Roshan Abbas, actor, theatre director and TV and radio host: We came up with #StageBadelga for every artiste not able to perform as they earlier did. The ‘stage’ is no longer the wood-panelled auditorium with synchronised lighting. The new stage is a screen in your hand—your phone, laptop etc. We are trying to figure out how to do a play on Zoom, get people to donate using Facebook or YouTube and be interactive during online sessions.
We also came up with stayIN aLIVE, an artiste-support platform with over 60 artistes and non-stop 24 hours of content across multiple platforms. Novel viruses call for novel solutions, so we decided to come together. We will organise sessions on topics ranging from fitness to mental health and networking. These will help people get the right mentorship and learn how to fund their work. We will also showcase the success stories of artistes during this time. After that, it will be more like a festival with weekly sessions, depending on artistes’ needs.
Our first aim is to make sure that at least 1,000 artistes become a part of stayIN aLIVE and entertain audiences. We also want to collect funds, which can be dispersed through the stayIN aLIVE foundation for the emergency needs of artistes. Many countries have cultural support systems and we too need one.
—As told to Lachmi Deb Roy