India’s first ever micro-drama festival, named Thespis, was held on 9 April 2017 in New Delhi. The longest play of the festival ran for not more than 10 minutes and the shortest one lasted for only 42 seconds. The day-long event saw screening of 28 independent plays at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Art. Named after Thespis of Icaria, the festival was organised by theatre group ‘Vriksh’.
The inaugural play of the festival was titled Chamaeleonidae. The act showed a chameleon shedding his skin after getting disgusted by the hypocritical nature of humans. The plays were conceptualised in 10 different languages, including Rajasthani, Urdu, Oriya, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and English.
A Malayalam drama titled Black depicted the tensions and frustrations of a father with a teenage daughter.Floating leaves of Chinaar described the agony and suffering of Kashmiri pandits settled in Delhi. The plays were also awarded in several categories including ‘Best Drama’, ‘Best Drama (Audience Poll)’, ‘Best Director, Script, Actor, Actress and Technician.
Certain Ancient Greek sources and especially Aristotle describes Thespis of Icaria as the first person ever to appear on stage as an actor playing a character in a play. In other sources, Thepsis introduced the first principal actor in addition to the chorus. Thespis was a singer of dithyrambs (songs about stories from mythology with choric refrains). He is credited with introducing a new style in which one singer or actor performed the words of individual characters in the stories. This new style was called tragedy.