Exclusive: Mita Vashisht tells us that theatre has great prospects post-COVID
She has always enthralled us with her class acts in television, theatre and movies. And now Mita Vashisht will be seen all this month on Dish TV in the classic play Agnipankh (ZEE5) where she plays the very assertive lead role of Bai Sa.
We had a chat with this elegant actor about her future projects and more. Excerpts:
How have you been and how did you spend the lockdown?
Initially, the lockdown was an adventure because suddenly there was this whole idea of being by yourself. I was only a little worried about my mother who was in Delhi while I was in Mumbai. Otherwise, I thought the lockdown was a really great time to come to terms with the basics that actually was our life before social media took over the last fifteen years of it.
I do have pets at my home which makes a lot of difference. I realised that if I didn't have the pets it may not have been as calm and serene possibly. Lockdown has shown what is most important for us as human beings, what is that makes your life fulfilling.
How was it being a part of the play Agnipankh?
Agnipankh was a gift. It was a great experience to work with Ganesh Yadav and the team of actors. This exclusive rehearsing of a play with a set of actors was something I had been missing out for many years. I do have a solo play called Lal Ded that I have been performing for 16 years but that’s a solo. Working with all these actors was a great feeling and finally, when the play shaped up, it just felt nice. I felt a sense of little loss that the rehearsals were over and the show was over, the filming was over.
How do you think the theatre situation will change in the post-COVID scenario?
I think theatre has to come back but it will be back in smaller spaces and scale, probably open spaces where the audience can sit 2-3 feet apart from each other. In a way that’s really great because I think theatre needs to be part of the environment outside buildings, outside these high flying expensive theatre spaces that were making it impossible actually to perform theatre.
The rent at theatre spaces is so high that very often you can’t do a play and if you can book a play in a great venue where you are paying a lot of money and charging a lot of money, very often you can’t do a play at all. So I think this is a blessing for theatre as the theatre will move to outside spaces from inside to being within nature, to being easily accessible, easily performable. Hopefully, the expenses of hiring big auditoriums will be done away with and people will not judge the play just because it is not at a big auditorium. They will see the play for what it is.
Our traditional architecture actually is designed for theatre to be part of natural spaces. So what we need to do is look for our traditional architecture spaces if we want to build new spaces for theatre and those don’t need so much maintenance so I think theatre has a great future post-COVID.
What do you think of teleplays? Do you think they will change the way theatre is watched?
I think teleplays are a wonderful way of archiving some plays that sometimes the audience may never get to read or see. It will definitely draw people and bring them together as a community of theatre watchers and theatregoers.
What are the projects you are currently working on or will be seen in?
We have just shot season 2 of Criminal Justice and early next year I will be shooting for season 2 of Your Honour.
Besides, I published a new essay on Art and Craft of the Actor and I am also penning the memoirs of my entire journey right from my first days in acting.
Tell us the secret behind your flawless skin and hair? what are your daily skin and hair care regimens?
I always had great hair because that is inherited. My mother has the thickest hair possible and so most people still marvel at how thick my hair is although now it's half the volume. I oil my hair as much as I can, at least once or twice a month with natural oils like mustard and coconut. When I was a kid I really had pimply skin but it has naturally improved over the years as I am eating well, and thinking well.