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Opportunities In Drama

Radio Drama depicts the reflection of life in all spheres from very vast field of India and the world. The variety of themes, such as social, historical, mythological, biographical, folk, abstract, science fictions and family melodrama; the quality of presentation and ability to create mental pictures through words, sound effects and music is called Radio Drama .

Many stations of AIR broadcast plays in Hindi and their regional languages. Radio adaptation of classics, novels, short stories and stage plays are also some of the highlights of Radio broadcast. Besides original plays, a large number of AIR stations regularly broadcast family dramas with object of eradicating deep rooted social evils and blind beliefs prevailing in the society. Serials projecting current socio-economic issues are also broadcast on a regular basis.

The National Programme of Plays is an important programmme of Radio. The first NPP “PRAFULLA” a Bangla stage play by Girish Chandra Ghosh was broadcast in July 1956. Since then, the NPP is broadcast on every 4th Thursday of every month at 9:30 P.M from all stations of AIR. The broadcast is in Hindi and its translation in all regional languages as well on the same day, date and time. Through this NPP, the national integrity, harmony and colours of unity in diversity are presented to our listeners.

General Instructions (Revised) in respect of Drama Audition and Gradation of Casual Drama Artists and their Fees:

The Drama Audition Committee (DAC) at each Station consists of members as detailed below

  1. Station Director or Asstt. Station Director (Chairman of DAC).
  2. Programme Officer, Drama or Feature.
  3. PEX (Drama) from the nearest or linked stations having good understanding of the language, who must have also produced Plays, Features etc., in the same language (or)
  4. A Programme Officer who is recipient of Akashvani Annual Award for Drama from the Station or the nearest Station.

Sub-Para (3) above would apply to all Stations except Panaji, Aizwal, Kurseong, Imphal, Jalandhar, Jammu and Srinagar wich as of now are the only stations broadcasting plays etc., in their respective languages. In this connection, it is important to remember that the person invited from the nearest or linked station should be proficient in the language in which the Audition is to be held.


Audition of applicants should be held at least twice in a year.  The Stations would maintain a confidential register containing the name and particulars of each applicant, date of audition, Grade recommended and remarks of the Programme Head of the Station.  This register would be kept in the personal custody of PEX-in-Charge of Drama Section.  It would be put up to the Head of station at the end of each day’s audition.

The audition should be conducted anonymously and the candidates be identified through coded Roll Numbers to be allotted personally by the Head of the Station and should be kept strictly confidential.


  • An unsuccessful candidate can appear for re-audition after one year from the date of his/her last audition.  A candidate who is unsuccessful three times will not be allowed to re-appear for audition.
  • For purposes of up-grading to ‘B’ High Category, approved candidate can appear for audition after one year of his/her previous audition, by paying proper Audition fee.
  • Up gradation to ‘A’ and ‘Top’ category will be done by the Directorate, as laid down in Para 10 of this Memo.


The approved artists may be classified in one of the following categories –

  • Top Category
  • ‘A’ Category
  • ‘B’ High
  • ‘B’ Category
  • Juvenile

Note: (Where opinions are divergent the opinion of each member of the Committee shall be noted separately for the final decision of the Station Director/Head of Programme).


Appeals against the decisions of Drama Audition Committee will lie with the Programme Head of the Station concerned and thereafter to the Director General.


Drama Artists of ‘B’ Category should be offered broadcast engagement only for minor roles.  Only ‘TOP’ ‘A’ and ‘B’ High Category artists should be utilized for major roles.  This however, does not preclude utilization of higher grade artists for minor roles when considered desirable.


  • It is not necessary to prescribe fixed frequency for booking of Drama Artists. In the letter conveying the result to the Artists, it should be clearly mentioned that their being declared successful, it is not mandatory for AIR to offer him/her programme within a particular period and that the offer of engagement would depend entirely upon the exigencies of programme requirement vis-à-vis the artist suitability.  However, AIR stations should ensure that an approved artist should get at least on opportunity of participating in a programme within 6 months of the audition and from time to time.  If a artist has not been offered booking by AIR, his/her lack of experience should not be used against him/her and he/she should not be asked to re-appear for audition.  However, if an artist was offered booking but if he/she does not participate for three years his/her name may be removed from Rolls and he/she should be asked to re-appear for Audition to allow participation in programmes.
  • To avoid unnecessary expenses on TA and DA the Drama Voices may, as far as possible, be called from within the station’s own zone.  Drama voices of ‘TOP’, ‘A’ and ‘B-High’ grades from the zones of other stations may, however, be invited in exceptional cases.


