Gagan Dev Riar Interview
Gagan Dev Riar has been doing theatre since the age of 16, and has worked with notable directors such as Om Katare, Trishla Patel, Sunil Shanbag, Shivani Tanskale and more. He is currently also involved with MONSOON WEDDING, the musical with Mira Nair.

 By Divyani Rattanpal

How was it working with Atul Kumar? Would you say you are a director's actor?
It's always fun working with Atul. As for me, I would like to believe I am a Director's actor. I read the text as many times and go with the flow, while also attentively listening to the directions.
At the same time, I am not a 'Do as you are told' kind of actor. I try to find the logic behind what the director wants. I find it very difficult to execute something when there's no motivation attached to an instruction. I am from a school of theatre where we were encouraged to find our own answers. If I am finding it difficult to locate the answer myself, I try to talk to friends and co-actors. And if even that fails, then I will try and talk to the director.

How was it like working on comedy?
I like drama more. But when you are doing it, then naturally something just opens up and you can understand the opposite of it as well.

Before we sign off, what is the most exciting aspect of being in the theatre, according to you?

Well, I believe it is the vastness of theatre. The fact that anything is possible on the stage. Films are limited in comparison. As Ratan Thiyam says, on screen, when an actor points to the moon, there's a cut away of the celestial object that the audience must be shown. However, on stage, an actor merely has to point to the moon, and the audience can see it in the actor's fingers. It's this extraordinary sense of unlimited imagination that draws me to theatre.

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