Curtains go up on Chandigarh’s renovated Tagore Theatre

October 30th, 2008 - 12:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Oct 30 (IANS) The curtains have gone up in the much improved renovated Tagore Theatre, a prominent cultural focal point of the region. The exteriors and interiors of the theatre have gone through a comprehensive makeover, though the original design has not been tampered with.

Extensive use of glass has been made in the entrance, the ceiling and the walls leading to the main auditorium.

“The inner structure of the theatre was completely dismantled to reconstruct the basement, auditorium, lobby, backstage, seating steps and projection room boxes, and 330 seats have been added by changing the direction of the stage to house nearly 900 comfortable chairs,” Namita Satnam Singh, consultant architect said.

“It (the theatre) will certainly rejuvenates the theatre and art and culture of the city,” Neelam Mansingh, eminent theatre director from this region, told IANS.

“It was a big challenge to renovate the Tagore Theatre and I am happy that the outcome is quite satisfactory,” said Mansingh who also teaches at Indian Theatre department at Panjab University and has directed 35 plays in a career spanning over 30 years.

Tagore Theatre was constructed in the early 1960s and was in dire need of renovation. It remained closed for almost a year for renovation work.

“Glamour is an essential part of theatre and these two complement each other. Now the uptodate facilities will certainly add new life to theatre activities in the region as Tagore Theatre not only caters to Chandigarh but also to Punjab and Haryana,” Umesh Kant, eminent theatre personality from Chandigarh, told IANS.

“Closure of Tagore Theatre for over one year certainly hampered our work as I had to stop my theatre workshops as we had no other good venue for our performances. However, it was necessary, as change is an essential cycle that enriches our life,” said Kant, who is attached to theatre since 1976 and has directed and produced around 30 plays till date.

A modern power-saving lighting system and a fully automatic stage control system have been installed at Tagore Theatre.

Better sound reinforcement system, video projection system, fire detection and fire fighting system and a new air conditioning plant have also been added.

“I have performed at Tagore Theatre countless times and various times we had to make do with substandard light and sound systems. Facilities available in Delhi and Mumbai were far better than here. But now the new additions have made the theatre at par with any other theatre of the country,” said Ranjan Sehgal, a young theatre artiste based here.

“Many of my contemporaries have moved to metro cities in search of better avenues and support system. But now with the opening of such a theatre in our own city we do not need to go anywhere. In fact it will certainly attract big production houses from other states to the city,” Sehgal said.

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