Theatre Theatre

Vikash Khurana on crafting theatre culture in Nagpur

A scene from the play Miss Sekhsaria

A scene from the play Miss Sekhsaria   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

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Stagecraft Theatre founder-director Vikash Khurana speaks about choosing theatre over family business

Theatre has always been Vikash Khurana’s priority. Even when he moved from a bustling Mumbai to small city Nagpur ( “not much theatre happening”) for personal reasons, he dreamt of creating a home for theatre. “In fact my brother Akash (actor Akash Khurana) stayed on in Mumbai and has made a name for himself in theatre and films but I had to move to Nagpur to take over my father’s business; It was a bad idea in retrospect,” recalls Vikash, director of the romantic comedy play Miss Sekhsaria (an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s ‘The Millionairess’) featuring Radhika Joshi and Varun Vij, staged as part of the Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation.

Vikash Khurana

Vikash Khurana   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Vikash straddled two worlds — business and theatre — in Nagpur but later quit business to concentrate on theatre. Initially his dream was to create a platform for theatre. He’s glad he played a part in the transformation of the theatre culture in Nagpur. It has been 16 years since he founded Stagecraft Theatre. “In the last six years, the group has been travelling and staging productions outside Nagpur,” he says, adding that his theatre journey started off as a lark. “I started because I missed doing theatre in Bombay but gradually we picked up and never realised we could carry on so far. It has been a satisfying and fruitful journey.”

Regional Marathi theatre was predominant for several years in Nagpur, until Stagecraft brought a refreshing change with its English plays. The wheel of change moved when the group was invited to festivals and competitions. “The culture of staging plays regularly was missing, so we tried to create an atmosphere for theatre which caters to different people.” With many shows, Stagecraft has became a prolific theatre group in Nagpur. “The other theatre groups took a cue from us and realised there is a life beyond competitions and festivals. These groups looked for venues to stage plays and groups doing Marathi, Gujarati and English plays were also invited from Bombay (now Mumbai) and Pune.”

Stagecraft is recognised outside Nagpur for its plays, including adaptations of seven Shakesparean plays. “Nagpur is home town so everyone likes what you churn out. But when you are appreciated outside, it feels amazing and through audience feedback, one does realise we have presented a good body of work.”

Thanks to his affiliation with Trinity College London, he also conducts acting and speaking courses for young students. Stagecraft holds workshops for school and college students, aspiring actors and senior artists when they put up popular plays and also explore new writing and acting. “Stagecraft is an experimental stage and a platform of performing arts. We hope to continue to do plays and make it durable for audiences. It is also important that our extremely passionate group keeps the flame alive. it is only passion that will keep us going.”

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 2:54:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/vikash-khurana-on-directing-romantic-comedy-play-miss-sekhsaria/article30075979.ece

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