Amid fears of a third wave, the artists move on keeping an eye on the numbers
Theatre in Hyderabad’s monsoon calendar looks promising. There is relief among the artists who are treading with caution as they gear up to perform live. Amid the excitement, fear of a third wave persists. It has been more than a year of pandemic-induced emotional and financial distress for the city’s theatre artists and crew with no shows. A few production houses shifted online, showcasing plays, drama reading, solo acts, monologues, poetry recitations and streaming recorded plays.
There is a sense of deja vu among artistes Babli Yadav and Ratika Sant Keswani of Sutradhar as the duo get ready to present two solo acts Dushalla and Weekend at Nishumbita’s new cultural space on July 31 and August 1. The performances were planned for World Theatre Day in March but had to be canceled a day before the event as a member tested COVID-19 positive. “It was love’s labor lost but now we are looking forward and hoping this one will be without hiccups,” says director Vinay Varma.
“Nothing beats the magic of performing live,” says 75-year-old Aveti Rammohan of Surabhi theatre. He and his team of 52 actors staged Mayabazaar, Bala Nagamma, Bhakta Prahalada and Srinivasa Kalyanam at Ravindra Bharathi in the second week of July. Performing with new mandates of wearing a mask (during rehearsals), social distancing and frequent sanitisation of the auditorium, the septuagenarian says, “It has been a year and a half since we put on make-up for a live performance. We were pleasantly surprised at the 300-strong audience.”
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