An audition fee of Rs.250/- (Rupees Two Hundred and Fifty only) from adults and Rs.200/- (Rupees Two Hundred only) from Juveniles may be charged from the new applicants.  This fee is to be remitted only by Money Order addressed to the Station Director.  The existing artists if re-auditioned for up-gradation should also be asked to deposit audition fee of Rs.250/- (Rupees Two Hundred and Fifty only).  Fee should be charged for audition for plays/features broadcast in the main regional languages listed in the Constitution as well as in those other languages which happen to be the main language of broadcast at Stations like AIR, Kurseong, Imphal etc.  If a station like Delhi broadcasts Plays in more than one major languages separate fee should be charged for auditions in each language.



  • Recommendation for up gradation of existing ‘B’/ ‘B-High’ Category Artists to ‘A’ or ‘Top’ category should be sent to the Directorate along with the recordings of the performances of the concerned artists every year.
  • Apart from this, if there are some artists of eminence, who have not been auditioned and graded for broadcast purposes so far, and in the opinion of the Station they deserve to be placed in ‘A’ category (or above) because of their known abilities and experience, the station should submit definite proposal to the Directorate giving full particulars, justification and the fee proposed. Such artists of eminence may not be asked to submit Audition Fee. Similarly, veteran Drama Voices may also be exempted from paying audition fee for up-gradation to Top grade, as a mark of respect to their contribution.

The Category ‘Juvenile’ is meant for child artists. The practice of initiating them excessively into the fee network should be avoided. Their utilization in general plays, features etc. should be resorted to only when avoidable. If any Station requires any particular child artist on a more regular basis for frequent appearances in general plays etc., then that child artist may be taken out of Juvenile category and classified along with general adult artists in Category ‘B’ and be offered appropriate fee in that category. Such a case should, however, be an exception.

Booking of recognized Theatre Troupes to present Radio adaptations of their Stage Plays should be in accordance with the following instructions:

  • Only renowned and well-established Theatre Troupes should be booked for presenting Radio Adaptations.
  • Bookings should be offered only in respect of Plays duration of 60 minutes and more.
  • As regards payments to the Theatre Troupes, the following procedure may be adopted:
    • Those members of the Troupes participating in a particular Play to be adapted for Radio, who are already auditioned and approved for participation in Radio Plays, may be given the fee of their Grade.
    • The un-auditioned Artists of the Troupes would be treated equivalent to ‘B’ Category and are to be paid Rs. 550/- i.e., minimum of ‘B’ grade.
    • The Directorate of the Play, who has presented the Play on Stage and who will be producing the Radio adaptation of his Stage Production in collaboration with the Station’s Programme Officer concerned, will be paid the fee due to outside Producers in accordance with Directorate’s instructions.
    • He author of the Play should be contracted separately and paid the Royalty fee as prescribed in Fee Structure.
  • The participants and the Producer of the Play may be paid only one Fee on CBR of their performance.
  • In case the total amount payable to the Troupe exceeds the power of the Station Director, prior sanction of the Directorate should be obtained for the amount involved.
  • The contract should be prepared in the name of the Troupe and not in the name of any individual artist or the Producer.
  • Not more than two bookings may be given in a year to outside Theatre troupes.

When an approved Drama Artist migrates from one station to another he/she should carry his/her own fee as in the case of music artists. Old Station of the artist should also inform his/her new Station details about his/her Fee details and other details. His/her name must be removed from the old Station’s list.

If a Station broadcasts plays in more than one language the artist’s fee should not vary ideally. Basically He/She will be paid the fee of the language for which he/she was originally approved. But if Auditions for up-gradation were not organized for a particular language, and meanwhile he/she was upgraded in another language, he/she should be given higher fee in the interim period. But if he/she appears in up-gradation audition and could not qualify, he/she should be paid the fee of the previous grade of that language only.

Revision of fees of Casual Drama Artists through increments and otherwise should be taken up for consideration once in three years. It is not necessary to give increment to all the artists. Increments should ideally be given as incentive to deserving cases. Up-gradation Auditions should also be organized at least once in a year. The procedure for recommending up-gradations etc. will however, remain the same as given in this memo, referred above. In case of General Fee revision , normally artist’s fee should be fixed at the minimum of the new grade. However, the Station Directors at their discretion may fix higher fees within the grade to deserving artists, under intimation to this Directorate.


Stations can review the performance of ‘B’ grade artists, who have been in the same grade for more than 5 years, by calling them for re-audition. If in the re-audition, an artist is not found suitable even for retention as ‘B’ grade artist, he/she may be weeded out by the recommendation of Drama Audition Committee (DAC).

If a well known drama artist of a foreign broadcasting organization visits an AIR Station and if there is a felt need to book him/her in a play, he/she may be offered the fee of an ‘A’ Class artist as a matter of courtesy. Any exercise in PR in this regard is to be strictly avoided.