Highlighting Indian theatre’s magnanimity, the COLORS Khidkiyaan Theatre Festival 2017 kicked off at Mumbai’s Sathaye College at Vile Parle (East) today. Organized by Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company with Viacom18’s Hindi General Entertainment Channel COLORS and Hindi film channel Rishtey Cineplex as its partner. The festival brings together theatre professionals and the Bollywood fraternity to celebrate captivating theatrical excellence.
The COLORS Khidkiyaan Theatre Festival 2017 opened to a welcome note by actor Ragini Khanna. The evening also witnessed a musical performance, Ballimaaraan by Piyush Mishra followed by a Shraddhanjali to Late Shri Om Puri by the veteran actor’s contemporaries along with Raj Nayak (CEO – Hindi Mass Entertainment, Viacom18) and Mukesh Chhabra, and two theatre presentations of Smita Bharti’s play Jug Jug Jiyo featuring Dolly Ahluwalia, Ankita Bhargava, Meghna Malik and Amit Dolawat. The first-of-its-kind red carpet for theatre professionals witnessed the strong support of the industry with aficionados like Sidharth Malhotra, Imtiaz Ali, Naseeruddin Shah, Vikas Bahl, Nitesh Tiwari, Dia Mirza, Prachee Shah Pandya, Karuna Pandey, Suchitra Pillai and Dheeraj Dhoopar amongst other stepping out in support.
Commenting on the opening day, organizer Mukesh Chhabra said, “We are very excited that our humble little festival is growing. I’m thankful to all our partners and my team, and hope to have a successful festival this year as well. We are looking forward to welcoming our guests and getting in the mood of watching some amazing plays.”
Speaking about COLORS’ association with this festival, Raj Nayak, CEO – Hindi Mass Entertainment, Viacom18 said, “Theatre is a form of expression which has, in a major way, contributed towards the development of Indian television and its entertainment avenues by providing artists and talent across. COLORS and Rishtey Cineplex have always strived to bring the choicest content options to its viewers, and with COLORS Khidkiyaan Theatre Festival 2017 we are furthering this vision by creating a window into a parallel entertainment universe. We would like to congratulate Mukesh Chhabra and his team for developing Khidkiyaan, an endeavour bringing Indian theatre to the forefront, and hope to strengthen this association in years to come.”
The 5-day long festival, to be held between 1st – 5th March 2017, will witness a mix of superlative theatre productions and workshops, panel discussions moderated by Anupama Chopra and The Viral Fever’s Arunabh Kumar, a Masterclass by Casting Director and Acting Coach Mukesh Chhabra, script-reading sessions and a short film corner by Humaara Movie, and a tribute to celebrated theatre actor, Late Shri Om Puri featuring his fellow NSD alumni and other colleagues.
Siddharth Malhotra – “Mukesh is a good acting coach, a great casting director and is profoundly involved in theatre so it’s really great to be a part of this.”
Imtiaz Ali – “I’m really happy that there is a festival which is a confluence of theatre and films. Especially for me, coming from theatre and going into films; it feels like home each time I come here. I’d like to encourage all the people who are aspiring actors or filmmakers to indulge themselves in theatre as it gives certain attributes and certain strengths that will always be beneficial in both theatre and films and in life in general.”
Nawazuddin Siddiqui – “I come to this festival every year because I started off with theatre and it feels so good that Mukesh is encouraging it.”
Priyanka Raina : “I started from theaters and we have have learnt at every stage, directed many short films. and feels great on such a platform, for youth where they can showcase their talent.
Yami Gautam – “I think it’s amazing! It’s an amazing platform for all the theatre lovers and not just them but even for people like us who aren’t in theatre. We get to experience it under one roof and to bring it together in such a way to celebrate it is amazing!”
Vikas Bahl– “I think it’s a great way to encourage theatre in the country. I’m so glad that people here to support theatre because there is no better art form than theatre and the fact that it gives to much to other industries is the next big thing that it does.”