At the start of 2020, the pandemic hit all of us and the government of India imposed many restrictions in the country. All industries were shut, shutters of shops were down and everyone locked themselves between four walls.
Since then, the theatre industry has been going through a bad phase. After the first wave of Covid-19, the artists hoped that the situation will become normal and they will again start performing, but the second wave of Covid-19 made the situation worse.
The artists were not able to perform on stage. For an artist, the stage is most emotional and important place. Now, it's been more than one and a half years and yet, the theatre auditoriums are closed due to restrictions.
Sapan Acharya, a guru of Chhau dance shared, “If you are learning Chhau dance form then you have to perform daily because if you discontinue it for few months, it will take more than 15 days to find the rhythm again.”
“During the second lockdown, I did not take online classes. Now, as the process of unlock has started and artists requested for sessions, I have started taking online classes and workshops. When the situation will become normal, I will start teaching offline. I believe that the experienced artists will regain their craft easily,” Acharya added.
President of Rang Shree, a theatre group in Delhi, MP Singh said, “After the second wave, the situation has become more critical. But I started taking an online workshop in Bhojpuri theatre art. During the second wave, we had to stop our production and now theatre artists are in such a situation where they have no work or place to perform.”
Singh added, “Theatre houses and auditoriums are closed. I went to Bihar for 15 days and performed our plays. Now, we are waiting for the government order for opening the theatre auditoriums. Then, we will work on the next production.”
Moon Moon Singh, Director of Oorja Performing ARTS Centre said, “I have opened my theatre house and started working on my post-production. Due to Covid, I allowed only three or four actors at a time. During the lockdown, I took online classes of theatre artists from Chennai.”
Devender Topli, manager of Little theatre group said, “After the first wave of Covid-19, there were few plays which were played. During the second wave, we had to shut our shutter and stop working on our production. Theatre artists are still at their homes.”