Actor Kaushik Sen tries to revolutionise theatre
Kaushik Sen primarily considers himself to be a theatre artist who had to venture out into the world of cinema for bread and butter.
Kaushik Sen is a familiar name within the intellectual circles of the city. Known for his cerebral performances across proscenium and screen spaces, the actor refused to take his métier to digital spaces. Instead, the veteran artiste exploited the virtual medium to stand beside fellow theatre practitioners deeply affected by the economic downfall.
“We at Swapnasandhani formed a platform called Shoubhratrityo in collaboration with Bengali theatre enthusiasts across borders. The idea was to raise funds through digital recitals and play readings. Personally, I have not been able to figure out how to do theatre digitally. Human connection is essential for a successful theatrical endeavor”, says Kaushik when asked about his plans for virtual performances.
Ever since public places started opening up, Swapnasandhani has received a sceptical response from the audiences. Sen is of the opinion that the change has happened due to the gradual acceptance of OTT platforms and the comfort it offers.
“Previously there was a bunch of people who thronged outside auditoriums just to watch and promote theatre. There has been a shift in the perception of these people as they seek to spend money on quality work. This is a big challenge and requires performances to reach the mark”, adds Kaushik.
The actor also feels the current scenario in the Bengali Film Industry is highly dismaying. “We have a powerhouse of talents waiting to be explored through the right script but the industry lacks a professional approach towards film making. The investors lack knowledge about the art but intend to make a windfall,” he rues.
On the theatre front, Sen intends to break down the proscenium format over time and take it to more democratic, interactive platforms. Swapnasandhani’s upcoming performance on Shakespeare’s Hamlet will see Sen take a step towards his vision.
“Theatre needs to go through a big change that cannot happen overnight. Eventually what I feel is we have to come out of these box stages. I am yet to find out the language of expression for this format as it is different from the concept of Third Theatre. We are in a transitional phase”, shares the thespian whose production Taray Taray based on a novel by Srijato is set to take stage at NSD’s Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2022.
Kaushik has recently wrapped filming for Pavel’s upcoming project Mon Kharap expected to release early next year and will also be seen in a HoiChoi web series by Soumik Halder. The coming year will also see the release of Saibal Bose's Debotar Grash where he will share screen with Naseeruddin Shah and late Soumitra Chatterjee. The film was shot before the pandemic.
Looking ahead into the future of his son, National Award winning actor Riddhi Sen, the proud father feels he should find happiness in whatever he does. Lessons from a failure from something one finds interest in is way more important than being successful at the cost of one’s happiness.