The triangle of creativity

Marathi theatre director Vijay Kenkre on why theatre rules over cinema and television


Indian cricket's loss was turned into Marathi theatre's gain with Vijay Kenkre deciding to switch paths sometime during his college days. The actor-director, who began his journey in 1979, has more than 50 plays to his credit. Having been both the director and the directed (and sometimes forging both avatars in one play), Kenkre is aware that theatre is a collaboration of creatives, a dynamic that he will explore in a talk presented by Mumbai Local this evening.

The KenkresTheatre actor-director Vijay Kenkre, seen here with his spouse Mangal, also an actor.

While Kenkre's first directorial venture took on the dark mood of Shakespeare's Othello in Marathi, he has since moved on to more cheerful notes. From the works of Sai Paranjape to Neil Simon, Kenkre is a deft director of comedy. "I like to laugh and I live to make people laugh. To borrow from David Garrick, any fool can play tragedy, but comedy is serious business," says Kenkre, a self-confessed lover of whodunits.

Kenkre's directorial ventures include Natasamrat, starring actor Shreeram Lagoo, and he has worked with theatre personas such as Bhakti Barve, Ratnakar Matkari and Madhu Rye. "A theatre performance happens thrice — once when the playwrigt scripts a play; next, when a director picks up the script; and lastly, when the play is presented in front of an audience," says Kenkre, who has also authored a book on theatre titled Tyanchi Nataka.

While the stalwart has starred in a few Marathi films, Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai 2 being the most recent, and has also directed a television serial, he leans favourably towards theatre. "A camera can shoot everything, but theatre is suggestive. It asks audiences to interpret," he says. Theatre stalwarts Sataydev Dubey and Arvind Deshpande are naturally his favourites. And what happened to that dream of green pitches and cricket tournaments? Kenkre, a hard-boiled Goan who describes himself as 'laidback', still plays, for fun.

Where: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla
When: February 14, 5 PM
Entry: Rs 10 (adults); Rs 5 (children)
Call: 9833344173

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