As the world celebrates World Theatre Day today which is 27th March, here are 4 accomplished Bollywood actors who have been trailblazers in their own space in the film business. Here they share their first ever professional theatre experiences and memories associated with it.
1. Richa Chadha
Richa Chadha is one of the most versatile actors in Bollywood today. At a young age she already played the role of mother wherein most actress have declined the role. She speaks about her first ever theatre experience “I remember my first play was when I was in the 11th grade I was cast in a professional play with some actors from NSD repertory. it was not my first experience on stage but I guess it was the first professional one. The play was titled Aur Kitne Tukde and it was hindi play directed by Dr Kirti Jain. I was cast as an extra which worked well for me because I got to observe amazing actors from the National drama School at close quarters and learn from them. also I had braces and it was a period play so the less attention I do to myself the better it would be.”
2. Pankaj Tripathi
My first play was Leela Nandlal Ki story by Bhishm Sahani and director was Vijay Kumar a National School of Drama pass out. The story was about a scooter that gets lost and the protagonist goes to the police station to make a complaint. I was playing both the characters of a cop and a thief. It was my first play and for the first time I performed in front of Patna audiences who don’t even know me and to my pleasant surprise they liked my performances in both the characters even though I was not great performer at that time nor i was trained in diction but I open heartedly performed on my impulse and the audience liked mine performance and even misjudged me as a NSD pass out since the director was from NSD. The next day in a local newspaper review of the play was printed and it was also mentioned about me that I have a great potential and a possibility of being a good actor. That one line grabbed my attention that in one play the critics and the newspaper figured out my potential and possibility as an actor which was quite huge for me raising high my interest and confidence into acting further and to next level.
3. Gulshan Devaiah
The first time professionally I did a play Kurukshetra Burning in Bangalore it was in the year 2007 in English language. That was the first time after the play I felt I was good as an actor. I had that confidence I could say that I was good. It was a series of monologues. It was fictitious retelling of what happened after the Mahabharat war. I played Duryodhan. Each of the monologue was about 15 mins. So I performed that monologue. My father had come to see the play, he was in the audience. After I did that I had such a great feeling that everybody responded so well to my performance and I think I gave a lot to that performance. Thats when I decided that I can come to Mumbai and pursue my dreams. It was never my dream to be a theatre actor, I learnt so much from theatre, theatre is my teacher and I am very grateful to theatre.
4. Vijay Varma
I was rejected at FTII and came back to Hyderabad dejected and broken. I enrolled myself in a Theater group (Sutradhar) and did a 4 month workshop at the end of which was a play. I went late for rehearsal one day and I was thrown out of that play after working so hard. I did backstage. Then after showing discipline and commitment, I got a part in the next play – kisi aur ka Sapna. My first play as an actor in stage. It was probably the most exhilarating moment of my life when I went up first time on a dark stage with just a spotlight. But I had to work a lot in the dark first to be in that spotlight. Theatre trains you in Dealing with darkness and finding yourself. I am eternally thankful to the stage and my teacher.