Natya Chetana:A Cultural Action Organization and Resource Center For Mass Awareness
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Women Focus :



Natya Chetana has been looking for women, interested to take a lead role in the field of Theatre, as there is no woman in Orissa who is a Playwright or Theatre Director. Till 1960s and even in many areas till today, the male actors are portraying the female characters on stage. A trend to make theatre as a profession started after the impact of modernisation. These professional lady artists got invitation by the amateur theatre groups to take part, but lost the social image and received behavior as if they are entertainment tools. So girls from poor family, but having artistic interests with some abilities joined theatre for their survival. However, now young women are involved in theatre carrying an ambition to act in movies and television, but not in theatre.

So Natya Chetana :-

  1. In 1993 celebrated the Year of Girl Child and became sensitive towards women’s right to express. It has produced an audio cassette of songs about the problems of a girl child.
  2. So Natya Chetana since then takes care of designing women characters in its plays with all consciousness. It has produced few significant plays based on women cases.
  3. In 1995 organised a special project - “women at the front” to provide training to women .
  4. In 2005-2006 Natya Chetana got involved actively with state campaigns like ‘100 Village Campaign’ and then “WE CAN-ORISSA” to stop domestic violence against women.
  5. In 2005-2006 Natya Chetana trained, encouraged and selected plays made by women playwright & theatre directors to a festival. It became the first women playwright and directors festival of Orissa.
  6. Natya Chetana has attempted plays on real life cases having the central theme on women like : Kaatha, Geeta, Reboti, Mayajala etc. and puppetry ‘Abhayabara’ which have acclaimed national level appreciations.
  7. Has been making efforts to celebrate International Women’s Day (8th March) by producing plays on women or creating innovative actions.
  8. Has been linking with women’s networks for extending solidarity through special theatre action shows.
  9. Invited women members in its policy making legal board (Executive body).
  10. Has been offering scopes to women to participate in its regular activities like trainings, workshops, management of events, theatre shows etc.


Step 1 : Search talented Women theatre artists and involved with literature with a leadership quality.

Step 2 : Invite to a short-course of training on play writing and direction.

Step 3 : Provide them financial support and field guidance for developing their first theatre production.

Step 4 : Facilitate and encourage to do regional production in their area.

Step 5 : Invite them to a state level theatre festival to project in mainstream theatre practices.

Step 6 : Provide follow up guidance to continue own production by local support, establish linkage with other theatre groups, women networks, local NGOs etc.

Step 7 : Provide additional training and practical experiences by involving on other Natya Chetana activities.

Step 8 : Facilitate their own network among women playwrights and directors.

Step 9 : Encourage them to take part in mainstream theatre festivals.

Step 10 : Highlight the women’s achievement in the field of theatre being in leading positions

The major challenges :

A : The family ( will not allow Her to give time and energy in fruitless[ ‘money less’ ] job).

B : The finance ( will not be available from any source for any step of theatre learning and practice).

C : The local theatre directors and playwrights (will not recognize Her as one of them and discourage).

D : The theatre groups in general (will not accept and recognize Her as a leader of the team)

E : The theatre artists (will not easily accept Her as a persons to be followed)

F : Other regional women artists (will discourage with jealousy)

G : The society in general (will feel challenged by looking at a growing leadership with a women)

H :The Marriage (The married ones face obstruction from Husbands and unmarried are prevented for future of their marriage, after marriage liberty of a woman stops)



A state level association of Women Playwrights and Theatre Directors has been initiated by Natya Chetana for Orissa. It got founded in 8th March 2005 by the members when celebrating International Womens’ Day. This is a development after holding a special project by identifying interested women artists; training them on play writing, directing and leading a team; encouraging and supporting them to create their first play through building own team locally; getting selected plays to a state level festival. Women playwrights and directors expressed their feelings about women’s situation of our society through these plays.

The members established their groups in the name of ‘Nayeeka’ + ‘their town’ (for example Nayeeka-Rourkela, Nayeeka-Nawarangpur, Nayeeka-Balasore etc.) So Natya Chetana opened a wing named ‘Nayeeka-Natya Chetana’. The women activists of Natya Chetana became the members to steer the action.

A team of five women artists related to these ‘NAYEEKA’ theatre groups also got invitation from IDEA-Netherland to give theatre and puppetry performances in 2005. They performed in different cities of The Netherlands, Finland and France. Apart from this they got chances to work with European theatre students and puppet experts during this trip.