Veteran theatre-person Rajit Kapur needs no introduction. Charming and ever so gracious with a career spanning decades, read on to know more about his artistic journey, struggles and RAGE Productions!
An Actor and a Director
“Trying to get to the root of what the writer has to say is my biggest challenge as a director. Being an actor makes it easier for me to deal with other actors. As an actor, I want to know certain things from my director especially parameters and how he sees my graph as an actor.
As a director I communicate and share that with my actors. Make them feel more secure on stage. As an actor who has performed on various mediums, my process is the same. You have to adhere and adjust to every medium. There’s no hard & fast rule to an actor’s process.”
“RAGE was formed 25 years ago, with seven of us on the team. We’re 3 now. It was to be able to do the kind of plays we believe in. Raise the bar of production value in theatre and encourage new and original writing.”
“Shernaz and I first collaborated in our last year of college. She was the lead actor and I the production manager of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’. Though I ended up playing every role whenever an actor was absent in that production. Over the last 35 years, I don’t think I’ve seen a more consistent performer than her. It’s an incredible quality.”
‘Love Letters’- It completed 25 years last month. Every show is still as exciting, and gets us as nervous as in the beginning. Shernaz & I are still discovering things. There is just the two of us to hold the audience’s attention. It keeps us alive and on our feet.
Girish Karnad’s ‘Flowers’ is another. It’s just me on stage for an hour & a half. The play gave me goosebumps back then. We are looking to revive it this November. The Theatre struggle
“The struggle is tough but it depends on how tough you are and what your priorities are. Even when we started out, we had to have another source of income. We had no money when we started RAGE. We took 2 thousand rupees from everybody and opened a bank account. Things have not changed much. But if there is a will, there is a way. There is no substitute for hard work.”
“It’s been great to have the support that we have. British Council has always helped out. The Royal Court sends us their instructors every couple of years. Lucky to have people like Sangita Jindal and Neeraj Bajaj who offer money without looking at returns.
When someone puts in X amount of money and asks me what they are going to get in return – I don’t have an answer. The return is only that we are trying to add our literary space, to create more writers. We are leaving a richer tomorrow for the next generation.”
On theatre in India
“One thing we need is more spaces to work in. Lack of funding of course is another common thread. It’s tough to get the government involved. Although we do have these various national academies. I don’t really know what functions they serve. And yet one sees more and more younger people who are passionate about theatre. People in their 20’s struggling, but they’re out there.”
On future plans
“RAGE’s new production ‘Ostrich Boy’ is going to open at the end of June. We complete 25 years this year, so we will be doing something every month to celebrate. We’ve just had a full week of celebratory plays. As an actor, I’ve completed my current film assignment. I’m hoping I have something new to look at later on in the year.”
“I want to get more opportunities to explore myself further as an actor. That’s it.”