Gone are the days when theatre was mostly a part-time passion of public and private sector employees, who would conduct rehearsals in their spare time. Today, the theatre scenario is undergoing a sea change in the city, with the youth getting ample opportunities to showcase their talent at prime cultural venues like Ravindra Bharathi.
Recently, an English play titled 3000 AD directed by Sharath Sunkari saw all the artistes on roller skates, acting and moving on stage quite cautiously. “Our eight young theatre enthusiasts practiced daily from 5 am to 8 am for nearly 72 days. Even though they did not have any prior experience in theatre, their commitment to take up the challenge and be part of this unique experiment needs to be appreciated,” says Sharath, who admits that he had difficulty in procuring the masks. “I tried to source them from different cities in India. Finally I was able to source them from London. It was very important to get the right mask to portray a living being in 3000 AD,” he adds.
On the other hand, Surabhi Jayachandra Varma, who belongs to the famous Surabhi lineage of artistes, directed a play titled Khatarnak Mallana, an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s play, The Good Woman of Setzuan.
“It’s not easy to sustain in theatre. The corporate sector should join hands with the government and provide monthly fellowships to youth who are committed to theatre,” suggests Varma, who adds, “I have created a team of nearly 35 artistes below the age of 15 years who perform the famous play Maya Bazaar. In fact, my grandfathers, Surabhi Bhojaraju and Surabhi Nageshwar Rao have worked hard to keep the flag flying for Surabhi theatre and are my inspiration.”
Thiruveer from Popcorn theatre group directed the play Pushpalata Navvindi, which brought into focus the difficult times that a girl child faces as she attains puberty. “For us to move forward, we need regular performance opportunities and space for rehearsals. However, the Government of Telangana has been very supportive to continuously conduct the Yuva Natakotsavam. I look forward to more weekly activities on theatre,” he says.
Eega Samatha, who was on a break from her job, directed a play titled Evari Chuttalu. Says Samatha, “I do not think it is possible to work in theatre on a part-time basis. Quality productions are possible only with full-time commitment. The Yuva Natakotsavam series is bringing out young talent not only in acting but also in areas of music production, set design and lighting.” Meanwhile, Ramesh Kishan Goud was able to gather a 12 member team of first time theatre enthusiasts for a training session of 45 days. He is directing Dayyala Kompa, the Telugu version of Roman comedy, The Haunted House in Telangana dialect, to be staged at Ravindra Bharathi soon.
“During my student days at the University of Hyderabad, I was a part of a workshop conducted by renowned theatre personality Ramgopal Bajaj and I really value the discipline that he gave for time and rehearsals” recalls Ramesh....