RO­MANC­ING dif­fer­ent strokes

Theatre and film ac­tor and short films’ di­rec­tor Bharti Sharma says she loves all the crafts she has in­dulged in

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - My City - Dis­ney.brar@hin­dus­tan­

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.

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