‘Language isn’t a constraint in art any more’

Amrita Prasad
Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Actor Amey Wagh, who is a part of the upcoming play Amar Photo Studio, talks about his love for theatre and why children’s theatre is important, among other things

When it comes to entertaining his audience through his craft, Amey Wagh hasn’t restricted himself to any one medium or language. An integral part of Pune-based theatre group Natak Company, he gained prominence as an actor when he made his presence felt at the prestigious Purushottam Karandak. Amey became a household name as Kaivalya Karkhanis in Dil Dosti Duniyadari and garnered so much love and appreciation for his part in films like Popat, Faster Fene and Muramba. On Friday, April 5, in Pune, he will be performing in the play Amar Photo Studio which was recently staged in the USA. 

The young actor, who also a part of the YouTube channel Bharatiya Digital Party in which he hosts a celebrity talk show called Casting Couch with Amey & Nipun, says that Amar Photo Studio was loved and appreciated by the American audience. “It was such an amazing experience. All the 12 shows were houseful, and what’s interesting is that the audience comprised all age groups. Apart from the regular audience, there were a lot of new and young viewers, who drove for 4-5 hours to reach the venue because they were enthusiastic about the play,” says Amey, who feels that although their target audience was the Marathi-speaking population living in the USA, language is no longer a barrier in theatre or any other art form these days. 

“The play has a very young cast and a few characters speak English and Hindi which helps the young audience take interest in the play. In today’s time, we don’t speak ‘bookish’ language. Our conversations are a blend of Marathi, Hindi, English etc. We all watch world cinema and we love them. Many of us love Narcos on Netflix which is in Spanish. Language isn’t a constraint in art any more,” says he.  

As an actor, he makes it a point to come out of his comfort zone and work in different mediums, but Amey says that theatre is his first love. “I have been acting in plays since I was a child and children’s theatre laid my acting foundation. The theatre scene in Pune is so vibrant and what is even more endearing is that a lot of youngsters are enthusiastic about acting in plays and directing them. Inter-collegiate theatre festivals give them that platform. Students from different colleges come together to collaborate and form new theatre groups. Our Natak Company was also born that way. However, when it comes to commercial theatre, artists should invent new ways to promote their plays instead of placing an ad in the paper and expecting the audience to turn up. They have to utilise the power of social media to market and promote their plays,” he shares adding, “I am blessed to be a Marathi actor and I can seamlessly dabble in all mediums without being stereotyped.”  

When asked if children’s theatre is being explored well, Ameya says that children’s theatre can be a great tool for education. “The fact that children’s theatre today isn’t just fairytales or about animals and monsters, and talks about issues that we generally aren’t able to discuss with children, makes theatre a great weapon to create awareness and  strike conversations about issues that are important and concern all of us. Grips Theatre is one such example where adults including parents perform for children,” he explains.  

Amey is all geared up for the release of his upcoming Marathi film (but he chooses to be discreet about the title) and has two web series in Hindi and English in the pipeline.

A WEB OF RELATIONSHIPS
Since the last three years during which Amar Photo Studio has been staged, the play has run to packed to houses and has travelled to different parts of the world.  

Produced by Sunil Barve, the play has been helmed by Nipun Dharmadhikari and its young cast includes Suvrat Joshi, Amey Wagh, Parna Pethe, Pooja Thombare, Siddhesh Purkar. 

The play is no different from the stories of our lives, except for the fact that everything is sorted in the end, unlike in real life. It is about a young couple, intrigued about their past and worried about their future, and decide to separate. 

The couple goes to Amar Photo Studio to get photographed where the owner takes them on a roller-coaster ride to the past where they meet some interesting characters and learn life lessons from them. By the time they come back to the present they have decided against separating and live happily ever after. 

The play, which completed its 250th show last year, has been well received by audiences in the UK and also the USA and is the first Marathi play to explore time travel. 

ST READER SERVICE
The play will be staged on April 5 at  Liberty Society, Phoenix MarketCity, Viman Nagar, from 7.30 pm onwards. Tickets are available on www.bookmyshow.com

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