In 1972 IPTA held its first Inter Collegiate Drama Competition (ICDC) for one-act Hindi plays. Inspired by Shri Prithviraj Kapoor’s career as a complete theatre person, IPTA started this Drama Competition in 1972, the year of his sad demise and instituted the trophy for the Best Production in his memory. Late Shri Kaifi Azmi initiated this activity and entrusted Shri Ramesh Talwar with the responsibility of evolving the mode of the competition, framing the rules and getting the whole competition organized. Mr. Talwar and his co-convenor Mr. Subhash B. Dangayach brought together their collective experience of having staged plays in various college competitions. Inculcating a sense of theatre discipline in the students has also been an integral part of this competition. On 16th August 1972, the first Inter Collegiate Drama Competition was held at Tejpal Auditorium. IPTA started with the Prithviraj Kapoor Trophy for Best Production and other prizes for acting and script. As time went by, trophies in honour of other theatre persons were introduced – Balraj Sahni Trophy for outstanding performance (1973), R.M. Singh Trophy for the Best Director (1986), K.A. Abbas Trophy for Best Script (1987), Manmohan Krishna Trophy for Second Best Production (1991) and later the Kaifi Azmi Trophy for Critics Award. The competition has become a platform for students to discover talent within themselves.
Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, a regular participant, once rightly said that IPTA’s ICDC is like an ‘acid test’. If you could achieve something here, you would certainly achieve something in the world of performing arts. Over the years there have been many artists, writers and directors who have gone on and have made successful careers in films and television as well as theatre. Some of the actors who have participated and given outstanding performances in the IPTA-ICDC are Zia Hameed, Harish Patel, Arundhati Rao, Channa Ruparel, Lubna Siddiqi, Manish Wadhwa, Sharman Joshi, Jayesh Thakkar and others. Directors who have won awards in the IPTA-ICDC include Amrit Patel, Ravi Mehra, Latesh Shah, Shobha Kapoor, Dr. Chandraprakash Dwiwedi, Asil Rais, Shivdas Ghodke, Anshumali Ruparel, J.D. Majithia, Sagir Ahmed Chaudhari and Mahendra Joshi among others. Colleges from all parts of Mumbai participate in this competition every year. There is regular participation from colleges like Ruparel, Mithibai, Narsee Monjee, Khalsa, Rizvi, Bhavans, National, PD Lions, Lala Lajpat Rai and along with them new colleges from the suburban areas of Mumbaiare adding up to the list.
IPTA continues its effort of providing a platform for the youth of Mumbai to showcase their theatrical talents and hopes that the spirit of theatre will be kindled in the future citizens of this city. Our aim is to use the performing arts for the education, entertainment and inspiration of the people – young and old. This competition is our offering to the youth of Mumbai and we hope our association with them will continue to flourish and create meaningful theatre in the future as well.