''This is an effort to bring together children from various regions of the country where they can have dialogue and exchange of thoughts. It is an earnest attempt to bridge the social-urban divide which is widening by the day. They should mingle and know about each other,'' NSD Director Anuradha Kapoor told a news conference here today.
''Two instalments of the festival 'Jashnebachpan' and 'Bal Sangam' are being held simultaneously and they seek to bring children practising traditional performing arts from rural areas, theatre companies doing theatre for children and theatre directors practising theatre with children broadly from the urban backgrounds,'' she said.
Earlier, the two instalments were held on alternate years and it was in 2003 that the duo were held together.
During the extravaganza, 22 plays of several languages from various regions of the country are scheduled to feature in which 428 artistes, including 213 children, will be participating. For the first time, a play from Seoul, Korea, has also been invited for participation.
Ms Kapoor said under the festival 14 groups of children will also stage their traditional performance consisting of music, dance, acrobatics and martial arts. Five art and craft workshops will also be open for participation of audience during the fiesta.
Questioned about the future of theatre at a time when numbers of multiplexes were mushrooming across the country, Ms Kapoor sounded rather upbeat and said: ''See, I am aware multiplex culture has taken the nation by storm, but I must emphasise that there is no need to write an obituary of theatre. Earlier also, people started writing an obituary of theatre, but see it is still alive and kicking, and I am very hopeful that in future its participation will increase rather than decrease.'' UNI RL RP CS1826