It has been a constant and continuous endeavour of MANANA NATYA SANSTHA to release drama productions at various stages based on Odia culture, Odia traditional folk-tales, folk-songs, folk-music etc. MANANA NATYA SANSTHA has been able to contribute a number of significant productions to the audience, critics and drama lovers of the State over the past few years. Use of traditional elements in its productions are observed from the following few examples :
||Play “ Hayabadan”
||Pala, Folk-dance, Puppet-dance
||Play “Ati Achambita Katha”
||Jatra-music, Puppet-dance, Ramayana-tale
||Play “ Satarka Sanghamitra”
||Chandi-purana, Durga-sahasranama Ancient folk-music
||Dashkathia, Pala, Dhuduki
||Histrionic story of Odisha, Traditional & folk music
||Play “ Amari Bhagaban”
||Folk-music, Krishna-tale, Sankirtana, Chhau-dance, Pahandi-music of Lord Jagannath, Chhanda, Champu
||Play “ Astagami”
||Tribal-music & dance
||Play “ Antar Atmar Swara”
||Story, costume, music & make-up based on Budhist Culture
||Play “Babanama Sarbatra”
||Sambalpuri folk-music & dance
||Play “ Suniba Katha”
||Sankirtana & Nagar-pheri
||Nadia-Kirtan, Durga Stuti & Puja, Bali Pratha (animal sacrifice), Spiritual faith.
||Play “ Raja Goja”
||Folk-Tale, Astrological faith
||Radha-Krishna Leela, Chhanda, Champu, Kirtan
||Play “Panu Padhan Chali Ghar”
||Paika Akhada (Samarkala)
||Universal truth in Myth
Over the years, MANANA NATYA SANSTHA has produced a good number of stage artists from amongst the new faces by providing them adequate opportunities to perform on the stage and consequently, many of them have been able to achieve due recognition for their inherent artistic talents/ values. MANANA NATYA SANSTHA has also provided platform(s) for the stage play writers, directors, music professionals to perform and display their skills/ talents through varieties of stage play.
Prior to 2004, MANANA NATYA SANSTHA could organize two drama festivals on its own interest and with its own resources in which six plays were staged. First Drama Festival of MANANA NATYA SANSTHA was organized during Nov 16-18, 1993 at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar in which three plays namely “Baba Nama Sarbatra”, “Amari Bhagaban” and “Ashavara Nirasha” were staged by Manana group. Critics from other theatre groups of the State have participated in the group discussions, theme analysis and performance evaluation etc. during the festival.
MANANA NATYA SANSTHA organized its second Drama Festival during March 13-16, 1995 at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar and staged three plays (own productions) namely; “Surya Parag”, “Ekadasha Avatara” and “Antaratmara Swara”.
A seminar titled “NATAKA RE LOKAPRIYATA” was convened by MANANA NATYA SANSTHA on 3rd January, 1993 followed by its stage show of play “Ashavara Nirasha” at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar. A dozen of eminent theatre personalities representing different groups participated in the seminar to discuss on the subject. Drama – book fair, theatre poster exhibition etc. were some of the attractions of the seminar.
So far, MANANA NATYA SANSTHA has produced more than 34 new plays and bagged a number of awards/ prizes / commendations to its credit. Some of the plays like; “Amari Bhagaban”, “Astagami”, “Baba Nama Sarbatra”, “Astha”, “Asustha Aparahna”, “Ati Achambita Katha”, “Anartha” etc. have been staged multiple times on different stages of Odisha due to their immense popularity and audience acceptability. Besides, MANANA NATYA SANSTHA used to participate in State, Zonal and National level drama competitions/ festivals organized at different parts of the State as well as outside the State.
On the eve of completion of 25 years of its establishment, the MNS celebrated the SILVER JUBILEE by organizing a week-long drama festival at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar during February 1-7, 2004 in which seven different plays were staged and as many as twenty-five eminent theatre personalities of the State were honoured for their long-standing contribution to the stage theatre. Moreover, MNS felicitated eleven theatre groups of the State during the SILVER JUBILEE Drama Festival-2004. It participated in the 6th Bharat Rang Mahostav-2004 organised by National School of Drama (NSD) and statged the play “AMARI BHAGABAN” at Sriram Centre, New Delhi on 24th March, 2004. MNS also participated in the Experimental Theatre Festival, jointly organized by the Dept. of Culture, Govt. of Odisha & EZCC, Kolkata at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar on 3rd November, 2004 in which the play “BABA NAAM SARBATRA” was staged. MNS also staged the play “ASTHA” at Rabindra Mandap on 12th June 2012 under production banner, ICCR, Cuttack. After 2004, Annual Drama Festival for a duration of 5 to 7 days is being organized by MNS every year. Besides Manana has staged play “Asustha Aparahna” at Bhanja Kala Mandap, BBSR during March 2012 as a participant to “Natya Dhara” programme.
In 2006, MNS participated in the Silver Jubilee festival of Chakadola, Bhadrak, Natya-Samabesh (drama festival)of Samabesh, Cuttack and the State Level Theatre Festival of CANMASS, Paradip. Besides, it is worth mentioning here that the MNS is an empanelled threatre group with the ICCR, New Delhi & the EZCC, Kolkata.
MNS staged its most popular play “Amari Bhagaban” during Nov., 2006 at Tezpur, Assam on the eve of 100th Celebration Drama festival of BANN Theatre, Tezpur, Assam organized jointly by Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi & Culture Dept. of Assam Govt. The President and the Director of MNS, Mr. Manoj Pattnayak attended the International Theatre Director’s Seminar at NSD New Delhi during 2007.
MANANA NATYA SANSTHA also intermittently has been contributing to Doordarshan and AIR by performing stage show “Dhataba Santosh Yatra” for the A.I.R.,Cuttack and recording the social message oriented play “Aghatana” ( on AIDS awareness). Doordarshan, Bhubaneswar has telecasted the play “Antardah”, “Astha” “Ati Achambita Katha” and “Asustha Aparahna” in DD-1 of MNS in 2004, 2007, 2009 & 2010 respectively.
MANANA NATYA SANSTHA aims at giving its productions with positive message to the society and depicting the cultural heritage of Odisha as well as the country.