Lights, Sound, Action..These three words sums up my life- Deepak Kumar

By Irfan Ahmed. Updated: 8/27/2016 1:14:57 PM This Person: Then and Now

Very popularly known as the founder of Rangyug Theatre Group, Deepak Kumar is A-High approved actor and B-High approved Radio artist. He has worshipped theatre all through his life and dreams of giving new heights to this art in Jammu. In an exclusive interview with The News Now, he shared his journey, experiences, struggle and lot more. Find out below.

TNN: How and when did you started?

Deepak: I was an artist since childhood. I used to perform on stage during my school time. Plays, Actors, Stage, lights, Costumes used to excite me. Right from my school days, plays, actors, stage, lights, and costumes used to excite me. I was just studying in class 9th, when I got the opportunity to work with the stalwarts of theatre in Jammu like Kavitrattan, Dr.Lalit Mangotra, Pritam Katoch, Susham Sharma. I learnt a lot from them and that’s how the journey started.

TNN: Tell us about your first major performance and which character did you portray in your first play?

Deepak: I did my first stage performance in 1976. It was a play called “Geenai da khap” written by So Dr. Lalit Mangotra and Chamanlal Arodahad. I played a smaller part in that play but got huge lessons in return. Also, as a professional theatre artist, my first play was Laikha Bheeda(Account of an account), organised by Sangeet Art academy in New Delhi in the year 1990.

TNN: When did you first decide that you want to become a professional theatre artist?

Deepak: It was the year 1979, when I decided to take my passion seriously and joined Dogra Mandal. I attended few theatre workshops and then in 1984, I established Rangyug which is now a 32 years old baby. In my career of more than 40 years, I have acted, directed and written more than hundred plays in Dogri, Hindi and some in English too. I have also organized theatre workshops and camps for aspiring actors, worked with a number of theatre groups inside and outside the state and participated in various theatre festivals as well.

TNN: National School of Drama which is known as Mecca among the artist like you. Was there any moment when you think of joining that?

Deepak: Honestly Speaking, when I first started theatre, I so wanted to go to NSD and study the minorities of theatre there but since, this was not so popular thing in Jammu, I had to pursue my Post graduation in Agricultural sciences from Meerut University but luckily Meerut was close to Delhi so my weekends were usually spent at NSD watching plays done by my friends from Delhi.

TNN: What sort of struggle you have to face to establish yourself as a eminent theatre person in Jammu?
Deepak: The biggest challenge was to balance my work and theatre since in Jammu you cannot earn bread and buttur by just bieng an artist.

TNN: When did you start theatre group ? Do you face any challenges? How do you find the response so far?

Deepak: The biggest challenge was to make a balance between my job and theatre since in Jammu you cannot earn your bread and butter by just being an artist. Getting a good place to practice with the member of Rangyug was also something I suffered with during my initial days.

TNN: What do you think the government should do to promote theatre in Jammu?

Deepak: In Jammu people have interest in watching and enjoying the talent. Our government need to create atmosphere where theatre can flourish .Art academy should come with some new ideas on innovative projects and there should be proper documentation of events .They instead of doing plays all by themselves should invite local groups to participate. Moreover there is no proper theatre school in J&K even though National School Of Drama has sanctioned one regional school for our state but government has failed to identify the place. Lastly Universities in our state must come up with theatre departments so that students can be trained formally.

TNN: Which is your most cherished memory related to theatre?

Deepak: Working with Bollywood’s most talented man Naseeruddin Shah in a play.

TNN: Which one play inspired you the most?

Deepak: Whatever plays I have done in my career as a director or as an actor all have inspired me in one way or the other way. However, my most favourite ones are Adayadooray, Waiting for Godot and two dogri plays Likhabheda and Panda.

TNN: What are your dreams and future plans?

Deepak: I want to create a team of young people as a part of Rangyug who are dedicated to the cause of social change.

TNN: Any message to young artists?

Deepak: Now as a worker of theatre, as any art form demands that life should be led to make this world beautiful. Whether it is theatre or something else, if you have decided to do something, give it your 100%. All the very best.

Updated On 8/27/2016 2:03:44 PM

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