Inception of Indian Theatre Schools
In ancient days, there were no Indian theatre schools, rather theatre in India began with the Rig Vedic dialogue hymns during the Vedic period, and Sanskrit drama was established as a distinct art form in the last few centuries BC. However, during the middle ages, the Indian subcontinent was invaded a number of times. This played a major role in determining the Indian culture and heritage. British India, as a colony of the British Empire, used theatre as one of its prime instrument to protest. To oppose, the British Government had to impose 'Dramatic Performance Act' in 1876. From the last half of the 19th century, Indian theatre schools experienced a boost in numbers and practice.
Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts
Bhartendu Academy of Dramatic Arts is an Indian theatre school at Lucknow. This autonomous organization works under Ministry of Culture and was established in 1975 under the auspices of Sangeet Natak Akademi (Government of Uttar Pradesh). Its first batch passed out in 1977; in 1977 it became autonomous and in 2008 it gained the status of a deemed university.
Bangalore School of Speech and Drama
Bangalore School of Speech and Drama, situated in Bengaluru, is another premier institute affiliated with Trinity College, London. Trinity examiners visit the institute every year to administer the exams. It was established by Zulfia Shaikh in the year 2001. One major production is put up by the school every year.
The ITA School of Performing Arts
The ITA School of Performing Arts was established with the efforts of The Indian Television Academy and was founded in the year 2001 by Shashi Ranjan and Anu Ranjan. The school is known to provide good placement and exposure to the students with excellent infrastructure, facilities and industry connectivity.
Kalakshetra Manipur, located in Manipur, is another prominent Indian theatre group founded in 1969 by Heisnam Kanhailal. It is registered under Societies' Registration Act XXI of 1860. Kalakshetra Manipur organizes training and research programs and has been creating milestones in alternate theatre through spectacular performances over years.
National School of Drama
National School of Drama (NSD), India's premier Indian theatre school situated at New Delhi and is an autonomous organization under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. This Indian theatre school was established in 1959 under the auspices of Sangeet Natak Akademi (Government of India), and its first batch passed out in 1961. This institution became autonomous in 1975 it and in 2005 it gained the status of a deemed university.
Ninasam is another Indian theatre school offering courses on theatre to the aspiring candidates. The year 1980 marks the beginning of this institute. It provides 10 months diploma course to around 20 students every year. Over years it has produced several plays gaining much appreciation.
School of Drama and Fine Arts
School of Drama and Fine Arts, located in Thrissur City of Kerala, is a theatre training institute. It is a department of the University of Calicut and is renowned as the only institute in the state providing formal education and training in theatre and drama. It is affiliated with National School of Drama.
Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts
Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts (SRCPA), in Delhi, works under the Indian National Theatre Trust. It works for promoting art and culture in India and nurturing the talents in performing arts. It offers a certified two years acting course.
India is one of the few countries, which can boast of an array of indigenous Indian theatre schools and the varied curriculum in the Indian theatre schools amidst their myriad forms and patterns further establish this art form to illustrate the unspoken thoughts. The journey of Indian theatre schools is long yet profuse. The Sanskrit drama gradually faded away leaving space to improvisations of the Indian theatre schools.