Home Interview Theatre is backbone of Culture – Chitranjan Tripathi

Theatre is backbone of Culture – Chitranjan Tripathi

Chitranjan Tripathi


New Delhi, 10 Jun: Imagine, the student of a school is appointed as the director of that institution, based on his abilities, in the days to come? Yes, such an inspiring personality is the famous playwright, Chitranjan Tripathi, who has recently been appointed as the Director of the National School of Drama. Tripathi is the 12th permanent director from the 1996 batch of NSD.

Born in Chandibala, Odisha, Tripathi completed his MA in Sociology from Hyderabad University and then joined the Guildford School of Acting in England under the Charles Wallace Fellowship to pursue music theatre, which is considered a special achievement in itself. Tripathi, who came into highlights with the play, “Taj Mahal ka tender”, is also a talented actor and musician. He has worked on several films, web series, and TV shows. Recently, Prof SS Dogra had a brief interaction with Chitranjan Tripathi, the Director of the National School of Drama, at his office in Mandi House. Here are some excerpts:

In a creative field like theatre, as a student, artist, and now as an educator, how do you feel about its importance in your life?

Speaking from the perspective of Natyashastra, for the first time in the world, a theory was written about theatre. Because it was written almost 3000 years ago, if we look at it from the perspective of Natyashastra, theatre is a combination of many forms of art. It includes literature, music, dance, visual arts, and many other different forms of art. It is inclusive and Bharat Muni in Natyashastra says that it is the protector of culture. Theatre is the backbone of culture. No society can be devoid of its culture through drama. A society has no identity without its culture and if drama is the backbone of something, then no society can remain untouched by it. This has been proven from time to time and will continue to be so in the future as well. That’s why, as an artist, as a graduate of the National School of Drama, and as a performer, I am very excited about this fact. It encourages me to do more theatre for my society so that I can entertain. Through entertainment, we also relieve stress. We alleviate the sorrows of the mind. At the same time, we impart knowledge and contribute to a healthy society. Everything is necessary for a healthy society. I feel proud that I am a performer.

What is your opinion on the role of theatre in the field of acting?

While it is a practice, it is an exercise. However, due to the indifference of society towards drama and the stage, which still exists today, people are running towards television and cinema for more exposure, money, fame, and recognition. If theatre were appreciated as much by society today, perhaps people would not leave. For example, in Maharashtra, theatre is so popular that there are three shows of one play in a day and those artists who are busy with thousands of shows do not even look towards cinema because the artist within them finds a platform for expression and manages to make a living. Unfortunately, this is not the case in other parts of India. This is why people run away, but it’s okay; it’s democracy, everyone can do what they want. But there is no doubt that people do come to be trained in theatre. They receive training in physical, verbal, and deep emotional aspects. After that, they move to different media to explore their talent and expression further.

You were a student here, and now you are the Director of NSD. How do you feel?

Yes, I mean, you can also understand how it feels; it’s a wonderful feeling. But along with that, there is also responsibility because so many big people, I mean, so many people have worked in this position and have gone on to do great things. Looking at the contributions of Alkazi Sahab, Karan Sahab, Bajaj Sahab, it feels like, brother, there is a lot to do while looking at their contributions.