|The Third Mask|
Numerous inspirations. One passion. Similar devotions. Unparalleled euphoria, and that little bit of talent. These were the essential ingredients that spiced up this drama troupe. The Third Mask are a family of individuals, with lofty aspirations, who hold the firm belief that pure expression is not only the result of sheer mimicry, but a culmination of the inner fire of passion and devotion towards one's art. Be it acting, Be it direction, Be it lights, Be it music. All of these together define histrionics and theatre in the strictest sense of the terms. Be it the limelight or the spotlight, they seek their euphoria on that stage. This 27th April watch them perform at the National Theatre Exchange! Before that let's know about them more as they talk about themselves in this interview with ExPress Magazine...
Tell us about the background of The Third Mask.How did you guys come together to form this group?
-TTM - The Third Mask was a very abstract idea that was contemplated by three friends during a second language period two years back at Don Bosco School, Park Circus. Having witnessed a tremendous impact a good play could trigger, the three of us (Prithwi Banerjee, Soumyadeep Saha & Yudhajit Roy) decided to revel in this ineffable feeling called Theatre. It took us two months after our ICSE examinations to gather like minded people who gradually became a family. It is humbling that they had faith in us when others were just skeptical.
|Prithwi Banerjee in C.H.U.P|
Being a bunch of youngsters in school, how do you all manage your academics & theatre simultaneously?
-On a very honest note, we too are probably searching for the same answer. And then it strikes us. We don’t really feel the paucity of time in the academic field only because we’re still doing what we love. That might require you to sacrifice some nights of sleep or face the indispensable parental heat at home, but you can’t really let go of your breathing space. Theatre, apart from all its beautiful side effects, gives us that extra bit of energy that is more than enough for even the Science students out here to face the H.C. Verma duels.
'The Third Mask'. What's the story behind this name for your group?
- Thinking of a suitable name was an ordeal. Even rummaging through the Oxford dictionary was not of much help. Our sole objective was to stand out and in Dramatics , all of us are acquainted only with two masks displaying contradictory emotions and it was then that we realised that nobody thought of a third mask for theatre. Hence, the name TTM- The Third Mask.
Tell us about your latest plays. What have you been recently working on?
-Being just over a year old, TTM has staged plays that have stunned the audience and at the same time, made expectations grow much higher. We’ve staged our debut production twice, with a wonderful feedback each time. ‘C.H.U.P’. (a tri-lingual dark comedy) was the most memorable journey ever. Then came ‘Mannequin’ - a production that we hardly thought we could execute when we faced the script first. This satire has to be the toughest project the team has thought of. We then went on to stage ‘Monocrisy‘ and now, the biggest platform awaits us at the National Theatre Exchange, where we perform ‘Au Revoir’.
As a theatre group, who are your inspirations?
-There are countless inspirations. I think it would take the entire page if I were to name the individuals who inspired us but I think that the impact a few dialogues and expressions could have on the audience always stir us to hone our skills. I believe that the devotion towards the stage is more inspiring than anything else.
Which genre of theatre interests your group more?
-The very basis behind the name of this troupe suggests that we are too dynamic and restless when it comes to sticking to a genre. From tragedies to brutal satires and censor board-disturbing comedies, this team has lived it all. Needless to say, we’re totally unafraid to continue with our daring themes, no matter how anti-national they call us.
Few years from now where do you see The Third Mask?
-TTM has always been solace for us. We never considered making a career out of it but some things should never end. Despite the fact that we will be taking different roads in a year we will not stop doing what we love. We intend to recruit more number of youngsters who share the same love for Dramatics so that they can continue with the group even if some of us are unable to. If everything proceeds according to our plans then I believe that TTM -The Third Mask will be doing shows nationwide.
The theatre culture of our country has always been very rich but there was a receding interest of the youth in theatre. Now when we see so many young theatre artists coming forward, what do you feel about the future of theatre in the next ten years?
-There are two sides to all the young artists coming forth and forming ‘troupes’ in the recent times. There are some who are really honest about it and that’s what matters. These troupes work very hard day and night and give in their utmost deal of toil to make things happen and live up to the true elements of theatre and the stage. It is beautiful to have such people coming up and trying to beautify this age-long art in their own innovative ways. But then there are some who take refuge to this field only to apparently publicize their PR skills. When it comes to matter within, you won’t find an iota of it, and that’s what is disheartening. The will to do something should be accompanied by the right reason. All in all, ten years from now, this city will see a different era of theatre, for sure.
Share one of your most memorable moments with us.
-The memory of the first production of TTM will be etched in our hearts. I remember that we got a standing ovation from an auditorium teeming with people. Basking in the appreciation for the first time on the stage after toiling for several days and conquering the fear of failing was in fact heartening. The first experience is always very special.
If people are interested in joining your group, how can they do so?
-We’ve just been done with the first phase of our recruitment procedures. TTM is welcome to one and all who share the same love for drama, with dedication at its prime bulletin. We’re always open to people who do their bit to contribute to this art. A simple procedure of recruitment following an interaction session is all a person needs to get through to join this family.
How does it feel to be able to perform at the National Theatre Exchange?
-It feels great to perform at The National Theatre Exchange being held on 27th April with veteran groups like M.A.D and Amygo Productions. Currently this is the biggest platform we have achieved. We intend to be back with a stand alone production next year. That will be the biggest project of this group. We don't want to reveal much about it but we are sure that it is bound to make an impression. Touchwood!
Finally, what would be your message to our readers?
-We’re too young to deliver any message as much, but we wouldn’t mind sharing a sentiment. As a team of students with lofty aspirations in the educational field, what made us come together was the strong will to do what we love, and what made us stand out was our honesty towards it. You still have people squinting at those daring few who happen to take up theatre as their profession, and that’s what we intend to alter. These intellectual practical guys are no more than a frustrated lot who never gathered the guts to lend a ear to their likings. What we have to do first is lend a deaf ear to these people generating negative vibes. Theatre has no obstacle in path but the pessimistic human mind. And your life is beautiful and short to listen to these fellows, so do as your heart says and have the maturity to know where to draw the line.
Special thanks to Prithwi Banerjee
Co-founder: ExPress Magazine