Danish Husain feels theatre needs to reinvent itself to survive in post pandemic world
The OTT wave has come in with a call for change not only for the small screen and big screen, but for the theatre world as well. Actor Danish Husain says reinvention is the key which will help the medium survive in the post-pandemic world.
“There was always a need to be cutting-edge and imaginative. But the pandemic forces us to do so right now. Theatre will have to reinvent itself in terms of how it presents its content, shapes and packages its content. Since the pandemic last year, there has been a surge in OTT platform viewership , with content from all over the world being consumed in India. As a result, theatre will have to up their game.” shares Husain.
The actor, who is excited to return to the stage with his play, Ek Punjab Ye Bhi, in Mumbai, quickly adds that “we cannot continue showing a play, which is 15 or 20 years old with the same set design and people will be interested”.
Husain says, “People have become aware of the type of content that is being staged across the world such as recorded theatrical performances such as Hamilton”.
And that will have a ripple effect in the Indian scene as well. “Indian theatre makers will have to be creative and innovative, even if they lack the resources to do so. They will still need to find ways to be innovative, and present content in such a way where people do not feel the distraction of OTTs or feel the need to go somewhere else”.
At the moment, Husain is busy reviving the play, Ek Punjab Ye Bhi, with the whole new cast. “We are lucky that we have opportunity to perform in Mumbai, even though it is a limited seating opportunity, and a loss making proposition. But the joy of being back on stage in front of the live audiences is immense,” he says.
“It compensates for whatever economic losses we will make. Hopefully, we will move towards a healthier situation where the restrictions goes away and we are able to have full houses,” he hopes.