As call for entries to Thespo begins, Quasar Thakore Padamsee looks back on the theatre fest, and into its future
A still from Te Kay Asta...? staged at a previous edition of Thespo
"This year, Thespo aims to captivate, energise and amplify the dramatic element for all theatre enthusiasts, hence the tag line — dial up the drama," says Quasar Thakore Padamsee, co-founder of Thespo, a week before call for entries is announced at an orientation meeting.
One of India's most exciting youth theatre festivals, Thespo enters its 19th edition this year, to be held from December 18 to 24, at Prithvi Theatre and NCPA. The festival will see full-length plays, short performances, live acoustic bands, and workshops by theatre professionals from around the world. The orientation will be conducted by an ambitious lot of organisers who are dubbed the Thespo Avengers. The event will feature a dramatic performance that will introduce guests to the upcoming edition.
Theatre for the young
Padamsee says, "The first call is important because there are so many theatre lovers across the country who are clueless about where to start. An orientation helps them understand how to take things forward." Expect organisers to reveal the events that will unfurl at the fest, the important dates and how to be a part of it.
Padamsee says that what started as a festival has now victoriously emerged as a community. "Through Thespo, we aim to build a mammoth network of theatre groups across the country. We want to create a community that goes beyond the mundane activities of theatre."
In an effort to do so, this edition will feature activities in cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Jaipur and Pune. Among them, the theatre appreciation workshops will be crucial as they aim to provide exposure to those who haven't had much experience with plays.
Quasar Thakore Padamsee with Toral Shah, co-founders of QTP and Thespo
Only the best
Though it provides exposure to theatre enthusiasts, the fest is also a strong believer in quality. This is obvious with their tough selection process. "We have a two-member team that travels across the country to watch teams perform. The highlight of our selection process is the feedback, which helps hone the skills of young artistes," he adds.
While the festival has grown immensely, organising it is no cakewalk. "We get a lot of requests to conduct events across the country. Funding and resources become a challenge, but the aim is to respond to what people need."
Looking back at their progress for nearly two decades, Padamsee is content that the higher purpose has always been to help the talented carve out a successful career. "Thespo's main aim is to provide participants with a simulation for a professional career. Though we have a fun element, the level of attention to detail is serious and professional," he sums up.
On: July 17, 3.30 pm
At: Prithvi Theatre, Juhu.
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