Panaji: Goa`s oldest form of theatre, Tiatr is all set to become an expensive affair with production houses deciding to increase the ticket prices for this folk drama owing to rising inflation.
Jacob Fernandes, President, Tiatr Academy of Goa (TAG), said the ticket hike was inevitable for producers, as hosting a tiatre show was becoming financially unviable.
The ticket prices will be hiked to Rs 100 from the current Rs 75, said Jacob, who is known by his street name? Prince Jacob.
Although the rise seems to be marginal, the financial implications are high as several hundred Tiatr shows are held every year, with more than 500 people watching it every time.
"Konkani Tiatr is the cheapest form of entertainment in terms of its ticket fee as compared to theatre in any other language including Marathi and English," he said.
This performing art form has a century old history and is popular till date in the era of television.
Jacob said that 60 new tiatres are produced every year, many of which become overnight superhits due to the strong social messages carried by them.
Tiatres which were usually exhibited by constructing pandals in villages are now performed in air-conditioned theatres like Kala Academy in Panaji and Ravindra Bhavan and Gomant Vidya Niketan in Margao, 35 kilometres away from here.
"Rising prices, high cost of living and frequent hike in petrol and diesel prices have finally affected the Konkani Tiatr sector too. For a considerably long time the Tiatrist had assimilated the inflationary trends without passing the buck to the consumers," said Jacob, who is an iconic name on the stage.
But, time has now come that they can take it no more. This was primarily the reason why a group of popular Tiatr writers and directors met recently to take stock of the situation and to assess closely as to how the constant inflation is affecting their trade, he added.
"After debating the issue threadbare and analysing the financial implications in staging a Tiatr in auditoriums etc, they have come to a unanimous decision, though reluctantly, to hike the entrance ticket fees," Jacob announced.
The hike, which will come into effect after Easter, he said, has been done after five years although prices were moving upwards for all these years.
TAG President said that there are around 500 families directly connected with the Tiatr stage, while there are several ancillary industries like sound system, stage and others, who also rely on this traditional form of theatre.