With their sole technique of livelihood being out of bounds, members of Sri Venkateswara Surabhi Theatre are searching for funds to tide over the disaster
Members of Hyderabad-based ‘Sri Venkateswara Surabhi Theatre’, a bunch identified for its vibrant and elaborately staged mythological dramas in Surabhi theatre custom, discover themselves on the crossroads after the Coronavirus outbreak. The first technique of livelihood for at the least 50 households residing in Surabhi Colony in Serilingampally, comprising 200 artistes, is by staging performs. Public performances had been referred to as off early March as a result of pandemic, and since then these theatre artistes have been out of labor and are searching for assist.
A social media put up by city-based photographer Swarat Ghosh, who had earlier photographed the group throughout its performs, highlighted their plight. Swarat had shared the financial institution particulars and on-line telephone switch choices for Sri Venkateshwara Surabhi Theatre and requested contributions. After the put up caught consideration, there was some assist from properly wishers and from the movie fraternity, together with director Harish Shankar.
Jayachandra Varma, secretary of the theatre group, says barring the theatre actors, round 500 folks depend upon stage performs, caring for costumes, make-up, lights, set design and manufacturing. “Ours is a 135-year-old theatre custom and most of us don’t know another technique of livelihood. I accomplished my MBA however I’ve at all times been a part of theatre. I’ve been born into this illustrious household (his grandfather is the Padma Shri successful theatre veteran R Nageswara Rao, known as Babji) and grew up on theatre,” he says.
In 2016, Jayachandra acquired the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar from Sangeet Natak Akademi. He was additionally a part of the Surabhi crew that staged Mayabazar, Bhakta Prahlada and Sri Krishna Leelalu in France in 2013, as a part of ‘Passages 2013’ initiative, supported by Alliance Francaise.
Jayachandra and others in Surabhi Colony by no means had to think about Plan B. He says artistes made ₹5000 to ₹10,000 per 30 days by staging reveals and didn’t complain so long as their primary wants had been met.
In good occasions, Jayachandra and his group would journey to Vizag, Vijayawada, Karimnagar and different cities to stage performs. “These weren’t ticketed reveals, however the organisers would pay us. If we had been fortunate, we might stage 10 reveals a month,” he remembers.
Every year, February would sign the start of a lean section: “Households don’t are available in giant numbers throughout examination time to observe performs,” explains Jayachandra.
Now, with a possible lengthy curb on social gatherings and public performances, Jayachandra is considering part-time work for himself and different members: “The considered transferring away from theatre is painful. However we have to survive; we don’t count on theatre to revive for a yr. We perceive these measures [of social distancing]; we are actually in a scenario the place lives must be saved,” he says.
(Jayachandra Varma may be contacted at 9912924723, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)