Theatre artiste Jay Jha speaks about founding Rangbhoomi and the need for more such cultural spaces in Hyderabad

Where acts take shape

author_img Shreya Veronica Published :  03rd March 2022 03:17 PM   |   Published :   |  03rd March 2022 03:17 PM
WHERE_Acts

A play being performed at Rangbhoomi in Hyderabad

Theatre had seen a downfall in the city for the most part of the 21st century, thanks to cinema ruling the roost. But the past two-and-half years saw the theatre scene growing in Hyderabad. More spaces have been hosting theatre arts and the not-so-loud art form is finding more fans.

Rangbhoomi is one such cultural space in the city that has turned to become one of the most happening places to de-stress after a hectic week at work. We speak to Jay Jha, one of the co-founders of the place, who shares why they had to build a space to promote all kinds of art forms and artistes across India.

Jay, who has been an Jay, who has been an active theatre artiste for 10 years now, says he always felt Hyderabad lacked something when it came to hosting plays. “When I toured cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi and other metros, I realise they had several venues, while we had Lamakaan and Phoenix Arena as the only affordable options. These places, too, came with limitations of space and the right kind of stage needed for theatre. This largely affected artistes and their careers. That’s when I decided that we needed to create a space that has indoor seating and a proscenium stage.”

After he made some money from his job at a multinational company and some roles in films and plays, he bid his corporate job goodbye to start Rangbhoomi. “Some of my friends pitched in too. Soon, my partners Prashanth Singh Jadon, Sanjeev Acharya and I got started on the project. Storyboard Production helped us with light and sound. In 2019, we found a space in Gachibowli and decided to build the place from scratch. When we were halfway through, the first wave of the pandemic hit us, but we were reslient. Today, the place can host about 140 people at once,” says Jay.

After he made some money from his job at a multinational company and some roles in films and plays, he bid his corporate job goodbye to start Rangbhoomi. “Some of my friends pitched in too. Soon, my partners Prashanth Singh Jadon, Sanjeev Acharya and I got started on the project. Storyboard Production helped us with light and sound. In 2019, we found a space in Gachibowli and decided to build the place from scratch. When we were halfway through, the first wave of the pandemic hit us, but we were reslient. Today, the place can host about 140 people at once,” says Jay.

Boost to Telugu shows

Talking about the kind of shows and performances that Rangbhoomi hosts, the co-founder says, “We are open to any art form, it all depends on the bookings. Right now, we have been mostly hosting theatre shows and stand-up comedy. The response from people has also been amazing. Back in the day, when I would perform, it wasn’t the same, Telugu plays were barely ticketed at Ravindra Bharathi. With our cultural space, Telugu theatre has surely received the much-needed boost and almost all their shows these days are houseful!”

Jay reveals that a cultural festival is on the cards, which would be organised on a national scale. “We have some exciting stuff up our sleeve and hope these plans see the light of day. With more support pouring in from audiences and the government, together we can achieve great heights, arts and culture-wise,” he concludes.

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