Recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi in acting, director, script and screenplay writer Amitabh Srivastav is looked up to as a ‘complete artiste’.
Credited with leading roles in over 60 plays with countless stage shows, National School of Drama Delhi (NSD) alumnus Srivastava has made his presence felt in 10 TV serials, including Tamas, besides feature films such as Ek Ruka Hua Faisla and Aakrosh, among others.
In Chandigarh to lead the Sambhav Art Group, Delhi, which is presenting the play Khol Do (based on Sadat Hasan Manto’s stories), the artiste shares his views on theatre.
On the essential traits of a theatre actor, Srivastav maintained that an ideal actor should ensure that he brings out the deepest feelings of his character, while remaining within the parameters of the play. “No actor is greater than the play or the art,” says he.
Holding a master’s degree in economics and a diploma in dramatics from NSD, Srivastav has also adapted and translated plays such as The Fool by Edward Bond, The Tempest by Shakespeare, Good Woman of Setzuan by Brecht and Hedda Gabler by Ibsen, among others. He is, however, known for writing screenplays for films such as Hey Ram, Abhay and White Rainbow.
Agreeing to the belief that actors are born and not made, Srivastav believes that training is must to chisel one’s raw talent, and to awaken the dormant abilities of an actor. Ask him about the necessity of opening more branches of NSD in the country and he informs, “Though the final decision is in the government’s hands, there seems to be a proposal to establish five NSD centers in India, one of them being in Bangalore, which is in process of getting operational even before the completion of its structure.”