‘People are more enthusiastic about theatre in Delhi than Mumbai’
It was the role of a spoilt Tia Ahuja in the TV show Remix, that made actor Shweta Gulati a known face in the world of Indian television, but for the actor, it is theatre that keeps her busy these days. Talking about her recent play, Ab Tera Kya Hoga Waalia, Shweta says, “It is the story of a man who has two wives. I am playing a third woman in his life. He is confused, as he is juggling a lot of things. Mine’s a special appearance and I get to add the glamour quotient in the play. Please don’t ask me if I relate to the character, because I don’t.”
Shweta, who’s moved to doing a lot more theatre than television, made a “conscious” decision to venture into it, because, she says the satisfaction of playing a character live on stage is “incomparable”. “In theatre, there are no retakes, it doesn’t allow that. You’re liked or disliked by the audience then and there. It gives you an adrenaline rush that other mediums don’t,” she says.
The actor, who’s also been a part of a Kingdom of Dreams production, Jhumroo, in Gurugram (Haryana), says that Delhi has a better theatre scene as people are more enthusiastic about going out and watching plays. When asked if theatre is a sustainable medium for actors, Shweta admits, it’s not. “The revenue that is generated from theatre is less.
There are no ad promotions because the budget is low. So, stage actors are hardly paid anything. If they are doing plays, it’s never for the money, it’s for the love of the art,” she adds.
Talking about the amount of time she invests in rehearsals, she says, that depends from play to play, and character to character.
“For Jhumroo, I moved to Gurugram for a year and a half because it required that much time and effort.” Currently working on a play called Ananyaa along with Ab Tera Kya Hoga Waalia, Shweta signs off by saying, “that’s what I would like to focus on for now”.