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Balancing acting and teaching with class

Antonet D’Souza from Goa Velha is an actress who has made a mark on the Konkani stage and in Konkani films. A teacher by profession, she continues to take forward her love for Konkani
JP PEREIRA

The daughter of Joao and Conceicao de Souza, and the niece of Thomas, a violinist who acted in tiatr, Anotonet D’Souza was encouraged at a very young age to perform.
It all began at the age of 8, during her schooling at St Andrew’s High School, Goa Velha, where she composed a tribute to her favourite teacher who was retiring. It was her first performance on stage.
She continued performing in the village for various programmes and Christmas festivities. Unfortunately, as she gave too much attention for these performances, it affected her studies.
“My dad was quite sad that my studies were getting affected. I decided that I needed to do something about it, especially to please my dad,” she says. She thus, decided to pay more attention to her studies and limited other activities.
Graduating in Arts from the Pilar College of Arts and Commerce, she later completed her post graduate degree in History before going on to pursue Bachelors in Education. She is presently a teacher at Our Lady of the Rosary High School, Dona Paula.
However, the love for acting and singing didn’t fade and she waited for the right opportunity to come her way.
“A good friend in school, advised me to write my own tiatr instead of waiting for someone else to cast me”, she recalls.
Following this advice, Antonet visited the library of TAG (Tiatr Academy of Goa), sought out a format for tiatr and wrote her first show ‘Ghorabeache Dive’. The show was performed under the banner of the school, in a couple of villages, and was liked by the audience.
In the same year, she was chosen by Amar Sawant and Sandeep Kalangutkar to play the female lead in ‘Ek Istor’. This tiatr was adjudged as the best tiatr at the Kala Academy Tiatr Competition. Antonet also won the award for ‘Best Actor in a Female role’.
Her following tiatrs ‘Tumcho Gift’, ‘Baulem’ and others were staged at village level. She picked a cast of her students and performed ‘Award’ at the Children’s Tiatr Festival organised by TAG. This tiatr depicted the importance of moral values over a child’s academic success.
“We went on to win the first place for tiatr, direction, as well as the script”, says Antonet happily. There were other dramas too, like ‘Tum Mhojem Sukh’, ‘Maka Zolmunk Dhi’ and ‘Ek Istor…Once Again’.
Besides these, Agnelo de Borim cast her as the heroine in the revival of the classic drama by Prem Kumar, titled ‘Jivit Ek Sopon’, where she acted in a double role in style.
Antonet has also written and performed one act plays that include ‘Ghorabo’, ‘Ami Chuklim’ and ‘Aicho Somaz’ among others and has also performed in ‘Asa Tum Toiar’ a telefilm, ‘Maimcho Mog’ and ‘Tika Soddinaka’, on Goa Doordarshan. She composes lyrics for songs and is a good singer too.
She was also cast by Tinky George in a short film titled ‘Maimcho Mog’. After this, she began getting several offers to act in Konkani films. She had a chunky role in the movie ‘Questao de Confusao’, where she was cast as one of the mothers.
Besides this, there was ‘Glory’ and ‘Kantar’. The soon to be released ‘Mopa Diary’ from the House of Sinari’s and ‘Zonnvar’ directed by Sainath Parab that will highlight the acting talent of Antonet.
Apart from imparting knowledge in English and Social Sciences she also organises workshops on tiatr in collaboration with TAG. She is glad that many students, who do not speak Konkani at home participate in these workshops, which helps them stay in touch with the language. She has also organised monologue competitions, one-act play competitions and has presented street plays on various themes like girl child, traffic rules, ethical voting and other social issues.
She has been selected as the ‘Best Inspiring Teacher’ and won the ‘Best Guru’ award in her school. She was also selected for the Young Achiever’s Award 2018, by TAG.
Besides being an achiever in education and culture, she believes in staying grounded and humble.
“My contribution is not much but I will definitely continue imparting knowledge, helping society, and promoting Konkani in tiatr and films,” she says.

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