Kolkata, Dec 5 (IANS) With the unique concept of encouraging the audience to take to the stage and act, the Muktodhara Forum Theatre Festival, involving participants from 18 countries, will begin in the city Dec 13.
Popularised by Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal, forum theatre or "theatre of the oppressed" dramatises problems faced by the common man.
Members in the audience are encouraged to stop a performance, often a short scene in which a character was being oppressed in some way. The audience would suggest different actions for the actors to carry out on-stage in an attempt to change the outcome of what they were seeing.
The five-day festival will see 70 participants from countries like the US, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Iraq, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
"A variety of plays will be staged by participating countries and our own artists. The plays will showcase the problems of the common man and spectators will suggest possible solutions through performances," said Renuka of Jana Sanskriti, a Kolkata-based theatre group which has been organising the festival every two years.
The festival would also include tribal dance performances.
"There will be Chhau dance from Purulia, Gotipua dance from Odisha and a variety of other dances as well," said Renuka.
Workshops will be organised starting Dec 5 where participants will decide the topics and put together the plays.
"We will also promote the idea of theatre in rural areas. Everyone has the right to participate and express. Theatre is not limited to rich or influential people only," said Renuka.
The festival, concluding Dec 17, will be held at different locations across the city.