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I found my calling in theatre: Sanjna

I found my calling in theatre: Sanjna
Highlights

She represents the confluence of two vibrant theatre traditions: Indian and Shakespearean. With a legacy of cinema and stage, it seems only natural that Sanjna Kapoor has found her calling in theatre. Speaking at the Third Bimal Roy Memorial Lecture, organised by The Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication and the Bimal Roy family,

She represents the confluence of two vibrant theatre traditions: Indian and Shakespearean. With a legacy of cinema and stage, it seems only natural that Sanjna Kapoor has found her calling in theatre. Speaking at the Third Bimal Roy Memorial Lecture, organised by The Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication and the Bimal Roy family, Sanjna Kapoor, traced the history of the iconic Prithvi Theatre at Mumbai and her journey as a theatre activist.

“I am in the world of theatre like many others because... I have to. It is the very essence of our lives that provokes us to dream the unthinkable and often realise these dreams.” She walked the audience through her own induction, inspirations and work in theatre. “For me it all begins with this gentleman, Geoffrey Kendal, my maternal grandfather. His passion for theatre made him travel all the way from England to India. The stories of his theatre company’s travel and adventure inspired me to join the world of theatre.”

Sanjna Kapoor

After the demise of Prithviraj Kapoor, Sanjna’s parents Jennifer and Shashi Kapoor started the Prithvi Theatre, struggling to make a go of it for the first five years. “Prithvi Theatre started as a small place but captured everybody’s imagination because of the ambience and a wide variety of performances by various groups from all over the country and abroad. Audience engagement with the art is equally important and this was also imbibed during the growth stage of Prithvi Theatre.

“Management of the arts is what makes things come alive, makes possibilities blossom, this has been the prime motivation for my continued association with the theatre,” she added. “It sad that not a single auditorium is dedicated for theatre, dance, music or puppetry even in Delhi,” lamented Sanjna.

She also spoke about the new developments in India with reference to emerging theatres like Adishakti’s Laboratory and Performing Space in Pondicherry, The Seagull Theatre’s Performance and Workshop Space in Guwahati and The Jana Natya Manch in Delhi, which have emerged as new examples for spreading theatre in the country.

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