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Seizing the moment

ANJANA RAJAN
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CHATLINE Tripurari Sharma, recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for direction, shares her thoughts with ANJANA RAJAN on a journey called theatre

By merely looking at the mild mannered Tripurari Sharma you might not realise the breadth of her accomplishments. Nor would you be likely to espy in her soothing tones the hints of subversion that set her off on her theatre journey. But then theatre, says Tripurari, who received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award — 2012 for direction, is “the unexpected — That which suddenly surprises you.”

So her soft spoken ways have never been a hindrance in raising a voice against social ills, be it injustice, ignorance or damaged human relationships. Her play “Shaayar…Shutter Down” on the theme of loneliness and the compromises people make to fit in with the mechanical demands of urban ‘progress’ will be presented at the ongoing SNA Awards Festival of Music, Dance and Drama this Tuesday.

A recipient of the Safdar Hashmi Award from the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Sanskriti Puraskar among other honours, Tripurari was recently given additional charge as Acting Director of the National School of Drama, “till it is seen to be necessary”, though she says she is “essentially a Professor of Acting”. Some believe acting is inborn and cannot be taught. But for this Delhi University literature graduate, acting, like the entire process of theatre, is not so much a skill to acquire as a route to liberation.

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