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Theatre as a lifestyle

Theatre is not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. This was evident when HT City interacted with students of various institutes of Punjab about the relevance of theatre in their lives. While for some it is a way to display one’s talents and overcoming stressful situations, for others it acts as a mirror to the society.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 27, 2015 11:26 IST
Students-of-Ludhiana-s-GADVASU-and-PAU-believe-theatre-goes-a-long-way-in-changing-the-mindset-of-society-Sikander-Singh-Chopra-HT
Students-of-Ludhiana-s-GADVASU-and-PAU-believe-theatre-goes-a-long-way-in-changing-the-mindset-of-society-Sikander-Singh-Chopra-HT

Theatre is not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. This was evident when HT City interacted with students of various institutes of Punjab about the relevance of theatre in their lives. While for some it is a way to display one’s talents and overcoming stressful situations, for others it acts as a mirror to the society.


For students of Ludhiana’s Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), theatre silently infuses many virtues in an artist and goes a long way in changing the mindset of the society. For Navjot Singh, 21, and Sharandeep Kaur, 22, theatre shows the mirror to the society but with an aim of showing them the right path to ensure transformation. On the other hand, Sarabjeet Singh, 24, adds, “Theatre is one of the most powerful mediums to bring positive change in this world but despite that our government has not done much to foster its status. How about introducing workshops in colleges and universities by National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi, which is allocated a certain amount by the government each year?”

For Narjeet Singh, 24, who has been declared as the ‘best theatre artist’ for the past three years at PAU’s youth festival; professional theatre directors who are invited during youth festivals kill the creativity of the students and are never open for any feedbacks. “Universities pay a hefty amount to these directors who do not let our creativity breathe. Why can’t we get chance to direct our plays on our own or at least the directors should give us chance to express ourselves as any art from has the right to freedom,” says Singh.

Surinder Arora, 28, student of masters in theatre at Panjab University, Chandigarh, feels people are less receptive to theatre as compared to other metro cities. “One comes across empty auditoriums at plays performed by international theatre groups as well. This can be very discouraging for the theatre scene here and at the same time also for the artists who come from far off places to perform,” says Arora.

Arora’s friend, Himanshu Dwivedi, 27, adds “I think it is vital to receive training for those who wish to make it big in theatre.. Anupam Kher, Naseerudin Shah and Om Puri are fine examples of people who took the educational path. Theatre should also be taught in all educational institutions including schools as it also enhances one’s over all personality.”

Students of DAV College, Jalandhar, Ankush Dhawan, 21, and Davinder Bhagat, 22, maintain that there is a need for a dedicated theatre TV channel. “We should encourage more theatre festivals and the government should also give theatre artists incentives as lack of resources has always been a major concern in the field,” says Bhagat.

Interestingly, some of the most famous comedians today including Kapil Sharma, Bharti Singh, Rajeev Thakur, Chandan Prabharkar and Sudesh Lehri belong to Amritsar. Before, they landed on television they all were active in the Holy City’s most prestigious theatre –Punjab Naatshala which was setup about 17 years ago. “Over the years, the city has also become home to many theatre academies and theatre groups that have given birth to more opportunities,” share artists Mandeep Ghai (26) and Sudesh Winkle (35) who perform regularly at the Punjab Naatshala. Like other theatre lovers, these young ones wish that theatre continues to be not only a thriving form of entertainment for all, but also acts as catalyst of change in the society.

Theatre is not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. This was evident when HT City interacted with students of various institutes of Punjab about the relevance of theatre in their lives. While for some it is a way to display one’s talents and overcoming stressful situations, for others it acts as a mirror to the society.