Mumbai, March 27 (IANS) On World Theatre Day, actors including Himani Shivpuri and Shikha Talsania, have confessed their love for the stage, saying that performing theatre remains a close experience for them.

“Theatre was and will always be my first love,” said Himani, who is seen in Zee Theatre’s teleplay “Hamidabai Ki Kothi”.

The actress says that studying at the National School of Drama helped keep her calling intact. There’s a production which is special to her.

“I played the role of Mitro in ‘Mitro Marjaani’ which was directed by Mr. B. M. Shah and it was really amazing because for the first time in Indian theatre, was a woman portraying someone who is bold about her physical needs and is proud of her body,” she said.

To this, Shikha, from teleplay “Internal Affairs”, added: “I grew up backstage as my parents are theatre artists, watching them transform every time they went on stage was magical. I wasn’t sure if I would make a career in theatre, but I knew I would be involved in theatre in some capacity¬Ö I feel honored to be a part of the theatre community. Every single person involved in putting up a play/natak are heroes and so are the audiences that come to watch us.”

Actress Aahana Kumra, who will be soon seen in Zee Theatre’s upcoming teleplay “Sir Sir Sarla”, said: “When I was 14, I joined a workshop at Prithvi Theatre which was when I discovered my passion for theatre. The workshop was conducted by Neeraj Kabi and I was completely fascinated by the stage and Prithvi Theatre itself. I started participating in the theater festivals, working at the box office, sometimes even backstage, so that’s how it really began”.

She also shared highlights from her theatre career, saying: “I think almost every production of Motley’s is close to my heart. Naseer Sir and Ratna Ma’am were my mentors and I have learned a lot from them, “By George”, my first play, I hold closest to my heart. I did a piece with Faisal Rashid, and I still remember our first show at NCPA, I just went and hugged Naseer Sir, and said, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.”

Actor Joy Sen Gupta said: “I was an extremely shy person, an introverted kid but surprisingly I found my voice on stage.”

For Joy, theatre is “most distinctively, a socio-political voice in art; it is life, it is lively, it is direct, it is interactive and a democratic interaction takes place between the audience and the actor debating the conflicts in human life”.

Purva Naresh, director of “OK Tata Bye Bye”, said: “I was drawn to theatre because it gave me an opportunity to tell stories that were out of the box. Directing for theatre involves a slightly different approach, a bit of risk as well because the medium is more experimental. There is an effort to stay true to the purpose of telling the story and that is what drives me as a storyteller in theatre.”

–IANS

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