In an era where we flock to the movie halls and witness reel life at large, it comes as a surprise to many that a handful of people still put their hard work and deliberation into real theatre, the audience for which is even smaller.
Among those consistent, passionate theatre actors, we have one that has etched his name in the history of theater in Kolkata. Kartikey Tripathi, a young, theatre enthusiasts in Kolkata, was the first person to crowd fund his play back in April 2014 and still continues to do so.
Crowd fund? You mean common people like you and me are paying him to carry out his directional work? Why? These are common questions that come to mind when we hear the term ‘crowd fund’
So, team The Beacon Kolkata caught up with this storehouse of talent and got him to answer our FAQs
Explain crowd-funding to a dummy
Crowd funding is a process by which you reach a target of a certain financial sum which will be contributed by many individuals instead of one or two people shouldering the financial responsibility. It is basically ‘By the people, for the people and of the people’. Crowd funding is a very promising form of theatre if done in the correct way.
“If you have the will and work hard, money will not be the problem.” – said a strong believer Kartikey Tripathi.
Where did you get the idea of crowd funding from?
When I wanted to direct my first play ‘Laxmi Ka Swagat’ in 2014, I dint have sufficient funds hence I approached some corporate sponsors but since I dint have any organizational backup, I began contacting individual people to sponsor towards the funding of the play and I was fortunate enough to receive enough funds.
Were you the first one to crowd fund in Kolkata?
Yes. At that time I had contacted many seniors and recognized people in the theatre circle and they all confirmed that this concept of crowd funding had not been tried in Kolkata earlier, so yes I became the first one to do so with my direction debut of ‘Laxmi Ka Swagat’ in April, 2014.
What is your say on the theatre scene in Kolkata?
It is very bad, very disappointing. In the last 30 years, the level of theatre in the city has only decreased.
What keeps you going even when the theatre scene is bad?
I am addicted to the stage and the claps of the audience. I love to act and I am grateful to theatre because of which I got an opportunity in films like Detective Byomkesh Bakshi, Begam Jaan, a British film called ‘The Darkness Visible’, ‘ 22 Yards’ and two Bengali films as well. From a blink and miss performance, I have moved to prominent roles.
How much funding is required for a proper show?
If you pay your actors well, light designer, sound designer, etc presently it is costing me Rs.52000 for Mr.Abhimanyu, my present crowd funded play. if you go in for marketing then you have to shell out another 2 Lakhs approx.
What makes people fund the show?
There are people who love the art, there are others who probably wanted to do the same thing at some point but could not due to various reasons, so when they see others working so hard to get something like this to see the light of day, they gladly fund. Others fund because of the good rapport that we share. Some people like the fact that their money is being used for something productive. Some others just like the satisfaction that comes with the fact that they become one of the producers of a play, that also gives them a say in the play.
How do the contributors profit from funding?
There is no monetary gain in it but there is definitely a mental satisfaction. They are felicitated, their names are called out after the show and we acknowledge each one of them publicly.
How many crowd funded shows have you had till now?
Four – ‘Laxmi Ka Swagat’, ‘Devsabha’ was crowdfunded by various corporates and individuals, ‘pair taley ki zameen’ and presently ‘Mr. Abjimanyu’
Tell us about ‘Mr. Abhimanyu’, the present crowd-funded play.
Mr. Abhimanyu is a political suspense play based on Laxmi Narain Lal’s Original Script. It is a take on the present political scenario of the country. It is adapted, edited and directed by me.
If you want to witness this amazing play, be present at Gyan Manch tomorrow 27/7/17 at 7 p.m