In an attempt to not let the lockdown blues, dampen the spirits of the city and the artists further art is going online like never before. Theatre artists who had for so long vehemently shunned the online space in favour of an interactive and immersive audience experience, are finally opening up to Zoom plays and embracing the new normal. So much so, that even the theatre festivals are now going online, and the first among these is Thespo.
“With the lockdown forcing people to stay at home, many theatre enthusiasts and thespians across the country were getting increasingly frustrated, which led to Thespo creating a platform for these youngsters to showcase their talent while under lockdown,” says Quasar Padamsee, the driving force behind Thespo who now claims to be too to helm a youth festival! “I am officially an old man in this movement. Thespo is an under-25 movement, it is a movement by the youth for the youth,” he claims.
Aptly called the Thespo Tapri, this year’s festival aims to create a space for free-flowing casual chats. As part of Cheeni Kam, Stories Zyaada, 12 emerging artists, handpicked from 130-odd sign-ups from across the country, will perform seven to 10- minute long crisp pieces that the audiences can enjoy while sipping on a cup of piping hot tea at the comfort of their homes. Although it is a virtual experience, to stay true to the spirit of theatre, these are not recorded but will be performed live.
“The diminishing of the impact of the performance is a challenge that the performers of Thespo Tapri have responded to. They are working very hard to recreate the experience generated by watching a play in a physical space instead of a virtual one. While the medium is new, the members of the movement are excited about this new prospect and the possible creation of a new genre of theatre and storytelling,” says Quasar.
Anoushka Zaveri, a ‘Thespo Fellow’ elaborates the positives: “With the initiative going online has in fact widened our reach, which would not have been possible if the event was offline. I would not expect a participant from Assam to travel to Mumbai to participate, but with the internet, we have not only pushed the boundaries of storytelling but have created a platform for artists from the most obscure of locations.”
The first chapter of this year’s edition took place on October 3rd and it definitely saw many converts. The lineup included Azad Live (Hindi) by Aditya Tripathi, Patjhad ka Budhwar (Hindi) by Sagar Vashisht, Salt 1 (English) by Najrin Islam, Krantikari ki Katha (Hindi) by Robbin Singh, The Man with The Hand (English) by Tanvika Parlikar, and Saalumarada (Hindi) by Surabhi Dhamal.
The second edition is happening today from 6pm onwards and has an equally impressive lineup.
Tickets are available at Insider.in.