Bombay Theatre Company's founder talks about performing live theatre on social media

Bombay Theatre Company's founder talks about performing live theatre on social media

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most things were forced to shift to the online medium so that social distancing could be maintained. However, before this pandemic could we even imagine theatre moving online? 

However, now it has become a reality with The Bombay Theatre Company hosting its plays live on Instagram. Mumbai Live connected with Raveesh Jaiswal, Founder, Bombay Theatre Company to understand how did he think of starting theatre online and other plans for the company. 

 Q. How Bombay Theatre Company came into being?

Bombay Theatre Company was born out of my long and earnest desire to have a venture of my own. My vision is to make this company one of the most sought-after performing arts brand in the country and even abroad. The aim is quite distant but am sure the journey will be very fruitful.

Q. Please tell us about your first international play 'Covid-19 Do over marriage'?

We were honoured to collaborate with New York City based writer Sarah Congress and the lovely and talented star cast, namely Luke Hofmaier, Aleigha Spinks and Jeffrey James Keyes. The experience of directing actors who were over 12,500 Kms away, was indeed a very special experience. We virtually rehearsed for the play for almost 1.5 months. In the end, the result was quite satisfying. I was also told that many people had watched the play LIVE on Instagram from Los Angeles too and they really liked it; that made my day!

Q. Your initial reaction when you came to know that your plays have reached internationally and you were contacted by Sarah Congress from New York?

To be frank, there was a sudden sense of pride that our work had been recognised on the other part of the globe. When Sarah mentioned some of our plays and that she liked what we did, it gave me an unusual yet calming confidence that yes, we are here to stay! I have always dreamt of doing international work & am really glad that this happened to us & hope that this is only the beginning.

Q. Was it difficult to coordinate/rehearse with the team keeping in mind the time difference? 

Not at all, I think the time difference actually helped us manage the rehearsal schedule better. We used to rehearse every weekday at 10:30 pm India time and 12 noon Eastern Time. Being in a full-time corporate job, this was the ideal time for me to devote myself to the play. The best part was that the team was so professional and so structured in their approach to our rehearsals, that we never faced any hiccups because of the time difference.

Q. Are you planning more plays with international artists?

The Covid-19 Do-Over Marriage was our first international collaboration and we are definitely looking forward to many more. There have been playwrights & actors from Argentina and the US who had reached out to me, but as of now, nothing is materialised. We are quite busy with the preparations for our first physical play and will consider another international collaboration only post staging that.

Q. Do you plan to stage live shows even after the theatres open?

Our first physical play is scheduled to be staged in Mumbai on 25th April 2021. This play was initially supposed to be staged in April 2020, but the pandemic had ruined our plans. We are just hoping and keeping our fingers crossed that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Q. How do you think the theatre industry is surviving the pandemic?

It’s been a tumultuous time for the entire theatre fraternity but am happy and proud of all of us that in the best of our capacities we are somehow trying to keep the magic of live performance alive!

Q. Upcoming plays/projects in the pipeline?

Our first physical play; ‘The 6 pm Struggler’ will be staged in Mumbai on 25th April at Veda Factory Art Studio, Versova. After building a good brand presence in the digital space, we are quite excited and geared up for our stage debut.

MumbaiLive would like to send you latest news updates