A place to perform

Strong Passion

A place to perform

Sharanya Ramprakash

For a City that boasts of being culturally rich, theatre ironically has always taken the back seat. In spite of endless passion, theatre professionals in the City have been unable to take it to the next level.

Theatre even today remains an art form which is pursued by a select few and does not find an audience easily. Unlike other art forms, it does not create enough
revenue for a sustainable business model.

Sharanya Ramprakash, the creator of the troupe Dramanon, believes that one of the biggest problems a theatre troupe faces is finding a place to perform.  “Ranga Shankara and Alliance Francaise are the only two places in Bangalore where I can expect an audience, anywhere else in the City, breaking even is an issue,” she says.

According to her, the scenario could change if theatre became a way of life, so much so that the necessity of a space never arose. “The only way theatre can become a constant fixture in the lives of people is if it is done everywhere. Schools, colleges, street corners, parks; you name the place and people should have seen plays there,” she says.

Abhishek Majumdar, a big name in the theatre circuit, agrees with Sharanya on the issue of space. “Funding for culture is the lowest in this country. The number of venues for theatre in all the major metros put together does not exceed 15!” he says.

However, he also believes that theatre in Bangalore has seen considerable growth and does not suffer from bureaucratic hurdles that are commonplace in larger metros like Delhi. When asked if people with conviction are hard to come by, he says, “Theatre companies need to be open to new people coming in; there is a lot of new talent out there that needs to be tapped.”

Pratyush Singh, another full-time theatre professional, says that efforts are being made to popularise theatre among the urban ‘junta’. “We organise this event called the ‘Theatre Jam’ every second or third Sunday of the month, where people who think they have the potential can come and perform,” he says. Bharath Kashyap, a social entrepreneur and an amateur actor, believes that “a lot of people want to make a living out of it, but sadly there is no money in theatre.”

Monetary constraints, space constraints and lack of understanding of the very art make theatre a tough road to pursue. However, hope exists with passionate people willing to pursue and propagate the art form.

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