Theatre is everything

The founder of a city-based theatre group says that his love for acting and the stage keep him going in full swing.

Passion is an epithet of the soul that makes it possible for human beings to reach for the stars. This holds true for city-based theatre group Shudrka, helmed by Swapan Mondal, who has been living his passion since 2004. The group has been staging plays in Hindi, Bengali and Telugu since its inception and they have recently concluded their two-day theatre festival at Ravindra Bharathi, where three plays — Kissa Andher Nagri Ka and Ek Shaam Premchand ke Naam (an amalgamation of two short stories of Munshi Premchand, namely Sadgati and Kafan) in Hindi and Aajir in Bengali — were staged.

Recalling Shudrka’s journey thus far, Swapan, who hails from West Bengal, says, “When I had come to Hyderabad for the first few months, it was only work. But soon my urge to be on stage forced me to ask my colleagues at the Southern Railways, who had no clue what theatre was, to join me to create Shudrka.” This was just the beginning of challenges for this stage lover. On the one hand Swapan struggled with finances to keep the group afloat while on the other hand his actors kept quitting every now and then. Not someone to give up easily, Swapan took it all in his stride and continued to join hands with more like-minded people as the years passed. One such person Swapan met was Pulak Halder, who now looks after the stage design and lights.

Just like the wide variety of plays the group continues to bring forth, the people involved with Shudrka’s work also come from different walks of life. “Most of the actors work with the Railways and are Telugu-speaking. So whenever we are staging Bengali plays, we find it difficult to get suitable actors who can give ample time for the production. Sometimes, I only fill in for the main characters,” says Swapan, who believes that it is the stage, acting and direction which keeps him going in full throttle.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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