In a significant cultural initiative, Sudhir Mungantiwar, the Cultural Affairs Minister of Maharashtra, has announced plans to establish 75 new drama theatres across the state. Addressing the need for expanded cultural spaces, Mungantiwar highlighted that while the Ravindra Natya Mandir in Mumbai stands as the sole theater under the Department of Cultural Affairs, the state government aims to diversify and enrich the cultural landscape by building new theaters in 75 locations.
The move extends beyond construction, as Mungantiwar emphasized the forthcoming renovation of theaters belonging to local bodies over the next two years. This holistic approach aims to rejuvenate existing cultural hubs while fostering the creation of new spaces dedicated to the performing arts.
Mungantiwar made these announcements during the preliminary round of the 62nd State Amateur Marathi Drama Competition, an event organized by the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the State Government. As part of this initiative, considerations for enhancing competition rewards and examiner remuneration are also on the table.
In the current edition of the drama competition, 23 teams are set to perform in the preliminary round at the Pune Centre, with the main competition scheduled at the Bharat Natya Mandir in Sadashiv Peth. Each day will feature ensemble performances at 7 pm until December 14, excluding November 24 and November 26.
Last year, the Bharat Natya Mandir faced challenges related to increased electricity bills for lights, prompting organizers to explore alternative venues. However, logistical constraints with other municipal theatres made it difficult to secure venues for the required duration, leading to the decision to once again host the state drama competition at the Bharat Natya Mandir.