Geetanjali Kulkarni has been one of the most popular names when it comes to films, TV and OTT. While she has done a lot of work in cinema, she has always been a strong advocate of theatres. She has never shied away from talking about how theatres help us grow as a society. She was recently seen in the Zee Theatre play ‘Piya Behrupriya’.
As people all over celebrate World Theatre Day On March 27, Geetanjali Kulkarni speaks to Prateek Sur about the importance of theatre in today’s world. She also gives an insight into her experience in theatres. Excerpts from the candid chat:
What is the importance of theatre according to you?
I think theatre is very important because it's a very organic medium of expression for humanity and it is the oldest form of telling stories. Even when language was not developed, through sounds, body language, expressions, and gestures, the human race always wanted to share their experiences and stories, and it is also very important in today's time because it channelises our emotions, it gives a way to our expression, questioning ourselves, society, the system, relationships, traditions. So, I think that catharsis is needed for any society.
How is the medium adapting to changing times and changes in the consumption of entertainment today?
It's a very simple and easy way of expressing and telling the story. It just needs one performer and one spectator and you do theatre, there is no need for anything else. So, I think it is more important in today's time when we are very much dependent on technology and modern appliances. So today theatre and live performance have become more important for us.
What message would you give to your audience on world theatre day?
I think that theatre is an important part of our life. We tell stories from our childhood. We listen to the stories. So, theatre and its expression are very organic to the human race. It doesn't need any technology or any other modern amenities to do theatre. It can be done anywhere and I think it helps society to channel many emotions. Its live performances are very necessary, I feel, for a healthy community, so we should do theatre in schools and colleges, at home, in our community centres. It's a wonderful way to channel society as emotions, I feel.
Would you agree that theatre is more powerful in terms of its impact on the minds of the audiences vs any other medium?
It leaves an impact on the audience. I have worked with children, and to read and to write, we used theatre as a medium and it not only helps to connect with the audience. It creates that world and that world helps for catharsis. It leaves an impact. In fact, there are many studies that also say that theatre has helped them in many different ways, helped people going through depression, and they've done theatre with criminals in jails and it has helped them. So, I think it's a very good way of channelizing your emotions.
Do you think theatre makes more space for radical, feminist stories than cinema?
I don't know whether it gives more space for radical or feminist stories or not than cinema. It depends on who does it, why you do theatre and where you do theatre, if you are doing political theatre if you're doing theatre for the community, then it can create space for questioning the system, for raising issues, for raising voice, but not necessarily it always does that and not necessarily cinema doesn't do that. There are many films which have raised an issue about politics in it, many films that voice for human rights or women's rights, but as I said, theatre is not an expensive medium, it is easier to do theatre, it has the capacity to be more, to reach out to people without much of investment, financially, it is more viable. So, it has the power, to reach out to communities, to reach out to people, to reach out to children and it can be done anywhere. So, I think that's why theatre has that power. Cinema, because it's dependent on a lot of things, it is difficult to make a film. Theatre is more accessible, more viable, and more available. That's why it has the capacity to raise its voice, against any violation of human rights or any violation of women's rights, so it has that capacity.