Reinventing the relevance of Theatre in India.


By Kumari Swati

I regard the Theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being” as said by famous Irish poet and Playwright ‘Oscar Wilde’ , he beautifully narrates the essence of theatre through his words .
The whole world celebrates “World Theatre Day ” on every 27th of March.When we go down the memory lane , we find out that it was in year 1961 that this whole journey of celebrating world Theatre Day started.The main motive to celebrate this day is to aware the masses and make them realize the Importance of Theatre in Society . In India there is a huge amount of craze for cricket and Bollywood movies. We Indians celebrate Cricket and Cinema like we celebrate life. When it comes to appreciating and celebrating art in India our obvious choice goes towards watching classical and art cinema of India , but the fact hidden under the carpet states that it was Theatre which lead to the evolution of Cinema in India. Theatre is the origin of cinema , not just Cinema but various art forms.
Theatre is the amalgamation and combination of different art forms which instills life in the fictional characters that are portrayed on stage .
When we talk about the current status of Theatre in world ,we find out that theatre is still widely popular in west but In India gradually we are at the stage where Theatre is at its most vulnerable stage and there are various factors contributing to it. The lack of Government support , lack of awareness regarding Theatre in Indian masses and arrival of multimedia content including OTT .
Theatre is losing its relevance gradually because we are more engaged in consuming the audio visual media content day by day. We cannot think about the development of society by eliminating theatre and its constituents because it is the reflection and soul of our Society.
The team of Hind chakra talked to some of the youth to understand how the changing India is seeing theatre and whether it is still relevant or it has become out of the trend. In this conversation we also talked to one of the Elderly person “Pradeep Ganguly” who gave his entire life for the development of Theatre in the capital city of Bihar, Patna.Let’s take a sneak Peek in the minds of these amazing people who share their journey and Experience Of Theatre.

  • 1.Som Kumar Choudhary, student of English literature and Bihar Art Theatre from Banka District , Bihar :-
  • “My Journey with Theatre started in year 2018 , when I passed 12th and I was eager to enroll in any theatre group , but I tried and I was unable to get any theatre group in my hometown, so it took me two years and after corona ended ,I landed in my capital city, Patna and joined Bihar Art Theatre (Kalidas Rangalaya , Gandhi Maidan , Patna). I love acting from childhood and after getting connected to theatre I saw a new version of me.I started appreciating art and I became much more confident in my craft. I think in Bihar people don’t know about theatre , they are not even aware that there is something called ” Theatre “that exists in our society . We need a much more logical approach in order to recreate the relevance of theatre in our society.

2.Veer Kashyap , student Of RDS Muzaffarpur and Bihar Art theatre from Patna,Bihar.

I have grown up watching the movies and my most favourite actors are Irfan khan and Pankaj Tripathi .I love their flair of acting .The way they approach a character and leave their personal touch on it making those characters lively fills me with curiosity towards this art form. I got inspired by their journey and that’s how I got connected to theatre and I am loving every experience of it. It’s not just acting but direction also interests me a lot. To recreate the relevance of theatre again , Government have to come forward and we need to collaborate with young and new Sponsors who are ready to take risks and try out something innovative.

3.Malti Varma ,Singer and Actor from city of lakes ,Bhopal .

My journey with theatre has been very brief but memorable. I still remember It was in year 2020 , when everything started opening up after corona I decided to move out from my home and live for one and a half month in Bhopal to join theatre.I cannot express my feelings in words regarding the moment when I saw stage for the first time , I thought I am the most fortunate kid because for the first time in my life I get to see a place that I always dreamt of . I remember that moment exactly when I went up to the stage ,touched it with my fingers, bowed down my head and I had a smile on my face .it was the most surreal moment of my life. I learnt various skills from theatre in that one and half month which is still helping me in improving my acting and singing both.I was exposed to some of the best creations of famous Playwrights like Mohan Rakesh and Bhisham sahani. I think those people are lucky who gets the opportunity to be a part of theatre in any way. The excitement of performing in front of huge audience cannot be expressed in words .

4.Abhishek singh, Actor from Dream city Akha Mumbai.

I started doing theatre when I was in college.I joined the theatre group of Shilpi Marwah Mam. I knew her because I saw her in movie Ranjhana playing a sister to Abhay Deol ‘s character. She use to taught us the minute aspects of theatre and I feel lucky that I got trained under her guidance. The lessons that I have learnt during my theatre days helps me now while performing a scene . Acting in front of camera is very different from the acting one does in front of hundreds of people. You get the real experience and joy of acting when you perform on stage.You get to learn about how different department work collaboratively to make one show successfull. One gets to learn about stage management, voice modulation , how to use space while performing on stage and many more. Theatre not only helps in sharpening your acting skills but it develops one’s personality and the lessons that you learn from theatre helps you in various facets of life.

5.Pradeep Ganguly, Joint Secretary cum General Manager , Bihar Art Theatre , Patna.

My journey with Theatre started on 6 june , 1972.My father was related to the field of theatre so I was inspired by him to join theatre.I give the credit of my success to my Guru Shri Anil Mukherjee,who is the pioneer of Bihar Art Theatre.He was the one who popularised theatre in Patna. He was bengali , but still he came to Bihar and directed successfull theatre performances.Earlier in Bihar only Bengali and English plays were popular but gradually hindi plays, bhojpuri and Maithali plays also statred getting popularised in our city.when we use to do theatre in 80’s and 90’s our main motive to do theatre was to bring social change and create awareness regarding art and literature in society but now with the changing time I am witnessing the fact that some people are producing theatre shows just for the sake of funds of Government .we need to reinvent ourselves in order to bring back the lost pride and respect of theatre in our society.

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