'Theatre is an integral part of me'

Honest performer

'Theatre is an integral part of me'

Deven Khote is excited about rekindling his passion for theatre. This interest of his began with him acting in the play ‘Barnaby’ when he was in the fourth standard at The Cathedral & John Connon School, Mumbai. The love for theatre continued into his youth when he acted in numerous stage productions.

Then he had to take a break from theatre for a while. Deven, who was in the City recently for a performance, says that he’s excited to be back and is looking forward to more.

Talking about the Bangalore audience, he says that he is aware about the vibrant theatre scene in the City. “The performing arts scene is much more progressive compared to other places. There is nothing narrow-minded about the people here,” he says. Deven also feels that this could be because the City has a cosmopolitan nature.

“Bangalore’s traffic situation is almost similar to the Mumbai chaos,” he laughs.Deven’s passion for the theatre started from childhood since he grew up hearing about acting being the grandchild of actress Durga Khote. “I saw the passion for acting all around me. And even though I cannot speak for another art performer, performing on the stage as a theatre artiste must be the same kick one gets as a dancer or singer,” he details. He adds, “Theatre is an integral part of me.”

Performing in theatre has a special feeling because it is an art form which involves the audience’s response too. “It’s an exciting feeling to perform in front of a live audience unlike a TV programme. One can always change the dialogues or move around the script instantly to bring the audience’s attention together when in a play,” says Deven.

Deven was one of the founders and director of the UTV Group but having come back to theatre after almost two decades, he says that earlier, regional theatre used to be more common and English theatre was for pure entertainment. “But now, directors are able to take theatre in English to the next level,” he says.

Having directed almost 200 advertisement films and some television programmes, ask him how the experience differs, and he’s quick to reply. “In television, one has unlimited time to explore and tell a story, but in a commercial, one has to communicate the concept in 30 seconds, which is a big challenge,” says Deven.

Ask Deven which of the films that he produced are his favourites, and he says that it’s a difficult question to answer. “I did love ‘DevD’, Lagaan, Kaminey, but all of our movies have been special to us,” says Deven.

Deven calls himself a cricket junkie and likes reading in his spare time. “When I’m not doing theatre, I also photograph. I shoot real images with a surreal touch,” he wraps up.

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