“I am a Delhiwaali completely,” shares actor and director Lillete Dubey and credits the city in helping her hone her dramatic skills. Although she moved to Mumbai in 1996, her love for Delhi has remained intact. “I have very strong roots in the Capital. As far as theatre is concerned, it is here, I learned my craft. Kamani was my stomping ground for years,” she says.
However, the dramatics society of her Delhi University college days helped her evolve as an actor. “I joined Delhi University, Lady Shri Ram College for Women in ‘71. We had an active dramatics society, but we did like one play in a year. I used to hang out in Stephen’s mostly —it was not co-ed then and they were always looking for girls who can act. There, we established Theatre Action Group and Shah Rukh (Khan), Manoj (Bajpayee) became a part of the group much later,” says the actor, who has featured in films such as Monsoon Wedding (2001), Kal Ho Na Ho (2003).
“I can’t do any play; it has to have much more meaning, relevance and depth. I, unconsciously gravitate towards strong female characters,” she adds. Dubey has previously directed plays such as Gauhar, 9 Parts of Desire and is determined to direct a feature next year.
The actor, will be next seen in the Mahesh Dattani’s play 30 Days In September to be staged in Gurgaon tonight, that explores issues of child sexual abuse and a fractured relationship between mother and daughter. “The play is tight and gripping and has come out of a very authentic place, meaning it’s based on some actual stories. I am a woman with two girls and this subject interests me a lot. I said to Dattani, ‘I’d do it as long as it’s not preachy.’ Through the play, we will be reflecting what is happening around us. It’s particularly special as my daughter is playing the role,” she says.
For Dubey, all that matters is the story of the play she chooses to direct. “I do every play of mine with a pure intention. I don’t think commercially or how many shows it’ll do.” she adds.
Popular for her roles in Monsoon Wedding(2001, Kal Ho Na Ho(2003), Dubey is also determined to direct a feature next year.“As you grow older, it goes ulta. You feel time is running short and the clock is ticking loudly. Since It’s been twenty five years with theatre. I am very keen to try my hand at directing a feature now,” she concludes.
- What: 30 Days In September
- Where: Epicentre,Sector 44,Gurgaon
- When: December 10
- Timings: 7.30pm
- Nearest metro station: Huda City Centre on yellow line