SACHI NAIK | NT BUZZ
Sharon Mazarello has taken long time to release her tiatr. This has however not affected her essence of direction and conceptualisation. It is perhaps the first time that any tiatr artiste has thought of portraying a ‘concept’ and not a story that gives out a message. Sharon’s tiatr ‘Tukai Tench Assa’ is a concept that brings to light issues of and conditions faced by aged or senior citizens today.
“It is not a story but an idea speaking for the aged people, who are still caretakers of their family,” says Sharon. Having released this tiatr on April 7, not many tiatr-goers felt Sharon’s tiatr was inviting initially. It is through word of mouth of spectators that Sharon slowly started getting a good response and packed auditoriums for her shows.
‘Tukai Tench Assa’ showcases three families; each one has a senior citizen in the house. All the three aged people being neighbours. They cope with their own issues at home and sometimes share their feelings with each other. All of them feel that their children do not attend to their needs; hence loneliness feeds their mind. Despite years of struggle for their family, they are trapped in a situation of looking after their children and grandchildren regardless of their growing health issues. This tiatr shows the plight of aged people who are waiting to retire from their daily tasks.
“It is not fair to expect your old parents to look after your children. They themselves need care and attention. We forget about it while we are busy to enjoy our own life or are busy working,” says Sharon. Parents do more than necessary for their children so that they can stand on their own feet. Their family is their responsibility. Old age is the time for them to retire and relax from all the duties, including that of the family. As health condition deteriorates, children must look after their old parents and not give them more stress by dumping their kids on their ageing parents. Sharon is a writer who writes roles on the basis of actors she is plans to cast. “I have written the roles looking at the capability of every actor who is to perform the role.” Most of the tiatrists do not keep the actors and their capabilities in mind while writing roles for them. This ultimately affects some actors; they may be perfectly suitable and capable for a particular role and it is given to someone else less capable for the role.
As a keen observer and for her love towards theatre and tiatrs, Sharon loves to experiment. Having watched many dramas in different languages like English, Marathi and Gujarati, she explains that not all the characters needs to be shown on stage. She adds: “There are times when only a mention of character is enough, than actually have a person to play that particular role. In ‘Tukai Tench Assa’, I have limited actors. They mention the characters that exist in the story but are not performing on stage. It is an experiment of imagination. Here, the audience recognises the characters and actions without actually seeing them. They know what is happening when the performing actors mention their names, behaviours, etc.”
Following the format of traditional tiatr, ‘Tukai Tench Assa’ includes comedy in the play itself. The comedy in modern tiatrs is not linked directly to the actual story that is performed on stage. However, Sharon’s tiatr has this mix in the play (as a part of dialogues in the play). Everybody does a bit of comedy through their dialogues in the play. Here, Platilda and Wilson Mazarello form the main humour acts. Seven caants and 14 kaantaras of this tiatr gives opportunity to several singers of this tiatr.
Sharon offers a theatre course in vacations to those aspiring to act on stage. She aims to bring out acting and singing skills in her students and training them to act well in tiatrs. “What we see today in tiatrs is not acting,” she says before adding that actors should act so naturally that the audience should only concentrate on them as a character of the tiatr rather than an actor performing on stage. Acting includes facial expressions, body language and dialogue delivery at perfection. Unfortunately some directors do not encourage her method of acting in tiatrs.
‘Tukai Tench Assa’ has all veteran actors come together on one stage. Sharon proudly affirms that her actors are natural artistes. “They are performing purely for the love of tiatrs,” she states. These actors are performing after a huge gap, some after many decades. “I had to first build up their confidence amd assure them of their own acting skills.And yes, you can see it on stage today.” These veterans havent taken money for their performance. “Doesn’t that prove their love for tiatrs?” concludes lively Sharon.