A bunch of Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce kids with love for theatre and arts got together and formed ‘The Natak Company’ in 2008. The ‘kids’ are now familiar names in Marathi entertainment industry — Alok Rajwade, Nipun Dharmadhikari, Om Bhutkar and Ameya Wagh — and the company that they formed has entered in its 10th year.
To celebrate its growth and success, The Natak Company is holding a festival of its plays, starting today, at Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha. Talking about their journey, Parna Pethe, one of the earliest members of the repertory, said, “When we formed the group, we were all in college or just passed out from it, and devoted to theatre. We continue to be devoted to the medium, but now we have grown up and are doing more diverse work. We have got into films and serials. Some of us also have a day job. We can call ourselves ‘professionals’ now.”
Known for their path-breaking plays like Geli Ekvees Varsha, Bin Kamache Samwad and Institute of Pavtology, The Natak Company, was strong on content and innovation. And, after attending Junoon’s SMART programme, the theatre repertory has grown more organised. Says Parna, “Alok attended SMART programme, which helped us learn more about stage management. In the West, the thrust is on stage management. There is a proper system and structure. In India, there have been a few dynamic stage managers, but we still need to learn a lot more. With SMART programme, The Natak Company got more organised.”
Apart from the big names like Nipun and Alok, The Natak Company has also introduced fresh talent. “Our new play, Item, won it big at META awards. It has been written by Siddhesh Purkar and directed by Kshitish Date. Sainath Junwad is acting in it. It’s a new team. Also, Mahanirvan, Satish Alekar’s iconic play, was performed by a new cast of The Natak Company,” she says, adding, “We might think of a new play towards the year end. Our friend and writer, Dharmakirti (Sumant) is in London, studying creative writing and script writing. Once he’s back, we will think of something new.”
Till then, attend The Natak Company Festival.
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The six-day The Natak Company Festival will start from today at Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha, Kothrud. Apart from the plays, there will be platform performances like Stand Up comedy shows, music jamming sessions etc.
June 5, 8 pm: Don Shur
9.30 pm: Mahanirvan
June 6, 8 pm: Patient
9.30 pm: Binkamache Samwad
June 7, 8 pm: Institute of Pavtology
9.30 pm: Geli Ekvees Varsha
June 8, 8 pm: Item
June 9, 5 pm: Sindhu Sudhakar Rum Aani Itar
8.30 pm: Me...Ghalib