Modern Indian Theatre. PRIA (Participatory Research In Asia) could offer a training in participatory method of conducting a workshop through an intensive training of three phase sensitizing the democratic aptitude in leading an organisation and a creative training. These three angle enlightened and strengthen the over all concept gradually.

Natya Chetana got established as an alternative demonstrator in the state and became known in the country . By this time Natya Chetana started building its Theater Village (Natya Gram) 35 kms away from the state capital in a lonely place to practice its alternative life and theatre. Now a days this campus is considered to be a unique place of exposure in the country to experience Natya Chetana vision, mission, strategy and philosophy and a cultural life of India.

So on and so on............

Odisha_MapNatya Chetana focus area is : Orissa, the eastern coastal state of India which is considered to be the poorest state of the country but very rich in cultural expression. It has traditional and indigenous painting, sculpture, dance, theatre, songs, designs, architect, textile etc. etc..

Natya Chetana At A Glance

Name of the Organisation :

NATYA CHETANA (Theatre For Awareness)

Place :

Natya Gram, Near Khurda Town (Theatre Village - Permanent Campus)

Bhubaneswar, in the state of Orissa, in India (East Coast)

Date of Establishment :

10th November 1986

Legal status :

Registered in India under Society Registration Act, Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, Income Tax Act 12A & 80G

Contact person :

Mr. Subodh Patnaik, Director of Natya Chetana

Address :

N-3/ 344, Nayapally Lottery Plot Area, IRC Village , Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India - 751015

Email and Phone contact :| +91 9437055590 (Subodh)