The show must go on: Parsi Theater in Surat


March 28, 2016

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Fun, love and laughter are the traits of the rarest form of plays enacted at the Parsi Theatre in the city. The Diamond City has raised hopes of theatre lovers that such form of plays would be nurtured on World Theatre Day on Sunday.


“Parsi population is depleting and so the situation of Parsi Theatre can’t be all that rosy. I am proud that we are doing our best to conserve it. Surat is the only centre where an entire group is totally focused on conserving this format of theatre,” said Yazdi Karanjia, a veteran Parsi Theatre artist. Yazdi runs Yazdi Karanjia Group that performs original Parsi Theatre across the globe with support of his brother Mahernosh.

Parsi Theatre’s first play was performed in October 1853 by Faramji Dalal’s Rustam Sohrab under the banner of Parsi Natak Mandali in Mumbai. “Many Parsi Theatre groups were set up later, but gradually they stopped performing on a regular basis. However, Karanjias continue to hold regular shows,” Yazdi said.

Yazdi and Mahernosh started Maher Yazad Theatre that also trains young Parsis in theatre. Yazdi’s daughter Maharukh supports her father’s cause by closely working with Maher Yazad Theatre. She trains youth from the community and helps them come to grip with their stage fright.

Shahzaad Karanjia, 41, who is a chartered accountant, spares time from his busy schedule for the theatre. “It is a matter of pride for us that we are part of the group. We keep learning from seniors and never miss a chance to perform in the Parsi Theatre,” said Shahzaad, a singer and artist.

“We are committed to keep the shows going. We see a bright future for the Parsi Theatre. Our numbers are less, but those in the group are committed to the cause,” said Hormaz Besania, 41, an artist in the group.

Aanoash Chichgar is just 10, but he takes interest in regularly performing with the group at the Parsi Theatre.