On World Theatre Day, Zee Theatre artists discuss their relationship with Theatre
Mahesh Dattani, Joy Sengupta, Himani Shivpuri and Danish Hussain explain how theatre transforms both artists and the audience
Oscar Wilde said famously, “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.” Theatre practitioners agree and on World Theatre Day, discuss what theatre makes them feel and think as they bring human stories to life on stage.
Actor Joy Sengupta who stars in Zee Theatre’s teleplay Ladies Sangeet says, “Theatre is the reason why all my senses opened up exponentially from a micro level to a macro level and also helped me understand myself, my interpersonal relationships, society, the world around me and eventually the universe because theatre essentially deals with all the issues that confront life and human existence itself. All the ideas which address concerns and create curiosity in the human mind exist in theatre so in a way, it is a window to knowledge and the meaning of life itself.”
Veteran actor Himani Shivpuri who stars in Zee Theatre’s teleplay Hamidabai Ki Kothi describes what theatre represents to her, “Theatre has given me personal fulfilment and has taught me so much. I come from a small town and if it wasn't for theatre and all the different directors and actors that I worked with, I would not have been able to explore my emotions and thoughts. Theatre is a wonderful form of expression and the connection you form with the audience is really indescribable. From starting tentatively and nervously on the stage to reaching a point where you and the audience become one, is a very magical and powerful feeling.”
Mahesh Dattani, the first playwright in English to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi award shares what has kept him connected to theatre for decades, “Theatre offers you an experience of lasting impact because it is a medium of tangible contact. It is in a way very similar to enjoying a delicious meal which is a different experience from watching a cookery show. You can't be the same ever again after experiencing great theatre.” Dattani has directed Zee Theatre’s teleplay Final Solutions, Where Did I Leave My Purdah? , The Big Fat City. .”
Actor Danish Hussain who stars in Zee Theatre’s teleplay Aaj Rang Hai shares his thoughts about the magic of theatre, “Theatre makes me forget everything else, makes me realise that life is now in this moment, in this performance and that is a very powerful experience. And that experience is not just limited to the performers but extends to the audiences because they too momentarily forget what’s outside the theatre and are immersed in the magic of what is unfolding before them. I think that’s the moment when we collectively feel grateful to be alive.”
To encapsulate this transfiguring experience, India’s first and only comprehensive digital theatre platform, Zee Theatre has launched a powerful campaign on World Theatre Day. Its ‘Makes you Think – Makes you Feel’ campaign celebrates timeless stories and gives audiences a glimpse into a vast literary treasure trove encompassing diverse themes, layered characters, iconic playwrights and actors. The campaign is a fitting summation of how Zee Theatre has revolutionized theatre viewing and covered various genres, be it comedy, satire, thriller, suspense, drama, musicals, social issues or classics.