Theatre Speaks

Sharmila Velaskar Kadne
Actor, Voice Artiste, Writer, Former Flight Attendant
[Marathi Theatre ]

Which is the last best play you saw?
i) MEE NATHURAM GODSEY BOLTOY in Marathi by Sharad Ponkshe.
ii) PAI PAISHACHI GOSHTA - in Marathi, directed by Vipul Mahangaonkar.
iii) KATYAR KAALJAT GHUSLI- a Marathi Sangeet Natak.

Your favourite 'adda' to see a play
NCPA, Shivaji Mandir, Dinanath Natyagruha, Prithvi.

Your favourite playwright
i) Shakespeare for his intrigue, mystery and finely interwoven narratives.
ii) Vijay Tendulkar for his pathbreaking plays.
iii) Mahesh Elkunchwar for the sheer simplicity in his writing.

Your favourite play-character
Lady Macbeth.

A play you would like to see filmed. Why?
CODE MANTRA - Marathi. It was already like a film on stage.
THE BLACK SUN - English, written and directed by Dr. Omkar Bhatkar because it sensitively deals with depression and mental illnesses of varying degrees, and it is the need of the hour to address depression.

A novel/short story you would like to see on stage? Why?
SAMAANTAR written by Vijaya Rajadhyaksha because there is a beautiful yet simple conundrum of whether to go on with life or wallow in the grief of death.

The most hilarious play you have seen
MORUCHI MAVSHI - a Marathi comedy based on "Charlie's Aunt" with Vijay Chavan. Written by Prahlad Keshav Atre.

A play character you would like to "dialogue" with
I'd like to dialogue with Sakharam Binder from the Marathi play SAKHARAM BINDER. It's an iconic play written by Vijay Tendulkar.

A passage from an important play that you can recite
LADY MACBETH, Act V, Scene 1.

A classical play that you should have read
OTHELLO by Shakespeare.

A play that changed your perception about the theatre
There are so many plays done in so many different ways that I salute every effort.

How do you regard the Mumbai theatre scene?
The Mumbai Theatre scene, especially English Theatre, is getting more and more vibrant, especially with experimental theatre coming up with some interesting productions. The regional theatre scene, that is Marathi and Gujarati theatre, has always been top notch.

If you have ever been a part of a theatre production/s, can you recall an event that was insightful, significant or simply humorous?
I played one of the lead roles in THE BLACK SUN directed by Dr. Omkar Bhatkar. It was a serious and intense play and the mood in the interval was very sombre. It was staged at Studio Tamaasha in this instance and I had to change positions to the other side of the studio for Act II, and the Director asked me to walk across in character, who is in a mental asylum. It was hilarious because as I walked across the audience I was shocked to see the transformation in my demeanour and costume. They were wondering who I was and the Interval buzz went to pin-drop silence.

Can you think of a foreign production that you found remarkable? Why?
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - the sheer majesty, precision and timing of the elaborate props combined with the intense, beautiful and intriguing narrative makes this my favourite foreign production. I absolutely love musicals.

Your favourite director/actor/music or set designer
I don't have any favourites as each director, actor bring in their own unique flavour.
Favourite Set Designer - Dr. Omkar Bhatkar. His set designs are a visual treat.

A significant Indian production that you may have witnessed
i) CODE MANTRA - Marathi.
ii) IF MY DARKNESS IS LIGHT TO SOME SOUL - English, based on the life of Rev. Mother Teresa. Written and Directed by Dr. Omkar Bhatkar. I played the lead role and it was very well received. The set design, the costumes, the live choir were highly appreciated by the audience, and it is in my opinion, a significant production.

Life in the theatre without the humble batata-wada or the cutting chai... or can you recall the best gastronomic experience you've had in the precincts of the theatre to date?
Life in theatre is still about vada pavs, samosas, and countless cups of cutting chai. The food scene barring NCPA and Prithvi, is quite bad, more so, because of the strange timings of the shows, which do not allow one to have a proper meal either before, or in the interval, or after the show. Needs to improve big time!"""
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