Actor Shernaz Patel speaks about supervising the transition of theatre to learn a web based viewers at Aadyam, and what this shift means to the artform’s future

Shernaz Patel holds on to the reminiscence of the final time she set foot on stage, in early March this yr in Australia, to carry out The Siddhus of Upper Juhu. The world had but to get up to the brutality of COVID-19 at that time, and now greater than six months after theatres shut down attributable to lockdown, she reminisces: “I miss the smell of theatre.”

The veteran actor who made her theatre debut with The Diary of Anne Frank in 1984, is now set to curate the primary ever digital version of Aadyam, the theatre wing of Aditya Birla group. As the group’s inventive director, Shernaz is helming the efforts to carry stage to display by presenting three rehearsed and recorded performs in November for a worldwide viewers.

“It’s the first time Aadyam is going digital,” says Shernaz, including, “We are not doing any new plays. We have chosen three plays that have already been performed under Aadyam to be shot and put online.”

Under regular circumstances, she would have been sifting via proposals to shortlist performs for efficiency. This yr, though a shortlist was ready, the performs couldn’t be realised. Shernaz insists that in contrast to performing through Zoom, Aadyam’s focus stays on rehearsing and capturing the performs on stage earlier than streaming for audiences on-line. “We wanted to shoot the plays in a professional manner. We will be going into St Andrews auditorium shooting with a multi-camera setup. Rehearsals within the commissioned theatre groups have begun,” she explains, including that it is very important “find plays that work for this medium”.

Camera pleasant

From the entire gamut, three performs that includes a mixture of languages, genres and kinds that work properly for digital camera, have been chosen — Bandish 20-20,000 Hz (Hindi), I Don’t Like It, As You Like It (English) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (English). “Sometimes, there are plays that leave a lot to the imagination where the audience is working as hard as the actors to build the story. Then, there are others with very complicated setups which would require a lot of technology. There are many such plays that really just need to be enjoyed in an auditorium. Taking them online would be an injustice,” she says, explaining the rationale behind selecting performs that work for the digital camera.

For performers, this inevitable shift from stage to display is extraordinarily tough, Shernaz provides. “We (performers) are used to feeding off each other. So that’s gone. Now, you are literally looking at that red light on the camera and pretending as if you are talking to the other person. It is really hard to adjust to that. But, what choice do we have?,” she says. Having stated that, she provides that for many who are experimenting with type and attempting new issues, having an area to specific themselves creatively, is essential.

On that word, the actor can also be of the opinion that digital theatre is right here to remain. “What I would like to see are auditoriums with multi-camera setups, where I can pay and shoot a play for the day. It then becomes content that can be shared with countries or people that you might not be able to access otherwise. A lot of theatres internationally are already doing this. I am hoping it comes here. If the infrastructure is in place, we would definitely able to pull it off,” she provides.

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