In her debut play under the banner of her new theatre production house Orange Dinghy, Delna Mody, who is collaborating with one of Parsi theatre’s biggest directors Sam Kerawala for her project, straightaway clarifies that her impression of theatre is to make the audience think and not just indulge in a “bedroom farce” on the stage.
Article by Sujata Chakrabarti / DNA India
The actor from the tight-knit Parsi community in the city specifies that it is time that Parsis are no longer depicted on the stage as just “jolly people” who live in “baugs” and have a “lot of money”. Delna, who trained in theatre in Canada, says, “I am looking for talented writers with original works and apart from classical theatre, I am also looking at putting up several small budget musicals and review shows around the country.”
Stepping off her usual route of Jazz Broadway theatre, Delna is all set to premiere her latest production titled Good Morning Miss Katya that traces the life of a young girl in a dysfunctional family to when she becomes an art teacher and finds it difficult to come to terms with her daily routine. Interestingly, to help the actor portray the roles of Katya and her dysfunctional mother, both of whom are artists, stepped in real-life artist Jenny Bhatt.
Speaking about their collaboration, Delna points out, “I was introduced to Jenny by a closed friend and she has been of utmost help. We had very interesting conversations about the politics and the intricacies of the art world.” She emphatically adds, “In my next life, I do wish to be born as a painter.”
Delna also says that having Sam Kerawala direct her play also added dimensions to her creation. She explains, “Sammy is the most chilled out person I have worked with. He works with what the actor has to give and does not force his ideas on anyone. He adds so much more experience to our play.”
Also, to add a local flavour to the play, Delna points out that she uses real life locations and addresses, including 34, Ranwa, Veronica Street in Bandra where some of the action in the play is located. She says, “Several of the references in the play are all taken from my personal experiences including several locations and addresses Mumbaikars are familiar with.”
The play premieres on April 25th at the NCPA Experimental