Business collaborations succeed when there’s hard work and commitment from all parties. But when friends come together for a common passion, it’s simply more fun. Rage Productions, one of the biggest names in Indian theatre is more than two decades old and has truly stood the test of time, as has the friendship between its founders.
The Rage trio—Rajit Kapur, Shernaz Patel and Rahul da Cunha have dozens of successful theatre productions to their credit.
In an interview with IndiBeat, Rajit and Shernaz talk about their journey, their favourite plays, and all things theatre.
IB: When you guys started out in 1992, did you ever imagine you’d make it through these years? What’s changed?
Rajit: Never thought we’d last this long! I had thought maybe two or three years.
Shernaz: We were young and enjoying the work…that’s all that mattered. Even now I can’t believe how time has passed. Every memory, every play feels like it happened yesterday. Certain aspects of the theatre scene have changed: more theatre groups, new writing, larger audience. Certain things remain the same: no proper infrastructure, not enough money, no government support, not many auditoriums.
IB: Rage has done so many great plays. Which ones are your favourite?
Rajit: As a producer, I’m Not Bajirao and Class of 84, because these two plays allowed us to travel the length and breadth of the country. They both gave new dimensions to English theatre in India. As an actor, Love Letters and Flowers. These two plays challenge me as a performer till date.
Shernaz: My absolute favourite is I’m Not Bajirao. I feel most proud to have produced that show. I am also proud of our monologue series: Going Solo, and One On One. They brought so many writers, actors and directors together. Also, while monologues are so common today, they weren’t when we first did them. As an actor, it would be Love Letters. I have lived that part for so many years!
IB: As theatre veterans and producers, what is it that you look for in aspiring actors, writers and directors? Any advice for them?
Rajit: We, from Rage, always like to collaborate with young talent in every capacity, purely because they bring new energy and fresh ideas to our projects. Also, it is healthy to keep working with different people. It keeps us from rusting and getting used to fixed ways and thoughts.
Shernaz: Actually it’s I who learn from the young talent rather than the other way around. Being surrounded by them keeps me young!
IB: Rage is a big name on the English theatre scene. What’s your take on English theatre in Mumbai?
Rajit: In recent times, there has been a large number of younger people in the audience in the age group of 20-25.
Shernaz: Theatre is no longer language-led, at least in Mumbai, so I wouldn’t say Rage is an English theatre company.
Rage Productions’ plays are frequently staged at Prithvi Theatre. For details, visit Prithvi Theatre’s website.
Image Credit: Rage Productions