Metta International Theatre Festival

Aim: The Metta International Theatre Festival is aimed to foster the interstate and cross border friendliness through amalgamation of the diverse cultures based on the principle of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Justice by providing an international platform to the theatre groups across the globe.

Our Objectives

  • Preservation and promotion of various theatre art forms from different states of the country and across the globe.
  • To facilitate the exchange of dialogues amongst various artists and art forms within the country and various parts of the world.
  • To facilitate exchange of history of civilizations and experience thereby generating understanding, respect and equal dignity for other cultures.

Tracing the roots:

India is a birth place of Lord Buddha. Buddhism originated in India and propagated to all corners of the world. Buddhism is one of the oldest religions spreading the message of love, friendship and kindness to mankind. Theatre, ever since ages, has lived as a medium of expression. It has always transcended values, customs and cultures form one generation to another and from one section to the other across the world, thus, providing a mirror reflection to the society.India too has seen a history of theatre and its forms. In fact, it holds one of the oldest written histories of drama as long as 2nd BC when Bhante (Monk) Ashwaghosh wrote epic drama ‘Buddha Charitam’. Ashwaghosha is believed to be the first Sanskrit dramatist. Apart from being a play writer, Ashwaghosh was also a great poet. Ashwaghosh is known for spreading Buddhism and it’s preaching by means of theatre. He would spread not just awareness on social issues but would also propagate importance of emotions like acceptance, patience, empathy etc. in solving these issues.

Roots of Metta festival are attached to a similar string. Working on social issues and promoting the rights of marginalized, the curators of Metta strongly believe that emotions like Maître (friendship), Karuna (empathy) and Pratigraha (acceptance) can curb the social evils. It is only when we would empathize with other and accepts the difference between each other, rather than discriminating, that the age long percolating biases would end. The Metta festival, by bringing people from across the globe, would present this idea to the world.

This festival will bring forward art forms from various countries together and promote different art and culture on the theme of ‘Social Equality’. Thus this particular platform would enrich cross border friendliness, strengthen the roots of cultural diversity and promote art forms across globe!

The Idea of ‘Metta’

Metta- Friendship, Joy, Union, Compassion and many more threads of emotional connectivity transpire from this concept. A word of Pali origin, Metta resurrects union and bond with everyone, transcending the boundaries of class, colour, religion, caste! One of the ten ‘paramis’ (perfection) of the Theravada school of Buddhism, it evokes love without clinging i.e. it promotes the idea of loving and accepting the other but without making the individual dependent on to somebody.

Resurgence of Union: The Metta Festival

Embarking upon the idea of Metta, ‘Metta festival’ is an attempt to bring diversity together on the forum of Unity using theatre as a tool. Since time immemorial, theatre has been used as a medium for voicing either social issues or celebrating common threads of happiness. Emerging as a powerful medium of art, it has always kept people connected irrespective of however different they might have been from each other.

In a nine day’s long festival at the city of dreams- Mumbai, different theatre groups and theatre professionals from across the globe would come together and celebrate the union. Various plays and panel discussions will be held, each comprising of a theme of ‘Social Equality’. This exchange of dialogues amongst people, coming from across the globe, will result in exchange of history of civilizations and experience thereby generating understanding, respect and equal dignity for other cultures.

Another unique leaf in the book of ‘Metta’ will be added by the less recognized theatre groups who have spent ages in creating awareness on social issues but are yet unknown. These theatre groups would present their plays at the festival. Metta aims to fabricate a stage where these groups can gain global recognition and receive the long awaited acknowledgement and appreciation for their efforts and work.
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