Theatre for the intellectuals, not mass entertainment: Tisca Chopra

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Mumbai (IANS) Actress Tisca Chopra says that theatre is a niche art form of the intellectuals and not a means of mass entertainment.

“Normally, it’s of the intellectuals, it’s not mass entertainment as a maximum of 1,000-2,000 people can watch it. Its impact is very powerful in transforming your thought… It’s always been a niche art form, it’s never been a massy art form,” said Tisca about theatre at the theatre festival “Khidkiyaan”..

“Stella Adler, a renowned acting coach from New York, had said that theatre is an x-ray of the society to know what is going on in the society at that time. It’s a mirror which we show ourselves, be it political or other aspects, there are several movements and thought processes that reach the society through theatre.”

Tisca has performed in theatre In Delhi during her college days. She then landed in Mumbai and learned acting from theatre artists such as Naseeruddin Shah and Feroz Abbas Khan. She has acted in a Pulitzer Award winning play “Dinner With Friends” and other plays such as “Mahatma vs Gandhi”, “All The Best” and “Insha Allah”.

She also said she was a big fan of Shah’s plays based on Manto and Ismat Chughtai and his recent one, “The Walk In The Woods”. She also is trying to convince him since many years to let her act in a play with him, for which she is still waiting.

About difference between acting in theatre and films, she said: “Theatre is that platform where you listen such truths which perhaps you won’t be able to listen in films.”

“In theatre, you have to perform at one go, a 70-90 minute play. Your voice should reach the last row, so it’s crucial that your voice has that much power and that your memory is sharp and your body is agile. You have to be extremely fit to be a theatre actor – fit not just in your body but also in your mind and your craft,” she added.

“For film acting, it’s all right even if you act a bit lethargic because it’s a combination of numerous cut parts and the final product looks ‘wow!’ but the actual ‘wow!’ factor is in theatre,” said Tisca.

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