Performing on stage requires a lot of practice: Radhika Deshpande

Theatre has always had a special place in the hearts of the Marathi artistes as well as audience. A lot of actors in the industry are balancing their film and TV commitments while dedicating time to theatre as well. Among these is actress Radhika Deshpande, who is attempting a biopic on stage with her latest production Yog Tapasvi Guru based on Yoga guru BKS Iyengar. In a quick chat with us, the actress shares details about the play, her dedication towards theatre and more. Exceprts:
Tell us about your association with the stage.
I always wanted to do something in the field of theatre. I was attracted to it since a very young age. Keeping this mind, I started Radhika Creations three years ago in Pune, with an aim to bring theatre into the school curriculum since it wasn’t as popular as music or dance. I felt the need to prepare a proper syllabus that caters to drama and went ahead doing a three-year programme. Theatre teaches life-skills. It is very important for an individual to pursue it at least for a few years because it shapes various aspects of your personality. It helps you overcome stage-fright and boosts your communication skills.
Who do you consider your role model in the field?
My father. He is my guru. I remember at the age of 13, my father asked me if I could choreograph a skit and a dance and voila! There it was, my first role as an instructor. I realised that I wanted to teach but wasn’t prepared then. For someone to teach art, he/ she needs to have profound knowledge about it and that takes time.
How are acting on stage and on screen different?
While acting in front of the camera, you have the option of giving retakes and perfecting the expression of scene. Theatre doesn’t give you that privilege. If you forget something, you just move on with it. You have to go with the flow of emotions to present something on stage. Performing on stage requires a lot of practice.
Between acting and producing, what do you prefer?
That’s a tricky one. I would say an actor who is a producer. An ‘acting producer’ would be the word. I love acting but I feel we need good producers in children’s theatre to nurture talent at a young age. I think I can do that well.
Tell us about Yog Tapasvi Iyengar?
The play is a biopic that present events from the life of Iyengar guruji on stage. It is a Hindi play and you can expect interesting yoga choreography throughout. Avanish Ashtaputre and Sankalp Mahableshwarkar play the young and adult versions of Iyengar in the play. A total of 41 characters will be portrayed by a team of 25 artistes over the 2 hours and 10 minutes duration of the play. Producing and executing it was a challenge and I hope it reaches a global audience.
Why this topic?
I was influenced by Iyengar’s aura and the way he lived his life. Moreover, the Padmabhushan awardee was a resident of Pune and had travelled the world to spread awareness about yoga. Although well-known to all yoga practitioners and most non-practitioners too, the play offers an entirely unique perspective of guruji’s gripping story and transforming moments from his life. I was a student of Iyengar guruji and have been influenced by his life and principles.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here