“The discipline of theatre has helped me to perform better in different formats,” says Himani Shivpuri

On World Theatre Day, the veteran actor looks back at her rich and diverse creative journey

Mumbai: Versatile actor Himani Shivpuri’s life has taken many unpredictable turns but what has remained constant through it all is her love for theatre. Even as a postgraduate student of Organic Chemistry, she was drawn to the lure of the stage and eventually joined the National School of Drama (NSD). After graduating from NSD in 1982, her eventful career began and to date has encompassed many milestones across different formats like television, cinema, theatre and OTT platforms.

The actor who headlines Zee Theatre’s teleplays, ‘Hamidabai Ki Kothi’ and ‘Rishton Ka Live Telecast’ says, “Theatre teaches you to internalize a character and to sharpen your skills through extensive rehearsals. This discipline and practice then enable you to perform better in different formats. Teleplays also interpret theatre in a very unusual way and working in ‘Hamidabai Ki Kothi’ and ‘Rishton Ka Live Telecast’ has been very interesting.”

About her role in ‘Rishton Ka Live Telecast’, Himani says, “I play a strong mother and all women who have ever been taken for granted will identify with her. The play also makes very important points about genuine communication between family members, especially at a time when people would rather spend time with their gadgets than with each other. Tangible human connections are invaluable and only when relationships are nurtured with love, can they thrive.”

About ‘Hamidabai Ki Kothi’, she says, “It is a dream role for any actor not just because it has a great scope for histrionics but also because it makes us realise how some of the greatest living artists have faced neglect and faded into oblivion.”

When she looks back at her own journey, Himani sees many unexpected twists and recalls, “I had to leave the NSD Repertory when I decided to work in the Doordarshan serial ‘Phir Wohi Talaash’ in the early nineties and since then, I have acted in television, films and OTT. Still, theatre remains my first love and no amount of name, fame and money associated with showbiz can replace the satisfaction you get as a theatre actor. I will always find time to stay connected with it.”

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