Shreyas Talpade’s newly launched mobile app Nine Rasa makes theatre more accessible
Actor Shreyas Talpade, who has been committed to theatre for over 15 years, is feeling more fulfilled. The Iqbal actor recently launched a mobile app – Nine Rasa, digitizing theatre productions with the aim of making them reach a wider audience. Shreyas who will be seen playing a genie in a new OTT platform’s production, speaks his heart out. Excerpts:
Was Nine Rasa a result of the pandemic or it was already there in your plans?
Nine Rasa was definitely triggered by the pandemic. In May when the lockdown got extended, we wondered what will happen next. Then a couple of my friends and I thought we need to do something for the theatre community and everyone felt that for films OTT was a ready platform but what about theatre? We also realised that there is a need for theatre to reach out to the masses.
So, while everything was going online from education to cooking, I thought why should theatre be left behind? And that’s when the idea of making an app exclusively for theatre productions came into being. Nine Rasa will be having one-act plays, skit, poetry reading and more in various languages. We shortlisted some content and now we have 100 hours of original content exclusively shot for the app. We will be releasing them phase-wise. There will also be some free content available for web users.
We can very well say that the digital age of theatre has begun in India. Where do you see it heading?
Honestly saying, I don’t know. We started Nine Rasa to help the community and to make it reach the masses. People tell me that the fun of theatre lies in it being watched live. I am certainly not denying that given the fact that I have been into this medium for 15-18 years. I am the last person who will be convinced that the lights and sounds of a live theatre will get replicated. However, why should theatre be limited to auditoriums? It’s like cricket. Though it is played on the ground thousands of other people watch it on small screens. If cricket was not covered by TV channels then the sport wouldn’t have got that status. When people can enjoy cricket on their phone why can’t we enjoy theatre on the same medium?
I hope theatre becomes synonymous with every household. I believe, there is an actor in every household. Theatre is for everyone and not for a niche crowd.
With theatre getting digitized, do you think there will be a change in the process of productions?
Yes, I have spoken to a few theatre producers and we can have certain compositions for the camera. Things are changing in theatre in terms of scale and presentation. Grand productions like Mughal-e-Azam and Beauty and the Beats is being made. There have been some fantastic productions happening overseas and India will match it soon. Once it reaches more household things will change further.
Would there be productions from abroad?
Right now we have productions from India in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and English and we are trying to include Bengali, Tamil and Malayali in the coming months. We also intend to get some international production on board in future.
What else is coming up in the OTT and Bollywood platforms?
A lot is happening. I finished one Hindi film - Love you Shankar which is directed by My friend Ganesha director. Then there is one more film - Mannu aur Munni ki Shaadi and then one Marathi film with Mahesh Manjrekar. Sar Car Ki Sewa Mein will be finished soon and you will see me play the role of a genie for Jo Hukm Mere Aaka which is for a yet to be launched OTT platform. Krushna Abhishek will also be there.