Rang Pandhari: Understanding Theatre – Behind the Curtains

Rang Pandhari is a Marathi chat show where theatre maestros are interviewed with the purpose to make the audience and folks willing to become a part of the industry understand theatre better. 

For the ones who are not a part of the industry but want to get into acting idealize this profession for the name, fame, and money it brings along. The blood and sweat the professionals put into their art often go unnoticed. In short, we look at the industry through rose-tinted glasses.

For the ones who seriously want to understand what goes into making a play and also, an artist should watch Rang Pandhari to not just polish themselves but also be mentally prepared to put in the work that is required to become an accomplished theatre artist. And yes, also to understand, that when it comes to theatre, there are NO SHORTCUTS. 

I am not the person who can sit still in front of the television straight for an hour or two and quietly watch a show. Even a person like me did not move while watching the artists speak about their experiences on Rang Pandhari. It’s that addictive, it’s that interesting, and it’s that knowledgeable. 

The first episode that I watched was of Rohini Hattangadi, both the episodes (1 hour each) back to back. What an episode! You usually pay hefty amounts to attend workshops where knowledge and experiences of this level are shared. But this show is giving you all of it for free. The best part about the show is that from seniors like Rohini Hattangadi, Suhas Joshi, and Dilip Prabhavalkar to talent from today’s time like Alok Rajwade, Umesh Kamat, and Mukta Barve are being interviewed. 

Hearing the actors of different generations speak lets you understand how the industry has changed over the years – from the way it used to function back then to the way it works now. It also tells you how actors’ approach has changed. How the seniors used to study their characters and how do the youngsters do that. You can then go on, question the right way and find out your own way of doing things if you are a theatre person. If not, just sit back and watch your favourite actors share their experiences so that the next time you watch them perform on stage, you are more kind to their efforts. 

Following are some of the “MAHARATIS” whose interviews you shouldn’t miss:

  1. Dilip Prabhavalkar
  2. Neena Kulkarni
  3. Bharat Jadhav
  4. Vikram Gokhale
  5. Swati Chitnis
  6. Sukanya Kulkarni

I cannot end this post without mentioning the show’s host, Madhurani Prabhulkar. What a fab job she is doing. I have seen great shows been wasted just because the host doesn’t know where to start and where to stop. They either do not speak at the right time or do not let the artists speak at the right time. In both scenarios, you lose interest in the show. But Madhurani has such good command on what she is doing that it makes Rang Pandhari truly a ‘knowledge transfer’ show. She is genuinely interested in listening to what the other person has to say or share with her and the audience. She literally hands over that interest to you through her questions and also mannerisms which is why it becomes difficult for you to not get involved in the friendly chit-chat. 

How I wish we have more shows like this in the future. It would help a lot of people to prepare well to step into the industry. 

Where to Watch? YouTube

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