It’s no surprise that theatre professionals feel most at home on a stage. But with necessity being the mother of invention, Sanchari Theatre finally took the digital route too last month. Every Monday, they post a video of a new workshop (recorded the previous week) as part of their Abhyasa Malike series. On Saturdays, they upload videos of old productions staged over the years.
N Mangala, the founder of the 15-year-old theatre production house, says the pandemic has not spared the mental state of anyone, theatre artistes included. “For the last four months, they have had nothing to do. So we started doing these workshops online. On Mondays, we put out fresh content that we record for our YouTube channel,” says Mangala, who has been a theatre practitioner for 31 years. The latest video uploaded for this series is on a story called Mutthu, an Arabic story that was translated to Kannada by S Divakar. The story was written by Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz, who won the Noble Prize in 1988 for his literary work.
Taking advantage of the digital medium, the group is reviving old productions as well. On Saturdays, they put up plays they had recorded in the past. “Since 2012, we have done two productions for children every year. We have recorded all those plays and are now putting it out for people to enjoy again,” says Mangala, who hopes that the children who were a part of the play will enjoy seeing themselves from their younger days on stage.
Sanchari, which has been a go-to place for theatre lovers in the city, has also seen visiting faculty like theatre persons Prasanna, Sihi Kahi Chandru, Arun Sagar and Rangayana Raghu. While theatre production houses have been going online for a while now, it took Sanchari some time to join the bandwagon. Mangala, 56, says she was never in favour of theatre being “watched on a screen” but had to change her mind. “Theatre is an art form that needs one to respond with all five sensory organs. I have never liked the idea of learning this art form online. That’s why till now I didn’t do any online classes. But the situation outside is so bad that I don’t want to take chances with anyone, especially children,” she says.