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Much before independence, Baroda has been amongst the places where theatre had been an integral part. Over the years, theatres in Baroda have seen some of the most amazing minds collaborating and putting forward plays, which will have a page of its own when the theatre art history of Baroda is penned down. Of late, the noise of modernization has to some extent subdued the importance of the theatres in Baroda, and for that matter, the rest of India. There are various live theatres in the city one can find which have kept the essence of plays in Vadodara intact. Both the legendary and upcoming artists come together in some of the top annual theatre events of the city and exude the common notion of promoting theatre art and reaching out to masses, painting a picture of its importance.
Every year some of the most famous sought after theatre events take place in Baroda. The progression of stage plays in Vadodara have been kept at pace with the fast-moving world through several live theatres. Some of the famous artists can be seen showcasing their wits and talents in several stage plays in Vadodara, which is spread across the length and breadth of the city. The most famous theatre events in Baroda without any second thought is the Vadodara International art and culture festival, which is commonly referred to as VADFEST. Do not mistake it to be a single event, this includes 50 events that are spread across 15 venues. This event takes place during the Republic day weekend. It is a 4-day long event, which is marked by the presence of some of the stalwarts in the field of theatre and otherwise. Some of the most famous theatres in Baroda witnesses such annual events, the grandiose may not be the same, but the impact remains the same nonetheless. The Sir Sayajirao Nagar Gruh is one such place, which is a multipurpose auditorium sometimes used as a Town Hall located on the banks of Baroda. The Auditorium has a sitting capacity of 1,008 persons. The Auditorium cum theatre was constructed in the memory of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III. The Sayajirao amphitheatre is another such place which was founded by Maharaja Sayajirao, it hosts some of the best open-to-all theatrical experience.
Through the years the taste of the audience has changed considerably due to which drama group in Baroda has woken up to the changes. In the early 90s, the groups used to stage plays in Vadodara, the core of which were inclined towards serious societal issues and more contemporary topics. However, of late, the audience is more keen on consuming regional acts. Gujarati Natak in Vadodara, which has a comedic soul attracts a large audience from various parts of India this can be the reason as to why a few drama groups in Vadodara like Baroda Amateurs Dramatic club. There are some of the brave artists who are coming to the forefront and taking the legacy forward by forming their own groups. They carry forward the culture Baroda performing arts by organizing various performing arts workshops to gather new talents. Some of such new groups include Nutan Sanskar Kendra. There are various other such groups one of them is the Natya Vihar. To top it all we have the resurgence of the universal art which is a spearhead in promoting theatre art in Baroda.
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