Life’s A Stage

An invaluable gift to Indian theatre, Sanjna Kapoor is best known for her theatrical entrepreneurship and her will to spread her love for the stage amongst the younger generation.

Her passion for Prithvi and her persevering personality to constantly reach for the stars is commendable. She hopes to make the Prithvi Theatre Carnival an annual event, and she talks about everything from success to scuba diving and more.

Who is your role model?

My all-time hero is my maternal grandfather Geoffrey Kendal, who had an amazing zest for life and a truly adventurous spirit. Theatre was his life – not a job he did separate from himself – yet he was completely professional. There’s an entire generation of English school children in India who grew up watching plays presented by Shakespeareana – his theatre company that toured India for over 40 years. One of my long time dreams is to revive this touring route and take theatre back into these schools.

Do you prefer acting on the big screen, on stage or conducting workshops at Prithvi and why?

Nothing compares with the stage. The most enjoyable part for me is the rehearsal process. Cinema just doesn’t appeal to me the same way at all.

I love conducting workshops with children at Prithvi and experiencing the joy of watching kids flourish in their own creativity.

What inspires you?

The magic of theatre! The sheer magnificence of how complete strangers can sit in a darkened auditorium, watch a play and be moved in the same way, laugh at the same things, cry at the same moments and be engaged in the same way.

How do you determine success?

I don’t. But I do evaluate each programme I undertake and try to analyse whether it achieved what it set out to or not.

How was your experience in hosting the Amul India Show for three-and-a- half years? Did it make you rethink any of your decisions for acting on the big screen?

It was a delight working on the Amul India Show – the production team and TV18 was super. But it never made me rethink my decision on acting in cinema or TV – in fact it gave me enormous freedom of time to focus on theatre and my work at Prithvi as it took only four hours per week of my time.

Tell us about something you’ve done yourself that you are really proud of:

Setting up and running the children’s workshop programme known as ‘Summertime’ with Prithvi Theatre has been a huge thrill. It has grown enormously over the past 27 years and has developed in so wonderfully. It’s a real buzz to get children hooked to theatre through a process of discovery of their own creativity.

Is your husband or son interested in theatre?

My husband is hugely critical of theatre and enjoys only the very best work, but my son is much more generous.


Favorite pastime:

Scuba diving – the timelessness of gliding with life under the ocean.

Book you’d recommend:

Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine – it blew me away. It’s a must read for anyone who cares about our world today.

Me in five years:

Working towards many new ideas to strengthen theatre practice in Mumbai and across the country.

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