A thought for the theatrewale; Ali Fazal kicks off initiative to raise funds

Updated: May 30, 2020, 07:17 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

As artistes, technicians working on plays are rendered jobless due to lockdown, Ali Fazal kicks off initiative to raise funds for them.

Ali Fazal
Ali Fazal

As soon as the industry shutdown was announced, Bollywood stars joined forces with several cine associations to extend help to daily-wage workers. But little thought has been spared for theatre artistes — with not a single play held in nearly three months, actors and technicians are struggling to stay afloat. Now, Ali Fazal has thrown his might behind the initiative, Theatrewale, that aims to highlight their plight. As part of the endeavour, actor-writer Amitosh Nagpal will build a database
of Mumbai-based artistes and technicians, which will then be shared among Bollywood stars and renowned theatre personalities for financial aid.

In the first step, Fazal and Nagpal have developed a video, urging film folk to stand by them during the crisis. Fazal, who has his roots in theatre, argues that most actors in the industry owe their craft to the medium. "Yet, a stepchild-like treatment is meted out to the theatre community. It's important to stand by our fraternity in these difficult times. During the lockdown, the actors are able to be part of virtual shows. But the crew members and technicians have been rendered jobless. We need to make a start somewhere to help them. I hope more actors and filmmakers join the initiative," says the actor.

Nagpal hopes that the video — conceptualised by Maneesh Verma and him — will spread the good word, thus encouraging crowdfunding. "Artistes have stepped up to help others. But how much can they do alone? I hope people also stand by us."

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