We spoke to a few theatre artists and asked them to answer just one question: what is your dream for Indian theatre in the future?
Here is what they said..
Yohan Chacko, Actor-Director-Musician-Dentist
I suppose after 2020, to be back to the old normal would be just dandy but since this is the time for wishful thinking I’d hope one day we can boast of a musical that overthrows The Phantom of the Opera to become the longest running in the world.
Evita-Marie Marques, Writer-Director
Just 100 years ago, theatre was the only audio-visual art form that existed. It enthralled audiences for centuries with its stories, colour, music, dance and drama. The lockdown has seen many productions such as National Theatre Live and Andrew Webber’s Show Must Go On. Even Globe Theatre has digitized their plays and released them for audiences to watch online, mostly free of cost. I believe that sampling for plays will increase and with the current process of digitisation of plays, Indian Theatre stands a good chance to be accessed and viewed by the world. Our strong cultural heritage is our biggest USP and I see Indian Theatre as an emerging market competing with the likes of Broadway and West Ends. It is definitely an exciting time to curate, create and collaborate!
Yamini Joshi, Actor
Theatre has been an unstructured space in India since its inception. That, I feel, is it’s biggest drawback. That is exactly why we are unable to reach wider audiences. I hope that going forward Indian theatre broadens in scope, content, level of production, and accessibility. This will make it a safe space for artists, new or experienced, to push their boundaries. There are so many actors who hone other skills such as singing and dancing. I dream of a day when scripts will allow actors to showcase these multitude of talents and engage an audience in a kind of storytelling that they have never seen before.
Amrita Fredrick, Artistic Director, The Kuku Company
My dream for Indian theatre in the future is that every work receives an audience that isn’t afraid to trust. To trust other perspectives as truth. To trust uncomfortable emotions that sputter and swell within their chests, and hold space for them. To trust that we “give voice to the voiceless”, and so can they. And when the curtains come down, and they leave their seats, and step back into reality, to trust that life and art are the same and to treat them both with the reverence they deserve. Now, wouldn’t that be swell?
Anu Bhaskararaman, Dancer, Actor and Editor
My dream for Indian theatre is for it to become fully sustainable, without actors needing second jobs or risking not earning money by going full time. It would be incredible to have plays that have been written in India, by people who live here telling contemporary stories of the modern young Indian. I also hope that theatre is more accessible to all sections of society and that pieces, whether experimental or not, old or new, always have takers.
Prashanth Oliver, Actor, Drama Teacher
My dream for Indian theatre in the future? My dream for indian theatre, past, present or future is that it is supported, relished, consumed voraciously while leaving us hungry for more. It should push boundaries, challenge our opinions and tell stories of the past, present and future, and it should grow louder and not be stifled. I hope it stays a space where ideas, thoughts, emotions and personal points of view are shown and taken in without judgement or derision. As the world seems to be growing more narrow minded, it’s vital for theatre to still be a voice for and by the people. To help the people laugh, cry, and be a source of comfort. I dream for theatre to be shared, to children, to adults, to animals if one has the patience. And after almost a year of no theatre, no plays, no communion of live performances, I hope, pray and wish it never goes away.
Keith Antony Sequeira, Actor
I dream of Indian Theatre one day becoming an international cultural hub the way Broadway and West End are. With a pull that attracts people from all over the world to celebrate Indian theatre.