ROMANCING different strokes
Theatre and film actor and short films’ director Bharti Sharma says she loves all the crafts she has indulged in
Disney Brar Talwar
‘Iregard theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.’ — Oscar Wilde
Be it portraying a rural Indian woman of substance or slipping into the skin of a woman in love with an emperor reaching the fag end of his reign, Bharti Sharma knows how to capture the pulse of her audiences — both on stage as well as off it.
As the Delhi-based theatre actor-turned-director staged her play, Episode in the Life of an Author, at the ongoing Women Directors Theatre Festival at Tagore Theatre on Thursday, she showed her prowess as a stage person. In between rehearsing for her play, Bharti shared notes on her work profile.
On Episode in the Life of an Author, Bharti says, “This is a situational comedy based on French dramatist Jean Anouilh’s play by the same name. The story revolves around a day in the life of an author who is being interviewed, and how the interview just doesn’t get completed because of numerous comical interruptions. The play reflects upon modern day lifestyle, which has made life and relationships complex. It also brings forth the pressures and emotional burdens that people deal with in their lives.”
This is Bharti’s second trip to the city to participate in the festival, having had come here in 2002.
The 1987 pass-out from the illustrious National School of Drama, Bharti also founded the Kshitij Theatre Group in Delhi.
She has played varied roles in more than 70 plays, including Karambhumi, Pahunch Wala Aadmi, Goli — Ek Paidayashi Ghulam and Barfeeli Anshi Aur Pistol Ka Nishana, which was dramatised from a A.Pushkins’ short story called Blizzard and The Shot. Bharti also shares with pride her portrayal of Shakuntala in a Nagpuri dialect, apart from working with stalwarts such as Satyadev Dubey, Ratan Thiyam, Barry John, Mohan Maharishi and Ram Gopal Bajaj.
As a director, Bharti has to her credit almost 25 plays. Of the two realms, she refus- es to choose a favourite.
“As an actor, I was happy enacting the characters that I got to play, which were all very powerful and left a mark on the audiences every time they were staged. I have even performed at international theatre festivals in countries like Tunisia, Algeria, Rome, Egypt, Syria and Kuwait.”
The transition to direction, she adds, happened because Bharti ‘wanted to do theatre her way’, and see some translations encated the way she perceived them.
Bharti is currently focussing on the medium of films, having had in the past written the screenplays and dialogues of many Hindi movies. As the woman behind her production house, Bharti Productions, she talks of her fancy for the silver screen.
“I penned the screenplay for the Hindi film Kala Heera, which was based on a coal mine disaster and also played the lead in that film. I have even acted in Chauva and Silver Wedding, both short films made for Doordarshan. I played the lead in Girish Karnads Vo Ghar as well,” she reveals.
It’s now short films and documentaries that take up Bharti’s time and attention. She went behind the camera for 14 documentaries that were screened on Doordarshan, and 13 episodes of the hit comedy series, Gadbad Ghotala, again aired on Doordarshan.
Professing her love for dramatising novels, Bharti adds that her works can be viewed on her channel on YouTube, called Bharti KTG Kshitij Theatre Group.
“I am currently working on two short films which are going to be sent for various film festivals,” she signs off.