Emergence of digital media helps theater: Mahesh Dattani


15 Jun 2018

Digital media helps theater, doesn't threaten it: Mahesh Dattani

Playwright-actor Mahesh Dattani has said the emergence of digital media has helped theater and posed no threat to it.

"The days of hoardings and press advertisements are over," Dattani said.

"One can make trailers for smartphones, which have the potential of going viral. This will only help bring more people to the theater," the Sahitya Akademi Awardee said.

Artistic medium

Digital media gives theater personalities another artistic medium to experience

Digital media gives theater personalities another artistic medium to experience

Dattani said it is also possible to advertise one's play through social media these days.

Theater is dying because it is impossible for actors, designers and others attached to it to earn a living from it.

"Their migration to the screen gives them financial stability as also the experience of working in another artistic medium," the 68-year old thespian said.


Only a matter of time before a theater comeback

The 'Final Solutions' director said it was only a matter of time before more and more young people would come back "to the grassroots experience of theater."

"Just as khadi clothes, organic food, handcrafted items are making a comeback and at a premium, theater too will command a premium as it has elsewhere in the world," he said.

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'Theater faces no threat from Bollywood'

Asked if theater is facing any threat from the new age Bollywood cinema, Dattani said, "What theater offers is a completely different experience. It is like asking if the market price for a Picasso original has gone down with the advent of printing technology."

Double Deal Reloaded

Current production "Double Deal Reloaded" praised by European diplomats

Current production "Double Deal Reloaded" praised by European diplomats

About his current production 'Double Deal Reloaded', Dattani said, "It has only begun its run. We premiered (the play) to an exclusive audience of European diplomats and some of them were ecstatic in their praise of the production."

He expressed hope that the June 23 show of the play in Kolkata will be liked by the local audience.

Future plans

Dattani to direct play on Manipur civil rights against AFSPA

When asked about his future productions, Dattani said, "I am going to New York to direct an adaptation of Lorca's 'Blood Wedding' which will open at the South Asia Theater Festival in New Brunswick."

He added that he'll come back to direct a new play on the Manipur civil-rights movement against AFSPA and its leader Irom Sharmila. The play is written by Shanta Gokhale.

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