How Indian theatre is warming up to social media
Posted on 28 February, 2017 by Team Wishberry
Last year, we had observed that the European theatre scenario is using the digital age to its fullest to promote theatre, and had also expressed disappointment at the lack of great usage of the digital platform to promote the incredible and vast Indian theatre scenario.
Well, around the same time, it happened so that Indian theatre woke up to what they considered a monster and befriended the new-age digital media.
Here are a few notable things that have been done so far (we are hoping for a lot more in the coming years).
Amar Photo Studio
Marathi play Amar Photo Studio boasts of a cast which is supremely popular from television. They used the cast’s popularity to run a campaign before announcing the play itself.
The production house teamed with a bunch of Marathi actors, directors and other professionals from film, TV and theatre, and shared their passport size pictures from younger days. They challenged their colleagues to do the same, thus making a chain of people challenging each other to share their passport size pictures of yesteryear with the hashtag ‘#AmarPhotoStudio’.
This resulted in their fans giving each other similar challenges, and the hashtag went viral for a day or two. Everyone who is a fan of Marathi film, theatre and TV was aware of the words ‘Amar Photo Studio’. About a week or so later, they revealed that something was cooking and declared a date of the announcement of something special. When they announced the new play titled ‘Amar Photo Studio’ there was already a hype around it and that ensured that their shows go housefull till date.
Many such small things have been carried out in the past one year or so. But, this has to be the most successful out of those. It is when thespians keep doing innovative stuff online that the younger generation, which does spend more time on social media, will keep flocking theatres to watch plays.
CinePlay brings the magic of classic theatre to the comfort of our homes through the power of cinema. This is a cinematic representation of classic plays. The story kept the same, but presented in a slightly different way. The beauty lies in the fact that the crux, the core of it remains loyal to the theatrical format. Complete with supreme performances, great direction, and a kickass vibe, CinePlay makes perfect sense for the plays which aren’t done as regularly these days, but are considered legendary. It is also for those nights or days when you want the experience of theatre but there isn’t a good show in town.
Things like these are big in the Western world. That world has gone ahead and now indulges in a webcast across the world, or screenings of classics from their world. We will get there slowly, and something like a CinePlay is a great start in that direction.
One of the best ways to make sure a play reaches the audience online is making a teaser/promo/trailer for the play like they make for films.
Such a promo campaign was employed by the play Karl Marx in Kalbadevi to promote the launch of the originally Gujarati play in Hinglish. Ideas Unlimited, the production house, realised that they are opening up to a wider audience with the shift in the language of the play. They made promos which revolved around Karl Marx’s popular statements in the modern world. Satchit Puranik, who plays the socialist leader, was seen in various situations with Marx’s statements hovering in the air. The short, mute videos popularised the play and had their subsequent shows house-full.
Such campaigns can be easily employed by productions big and small considering the overlapping of theatre and film professionals.
Are there more of such campaigns that we missed? Do make us more aware in the comment section below.