Sanjna Kapoor, a culture activist, has been involved with the theatre industry since 1990. A part of the jury for the Competition International Shorts category at the 18th International Children’s Film Festival taking place in the city, she has also been conducting the theatre workshop for children at the Jawahar Bal Bhavan, Public Gardens. Talking to City Express at the conclusion of the workshop, she tells us what theatre means to her.
“This is my first association with the film festival. When they organisers had invited me to conduct my workshop at this festival, I was delighted. There was also the added thrill that my son, Hamir, is a member of the child jury for Competition International Shorts category,” she shares.
Having worked with children for many years now, the 46-year-old explains her close association with them. “I have been working with children for over 30 years now and it has been incredible. The idea is for them to fall in love with the art and bring yourself out. In fact, a child had once said to that in theatre, one can do so many things and still be themselves. That is exactly what it is about,” she says.
Sanjna Kapoor has been heading the illustrious Prithvi theatre in Mumbai since her association with the craft. Most recently, she initiated an India theatre forum called Junoon, which is an all-India network of theatre practitioners. The forum is her platform to take her innovations in theater to audiences beyond Prithvi. “We want to build up our audience. It is more of a process than content driven. We want to see the world through theatre. We want theatre to be an essential part of our lives, just like air, water and sunlight,” she says smiling.
Shedding more light on the subject, she says, “What is really important about theatre is the communal stage. You are sitting in a dark space watching complete strangers act; the power of that is extraordinary.”
While many thespians have blurred the lines between cinema and theatre and have managed to skip back and forth effortlessly, Sanjna clarifies that the two are completely different mediums. “Theatre is a live act and for that you have to keep rehearsing. It is very different from acting in films.”
Talking about her focus on children, she says it isn’t just about kids acting in plays but also adults performing for children. “Our motive is getting groups of adults to do quality work for children. Theatre makes you see so much more; even an eight year-old child can be played by an adult. That’s the magic of theatre,” she concludes with an almost child-like enthusiasm.