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Playing it Right

Having already acted in tiatrs like ‘Kiteak Lozta’, ‘ATM’ and ‘Hanv Jikhlom’, Raia-based Rhea Rodrigues is an upcoming actress to watch out for

JP Pereira

Rhea Rodrigues from Raia, is an upcoming actress who is comfortable in all type of roles. She has done serious roles, made people laugh with her comedy, and even made the audience gape with a negative role.

Her love for the stage began early in life. In fact, Rodrigues would regularly participate in school functions and gatherings first at St Thereza Convent in Raia and later at St Alex HSS, Curtorim. It was in Class 8 that Salvador Afonso invited her to sing a solo on orphans for his tiatr ‘Assum Di’, at the Kala Academy Tiatr Competition. “The song was well received by the audience. This gave a boost to my confidence and I realised that I could actually perform on stage before a big audience,” recounts Rodrigues who is incidentally the granddaughter of amateur tiatrist Joaquim Fernandes who made a mark in one act plays, village tiatr and carnival shows, many
years back.

A lot of upcoming actors first begin their acting career with carnival khell before they are noticed by established directors. Rodrigues’ journey progressed similarly. She first began acting with carnival shows for Jack de Colva and Peter Fernandes and continued with them for a few seasons. One performance in particular during this tenure stands out. Recalling the incident, Rodrigues narrates that in a particular scene of the show, the male actor had to
slap her.

“In that particular show when the male actor slapped me, it connected, and I literally flew off the stage and landed on one of the flex posters. The audience was surprised and some even burst out laughing. Of course, many came to help me up and the pain was quite intense. But then, that is part of acting. At times, pretense turns to reality. The actor was very apologetic and it was all good!” she says, with a laugh.

Rodrigues later acted for a tiatr by Gloria Ferrao and soon joined Menino Mario in his tiatr ‘Kiteak Lozta’ which marked her debut into commercial tiatr. The tiatr which was performed all over Goa had a cast comprising of young actors who were made to do roles of adults. Rodrigues was cast as the mother and she did it with conviction. Milagres de Chandor then went on to cast her in ‘ATM’. She later played the heroine for JosEvon in ‘O MHojea Rajea’ and did a comic role in ‘Fott Uloinaka, Sot Uloi’ by Ives Tavares. A challenging role came her way in ‘Hanv Jikhlom’ by Aleixinho de Morjim. This was the first prize winner at the Kala Academy Tiatr completion. Rodrigues was roped in after the main actress stepped out owing to another assignment. “I watched the tiatr once and was given the script. Few days later I substituted for the heroine of the show and went on to perform in more than 20 shows. It was a great experience to act for this award winning troupe and director,” she says.

Rodrigues also composes congratulatory songs and has sung these at toasts for weddings of relations and friends. “I am happy with the offers that I have got and have performed to the best of my ability. I wish to thank Menino Mario for giving me the opportunity to make my debut in his commercial tiatr. This gave me confidence to go further,” she says.

And Rodrigues hopes to continue with some good roles. “I thank God for this talent and my loving parents, who have been very supportive. In fact my dad would always accompany me for every show, when I was a child. I am also grateful to the audience for their support and to all my directors and co-stars who have always been there,” she says.

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