Heard of Digital Theatres? Look up Green Room Diaries!

Posted on 27 April, 2016 by Team Wishberry

Green-room-diaries-2 As amazing an experience as both working in theatre and watching theatre performances is, it’s no news that the theatre circuit in India is perhaps the most underrepresented of all arts. For a country with an almost 2000-year old theatre tradition, the amount of awareness most have about the various theatre groups and plays in the country, is rather questionable. But, here to change all that and to celebrate the pure love for theatre is Ankit Bakshi with his YouTube series called Green Room Diaries. Ankit is the founder of Laputa, a Hyderabad-based video production company. While he’s made more than a hundred corporate films for top companies like Google, Microsoft, Infosys and Trident, it is theatre where his heart and soul truly reside. In fact, he has been dabbling in different aspects of theatre for over five years now. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before he brought about the perfect marriage of his passion and his expertise, of theatre and technology to create a series that’s equal parts interesting and heartwarming (and might we add, the need of the hour!). Green Room Diaries, basically, is a series of video interviews with theatre artists about their foray into this space, their journey so far, their thoughts on the future of theatre in India and what they feel about the craft. Ankit adds, “My greatest hope is that these videos inspire aspiring actors to pursue theatre, and give audience an understanding of what goes into making a play”. Green Room diaries stems from the basic need to generate awareness about theatre and to bring to light that yes, a union of theatre and digital tools is possible. On asking him what inspired him and spurred him to take the big step forward, he tells us, “India is a country of valuable art and culture, but unfortunately theatre does not receive much financial support. I was intrigued to see how a one-minute video sketch on YouTube could help a standup comedian get a full house at his live performance. Similarly, a musician releases his EP on SoundCloud and that’s how he is discovered. Where do theatre artists go? It seemed only natural to leverage the internet for theatre”. This thought led Ankit to start Break a Leg! – An initiative that aims to catalyze different online channels and develop innovative content to promote theatre. Green Room Diaries is the first property of this initiative. So far, the video series has featured beautifully insightful conversations with awesomely talented theatre artists like Shernaz Patel, Rajit Kapur, Ira Dubey, Shishir Sharma and Hussain Dalal among many others. Green-room-diaries Quite obviously, no journey is complete without its fair share of challenges. According to Ankit, “One of the biggest challenges that we’re facing right now in funding. Since this is an entirely volunteer driven assignment, we face restrictions on the number of artists we can cover. There are so many wonderful artists who are doing some fantastic theatre across the country! But unfortunately, we are unable to feature them all due to lack of funds.” Nevertheless, as is the case with every creative junkie working on a passion project, Ankit continues to rally on, with help from an equally passionate team. He says, “I have been fortunate and immensely blessed to have friends and other like-minded filmmakers, who have stepped forward and agreed to volunteer with me!” One of the qualities that makes the series truly special and interesting is that many of the artists featured are known faces on TV, but not many know about their theatre background. Sharing that side of their story is an interesting process. So what has the response been like? “The response has been very encouraging! Most artists and viewers liked what they say and want to see more. The series may have a very humble beginning, but we aim to grow organically and want to make sure that every subscriber either rediscovers his love for theatre or gains a whole new love for it. It is inspiring to see how one artist’s journey touches so many out there. Many viewers have also suggested artists they would like to see. It’s very exciting!” says Ankit.   While we cannot wait to see what more amazing things this group goes on to do with digital innovations for theatre, for Ankit, “To be accepted and appreciated by the theatre fraternity and its audiences is a highlight in itself!” Check out some of their interviews: With Ira Dubey With Shishir Sharma With Shernaz Patel Watch all the amazing videos on their YouTube channel and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE! Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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