Namrata Goyal taps the energy of theatre to break barriers at the workplace

Namrata Goyal's association with the stage goes back a long way. “I was four. It began with a Kathak performance,” she remembers. Then, several plays in school and college later, she entered the Trinity Guildhall to train in the arts.

Now she's back, and has been putting to use all that she has learnt. “I felt like theatre was a space where you could play around with acting and direction a lot,” says the 21-year-old daughter of Jet Airways' Naresh Goyal.

It all began with an employee workshop at Jet Airways, which is when she realised “we were flooded with immense talent”. Their first performance was the play ‘Tumhari Amrita', co-ordinated by her and Shabana Azmi. “And this set off a full-fledged theatre production unit. It helped break barriers among various levels of employees, which I believe was its most significant achievement. Now everyone across the country knows each other a little better.”

For the next performance which comes to Chennai soon, they've taken on Peter Shaffer's ‘Black Comedy', a farce set in a London flat during an electrical blackout. “All theatre needs is to be relevant to its surrounding. This play is about so much more than a few people stuck in a darkened room. — it is about jealousy, it's about betrayal, it's about human psychology. There's at least one character in it that you can relate to.”

So, is this a beginning to something bigger? “Yes, I am in talks finalising some business plans in film and theatre. I'd like to use it as a medium to bring about change. Cross-over cinema interests me — much of what we have now on the international scene is from a Euro-centric point of view. I'd like to make films that introduce India to the world”

Her work with the Mijwan Welfare Society in Uttar Pradesh began with what was her first visit to a village. She calls it a “life-transforming experience.” She wanted to buy a motorbike for them, feeling that it could ease a lot of their work. That grew into a larger idea, of organising a fashion show to showcase talent and raise funds.

So, has the motorbike happened then? “Not yet,” she laughs, “but it will soon.”

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Arts, Entertainment & EventsMay 14, 2012