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Marathi stars devise plan to help theatre artistes, seek help from CM Uddhav Thackeray

Actor-filmmaker Shreyas Talpade has suggested the idea of an Online Theatre Mandal where performances of stage plays could be held online.

Keyur Seta

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and his erstwhile ministerial colleague Vinod Tawde brought together some prominent personalities from the Marathi film, television and theatre worlds for a discussion on the effects of the coronavirus lockdown on various entertainment industries.

The discussion took place on 3 May. Actor-filmmaker Shreyas Talpade revealed this on Twitter yesterday. He said the artistes were more worried about those working in theatre as they get paid per show. That is why they came up with the idea for an Online Theatre Mandal.

Elaborating on the concept, Talpade continued, “An online set-up where shows are shot once on multiple cameras, edited and made available online. Just like movie shows, our audience will have to buy tickets to view these online at a specific and convenient time. Depending on the response and popularity of a play, we can do multiple shows. The ticket charges won't be too high and the proceeds would not only go to the entire team of that particular play but to a few needy technicians as well.”

The discussion was also attended by veteran actor Vikram Gokhale, veteran filmmaker Rajdutt, actresses Rohini Hattangadi, Mrunal Kulkarni and Sonali Kulkarni and actors Sanjay Jadhav, Sumeet Raghvan and Kedar Shinde.

Speaking to Cinestaan.com, Talpade said, “So when I suggested this idea of an Online Theatre Mandal, everyone, including our ex-CM, loved it and said it was not only brilliant but definitely the way forward.” 

The actor-producer-director has already started work in this direction. “Since then I’ve actively started working on the same and have already spoken to a few producers, directors and actors from the Marathi and Hindi Industry,” he said.

Talpade has requested Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray for help in this regard. “The ideal place to shoot this is an auditorium. So I would like to request your help and support, CM saheb, in making certain state-owned auditoriums available to shoot. The team of a production theatre is small and can be managed in a better manner with all the necessary precautions and hygiene protocols. Would be really grateful if we were able to achieve this with your help,” he wrote on Twitter.

Incidentally, last evening, Thackeray, while considering allowing some more activities, also spoke about the revival of the entertainment sector. “We are also considering if the theatre, film and television industries can be allowed to resume shooting and post-production activities like dubbing and editing," the chief minister said on Twitter. "They have asked us if they can shoot in the green zone before the monsoons with due precautions.”

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