In November last year, Sanjna Kapoor left many stunned when she announced her plans to move on from Prithvi Theatre, after two decades, to start work on her new production company, Junoon.
True to its name Junoon has become her passion, and she now plans to use it to take theatre to smaller cities in India. Kapoor, with her associate of 10 years, Sameera Iyengar and three others (Ayaz Ansari, Satyam Viswanath and Swati Apte) gathered at Horniman’s Circle on Wednesday evening, where they spoke to a gathering of theatre people about their plans.
Talking about the switch, Kapoor said, “It’s wonderful and painful, but in the end there’ll be a great creation.” Besides reviving the culture of touring theatre groups in India, Junoon plans to make it more accessible and will work towards bringing theatre closer to school children.
“Like-minded people who share the vision of a world energised and engaged with the arts make up Junoon. We are looking to inject arts into Indian lives,” said Iyengar.
This April, Junoon will find its theatrical beginnings with Arts At Play, a programme focusing on bringing performance arts closer to youth in schools.
“Naseeruddin Shah once told me how he hated his boarding school. The only thing that kept him going was my grandparents’ Shakespearean Company, which performed there once a year. We want to bring this magic to children here,” said Kapoor. Her company will organise a series of workshops for students from April 14, at Kandvili, Juhu, Khar, Mahtunga and Chowpatty.
One of the biggest highlights this year is the performance by UK’s Footsbarn, which will bring Shakespeare’s the Tempest to the city stage this November.
“The first multi-city tour will be with Sunil Shanbag’s Stories In a Song. We wish to take it to Surat, Hyderabad and Lucknow, Patna and other cities that don’t get much theatre, said Kapoor.