The best of the stage from around the world
Something about the scorching sun and cloudless skies of summer bring to mind a love for thespian antics. So as summer rolls round the corner bringing with it the sweat and grime we love to complain about, we thought we’d attempt to stay on the more positive side of things and focus on some of the greatest theatre festivals around the world, including one from our very own subcontinent. Love theatre or simply want to know more about it? Read on.
New York Musical Theatre Festival
Something about the big apple has always exuded a scent of the stage; a place where performance artists and theatres are naturally born because they were meant to. After all, it is the home of Broadway, that shining star of theatre. Hence, though its relatively young given that its inception was in 2004, the NY Musical Theatre Festival has become hugely renowned. They showcase around 30 productions to over 30,000 spectators. And a large percentage of the musicals showcased here actually end up making it to broadway too making it one of the best , cheapest places to witness fantastic theatre at its most nascent stages. Possibly why its developmental reading series which allows audiences to give their opinion on productions which are still in the womb are also such a large draw. Simply put, if you love all things theatrical, this is a great place to be.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This Scottish capital has always been a much-loved home for thespians around the world. But the best thing about this one is that it doesn’t have a stage boundary. These artistes perform everywhere from street corners to an old, dusty wooden box and throughout the hot month of August, it appears that almost everybody has some kind of story to tell. It’s also one of the oldest theatre festivals, born in 1947 and since has become bigger every year. Best of all–it’s beautifully inclusive, encouraging every level of performer to tell their story in a manner they see fit.
Dublin Theatre Festival
There’s something about the name Dublin itself that inspires thespian thoughts. Much like India’s dynamic theatre festival, it has become a melting pot for culture-fusing and artists from around the world since 1957 when it was born. They hold over 500 performances across 25 venues tucked away in quaint little pockets of quirky Ireland. Just the place for peculiar artistes to consolidate and showcase their beautiful minds and works.
Bharat Rang Mahotsav
Unsurprisingly, our own country being as theatrically rich as it is in its culture, has its own thespian festival deserving of a slot on this list. Held in the capital each year the Bharat Rang Mahotsav is a uniquely diverse festival most apparent in its multi-linguistic nature. And just to ensure that language doesn’t prove to be a barrier subtitles are included as well. Past years of the festival have sent he likes of Polish, Pakistani and UK groups perform as well as re-interpretations of Indian classics such as Surobindo Ghosh’s Savitri performed by different groups.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland
You can’t talk about theatrical extravaganza’s and not have something of a shakespearean theme in there somewhere. Cue up Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and let its credits roll. They’re known to push the envelope with experimental interpretations, location-specific experimentation and light operas thanks to its new artistic director, Bill Rauch. This particular festival runs right through Summer months from March until November and is though to be one of the best sources of gainful employment for the best actors around the West Coast. Definitely worth your while to be checking this out if you happen to be around.
Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Ontario
Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro De Bogotá, colombia