Living Legend of 8th Theatre Festival in Delhi
Renowned theatre, television and film actor Ms. Sarita Joshi graced the ‘Living Legend’ session. She is best known for her role as Godavari Thakkar in the hit TV series ‘Baa Bahoo Aur Baby’. The veteran actor is hailed as the queen of Gujarati and Marathi theatre and received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Gujarati theatre.
Reminiscing about her foray in theatre and initial days as a stage actress, Ms. Joshi says, “Our family’s economic condition was not very well and my father passed away when I was very young. I started doing theatre to support my mother when I was just seven years old and I still remember the song I sang in my first play as I simply love singing.”
After working as a child actor for six years, Ms. Joshi did her first lead role at age 16. She went on to act with Indian National Theatre and made her television debut in the 1980s with the TV series Titliyan (Butterflies) directed by Nadira Babbar. This was followed by numerous series in 90’s including the popular Hasratein. “As an actor I have always maintained my ethics, never left a director or production before completing my due commitment even if I was offered more money from a different production”, says Ms. Joshi.
During the session, Ms. Joshi candidly shared her experiences as an actor, guiding young actors about the nuances of theatre acting. “I believe for every actor, ‘Stuti’ used in traditional theatre is a great speech training. I have learnt to focus on pronunciation and diction in theatre as both of these plays a very important role on stage,” she says.
“Every actor needs to learn to love himself and take care of his craft. There are so many sacrifices an actor must do. For instance, I didn’t use to have ice or cold things in order to take care of my throat. Today, theatre has become simpler. There are microphones, prompters, etc., but it still requires attention to expression, footwork, neck movement and hand movements,” she emphasises while describing the relationship of an actor with his art.
Laying emphasis on the prominence of theatre, Joshi concludes, “I belong to traditional theatre which was the foremost source of entertainment in those days. Live art has always been ahead of films and television and the impact of theatre has still not declined.”