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World Theatre Day 2021: Top 10 theatre artists in India who emerged as successful Bollywood actors

World Theatre Day 2021: International Theatre Institute (ITI) initiated in 1961 to celebrate World Theatre Day across the world to value and importance of theatre.

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World Theatre Day 2021: Top 10 theatre artists in India who emerged as successful Bollywood actors

World Theatre Day is observed on March 27 every year. The day put emphasis on awareness about the importance of theatre arts. It is also celebrated to showcase the important role artists play in the field of entertainment. It also talks about the changes theatre brings in people’s lives.

Theatre has been one of the most popular forms of entertainment, since the Greeks. It is a combination of various forms of fine arts that uses live performers, actors or actresses to present before a live audience about the real experience in a specific place or maybe on a stage.

History of World Theatre Day:

World Theatre was created by the ITI and was celebrated for the first time on 27 March 1962, the date of the opening of the “Theatre of Nations” season in Paris. Ever since, each year on that date, World Theatre Day is celebrated on a global scale.

Today, ITI has more than 85 centres throughout the world. It also encourages colleges, schools, theatre professionals to celebrate this day every year with a lot of joy.

World Theatre Day 2021: Theme, History, and Significance of Theatre in society 

World Theatre Day 2021: Theme 

Messages from renowned Theatre artists are given to reflect the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace every year on this day. This year’s message is by author Helen Mirren who is a stage, screen, and TV actress.

On the occasion of World Theatre Day 2021, here are top 10 theatre artists in India who emerged as a successful Bollywood actors:

Ratna Pathak Shah:

Ratna Pathak Shah is one of the most talented actors Bollywood has produced. Along with her husband Naseeruddin Shah, they make a duo like no other. She has critically acclaimed plays to her name like The Father, Einstien, A Walk In The Woods and many more. You’ve got to catch her play next time she’s performing in your city to see what true acting talent looks like.

Shabana Azmi:

Five-time National Award winner Shabana Azmi’s name pops up every time there’s a list of great actors from India. And she’s equally famous for her stage prowess, having acted in iconic plays such as Safed Kundali , Tumhari Amrita and A Doll’s House .

Naseeruddin Shah:

One of the most revered actors in the country, Naseeruddin Shah (Mirch Masala, A Wednesday, Sarfarosh) honed his talents on the stage. In 1977, he formed Motley Productions, a theatre group with fellow actors, Tom Alter and Benjamin Gilani. Their first play was Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot .

Lilette Dubey:

Lilette Dubey has been active in shaping Indian theatre for almost four decades. She has a theatre company called Primetime Theatre Company and it is over a quarter-century old. Her directorial ventures include India’s longest running English play- Mahesh Dattani’s Dance Like A Man which has completed almost 500 shows across the world.

Om Puri:

The late Om Puri was known as one of the finest actors that Bollywood had seen but his acting roots were firmly set in the field of theatre. In fact, Puri’s play Udhvas Dharmashala was the first play to be staged at the iconic Prithvi Theatre. A National School of Drama alumnus, Om Puri once said he got into theatre because he was an introvert. We say, it was good fortune of Indian theatre that he did.

Rajit Kapur:

Rajit Kapur is an Indian film and theatre actor cum director. Kapur is most remembered for his award-winning portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1996 film by the same name. He has worked in notable plays such as Larins Sahib, Love Letters, Are There Tigers in Congo?, Class of 84 among others. He’s also the co-founder of Rage Theatre that began in 1992 and has since then produced some of India’s finest memorable productions.

Paresh Rawal:

Politician and renowned actor, Paresh Rawal has stated that he owes his career to his early years in the Gujarati theatre industry. Even today, the thespian manages to strike a balance between films and theatre. Paresh Rawal’s recent play Kishan V/S Kanhaiya premiered in 2011 and has completed over 500 shows till date.


Manav Kaul:

Manav Kaul is an Indian theatre director, playwright, actor and filmmaker. His first work was Shakkar Ke Paanch Daane and the other notable plays include Ilhaam, Park, Peele Scooter Wala Aadmi and Bali Aur Shambhu. He was praised widely for his work in the recent Hindi film Tumhari Sulu.

Pankaj Kapur:

Pankaj Kapur worked in theatre for four years after graduating from the National School of Drama before he was offered a role in the historical drama, Gandhi directed by Richard Attenborough.

Jim Sarbh:

One of the youngest names on this list, Jim Sarbh’s tryst with theatre goes back to the days of his work with Alliance Theatre in Atlanta where he won Major Supporting Role Metropolitan Atlanta Theatre Award for his role in Ice Glen.


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