Interview Two days before reprising the play 'Ji Jaisi Aapki Marzi', Saurabh Gharipurikar is gung-ho about Udaan’s ‘Theatre-at-your-place’ initiative

Saurabh Gharipurikar’s flight of dreams took off when he attended his first theatre workshop as a teenager. “I was always interested in drama,” says Saurabh of Udaan Performing Arts as he makes himself comfortable. In two days, he will be on stage at Lamakaan but behind the curtains directing the Hindi play Ji Jaisi Aapki Marzi (to be staged on September 29). The play written by Nadira Babbar tells the story of four women from different strata of society. But has the play not been staged earlier? “Yes,” he says emphatically

. “A play starts developing only after its sixth show. The actors get free with their movements and dialogues. Even when you wake them up in the middle of night, they will able to recite their lines.”

Saurabh says Udaan’s thrust has always been on quality rather than quantity. “Having a new production every month is not our priority. With each show, we aim to improve ourselves and do differently, be it in sets or lighting. Recently, we staged Miya Biwi (which also we had staged earlier) and had three chairs and a curtain as a set. Doing new productions doesn’t mean that we dump our previous productions which gave us name, fame and confidence,” he elaborates and adds, “It hurts when someone casually says ‘ kitne baar karooge yeh play .’ They comment without checking how the play has been improvised.”

Saurabh had always wanted to make a career in acting and worked towards it. He acted in television serials for Doordarshan and was seen in short films and in a serial on ETV Marathi. The group ‘Udaan’ was founded to give wings to theatre dreams for actors in the city. “From my personal experience, I understand how budding actors and directors wait for an opportunity to make a mark. With a theatre group everyone gets a chance to make their dreams a reality,” he says. The group was named ‘Udaan’ after Saurabh casually saw a bird flying.

“The idea was to fly with our dreams and go beyond the horizon.”

Saurabh works as a Hindi teacher at a school in Kondapur and his evenings are spent in rehearsals. The group has staged 14 productions till date and is looking forward to its ‘Theatre at your place’ initiative.

“After December, we plan to introduce this idea in Hyderabad and take theatre to the doorstep of theatre lovers. If someone is interested in acting, they can approach us and our team will land at their house/apartment and train them for a cost. From warm up and theatrical exercises to games and improvisations, they will be taught nuances of acting according to their age. After the training session, the actors will be able to stage the production too.”

NEERAJA MURTHY

Doing new productions doesn’t mean that we dump our previous productions which gave us name, fame and confidence

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