Assam allows mobile theatres, new SOP released

The Assam Government issues strict guidelines to the theatre troops of the state

An SOP was issued by the Assam State Government on the grounds of resumption of the mobile theatres in Assam.
According to the new guidelines, the mobile theatres will be allowed to perform in such places where there are no containment zones or such areas which were not much affected by Covid in the recent past.
It is also mandatory for all the members of the theatre groups to get fully vaccinated. Authorities of the theatre group have been ordered to keep a watch whether the Covid protocols are followed or not.
Anyone who is caught violating any of the Covid rules will be severely punished by law. Keeping in mind the night curfew scenario in some places, it was ordered to wind up the shows before some times to the night curfew so that the viewers can return back home before the night curfew starts.
It is mandatory for every member of the theatre group to produce the report of either the RAT or RTPCR test after every two weeks.
It was in the month of September this year when the state government asked the theatre artists to start their rehearsals following all the Covid precautions.
Currently, there are around 35 theatre groups in Assam.
In this context, Phukan added that it was important to note that after getting permission from the government, only those theatre houses which had a strong financial base could re-start the theatre again.
The Bhramyaman theatre operates almost all around the year, with a break from mid-April, when the Bohag Bihu festival and the Assamese New Year are celebrated, to around June.
The opening curtain before a theatre, here implies the re-start of the mobile theatres
Image: The opening curtain before a theatre, here implies the re-start of the mobile theatres
It again begins from June-end or July, when the groups begin preparations for the next cycle of shows with new content, plays and ideas.
About two to three months go into brainstorming, practice, preparations, and readying new sets and props. And by August-end or September, they are ready to hit the road again.
It was since the January last all the mobile theatres of Assam had to stay on a halt. It was first the tension of CAA in the months of January and February and since March last, it was due to Covid. The entire film industry faced a shutter and as a result many people even lost their modes of earnings.
In an interview with Fit Northeast, theatre personality and acting teacher Minakshi Phukan said, "Covid has been a very bad phase for each and everyone who has been associated with the acting industry."
"If we speak about the mobile theatres of Assam, those were shut since last March. Each and every theatre house have suffered huge financial losses and even if Government gives a chance to re-open the theatres, the cost which will be generated from the public's money will be very less to compensate for that huge loss. Earlier there used to be more than 1000 viewers per show but now, looking at the condition, there is very little hope that we can get more than 500 persons per show," she said.
In this context, Phukan added that it was important to note that after getting permission from the government, only those theatre houses which had a strong financial base could re-start the theatre again.



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