Pune’s Natak Company: A decade of theatrical, artistic triumph
Natak company, a theatre group, was formed with an aim to both educate and entertain. The members of the group share a common bond, their love for theatre. A collaboration between students of Brihan Maharashtra college of commerce and Fergusson college, Natak company was founded in 2008.
The group includes Nipun Dharmadhikari, Abhay Mahajan, Amey Wagh, Siddharth Menon, Alok Rajwade, Gandhaar Sangoram, Dharmakirti Sumant, Parna Pethe, Soumitra Gapchup Siddhesh Purkar and Sayali Pathak, among others .
On the completion of 10 years, the group has organised a theatre festival which will kick-start in Mumbai on June 1 and 2, and move to Pune on June 5. Siddharth Menon, actor and co-founder of the group, said, “June was the month when we presented our first ever production under Natak company. It was called Sutti Butti. All our earlier productions were undertaken while we were still in college. It was directed by Nipun Dharmadhikari. So, to mark the organisation’s 10th anniversary, we have decided to organise a theatre festival.”
Menon added that the group was planning to organise a festival for a quite some time now. However, time went by and they couldn’t get the required time to plan it for various reasons. “Each of our plays has its own target audience and we wanted to show them one after the other. It couldn’t have been a better time than this (10th anniversary).”
Recalling their initial days, Menon said, “When we started out, we had just about 12-15 members. We did everything right from selling our own tickets to performing on the streets during festivals. We also handled the production aesthetics relatively well. We did it for our common love for theatre.”
Today, the group proudly boasts of a team that is demarcated to handle props, stage management and marketing among other things.
“When we look back, we wonder how we managed to do so much. Honestly, now I feel that we are in the right hands. Every aspect of theatre needs an expert and that division has finally come in. It is great for all of us. We have a space, a rented bungalow in Kothrud, where we store props and practice. We gather there for brainstorming too. It feels great as there was a time when we were crippled by space constraints.”
The troupe has performed abroad, has won several awards and each member has also carved a niche for themselves.
“We had taken loans to organise our initial performances abroad. The best part is that each one of us has kept our parallel areas of expertise alive. We have Amey Wagh, who was last seen in the popular film Faster Fene; and Nipun Dharmadhikari, who directed Sachin Khedekar starrer Baapjanma.”
1. Day 1: 2 Shoor (8pm) and Mahanirvan (9.30pm)
2. Day 2: Patient (8pm) and Binkamache Sanwad (9.30pm)
3.Day 3: Institute of Pavtalogy(8pm) and Geli Ekvees Varsha (9.30pm)
4. Day 4: Item and Dalan, 8pm onward
5. Day 5: Sindhu Sudhakar Rum Ani Itar and Mi Ghalib, 5pm onward
Where: Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha, Kothrud
When: June 5-9