National School of Drama (NSD)

National School of Drama is premier theatre institute established by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1959. It became an independent school in 1975. It imparts training and propagates dramatics in the country.

Before the National School of Drama, Bharatiya Natya Sangh (BNS) with assistance from UNESCO had established ‘Asian Theatre Institute’ (ATI) in New Delhi in 1958. ATI was overtaken by the Sangeet Natak Academi and merged with the newly formed National school of Drama in 1959.

Functions and Powers

Presently the National School of Drama is an autonomous organization under the ministry of Culture. Its headquarters is at New Delhi and Regional Resource Centres (RRC) across all over the India. The first Regional Resource Centre was established at Bangalore in 1994.

The objective of NSD is to train students in all aspects of theatre, including theatre history, production, scene design, costume design, lighting, make-up, etc. The training course at NSD is of three years duration. Each year, 20 students are admitted to the course.

The school has two performing wings:

  1. Repertory Company set up in 1964 in order to provide a platform where graduates of the School could perform plays professionally. It works with a dual purpose of establishing professional theatre on one hand and continuing with the regular experimental work on the other.
  2. The Theatre-in-Education Company (Sanskar Rang Toli) was founded in 1989 and has been actively involved in production of plays for children, organising summer theatre workshops in the schools of Delhi and also promoting children’s theatre through Saturday Club. Jashne Bachpan is the National Theatre Festival for Children organised by the school annually since 1998.

In addition to these two wings, the School also has an active Extension Programme, a publication section and a literary forum named Shruti. National school of Drama’s publication unit is responsible for publishing text books and other books on theatre and arranging for the translation of important books on theatre from English into Hindi.

Rang Mahotsav is the annual Theatre Festival organised by the National school of Drama. The festival was started in 1999 to commemorate 50 years of Indian Independence.


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