Put down the names of all the best actors in Hindi cinema (Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui etc) and you’ll find that they all have significant years of theatre experience. For any actor who is serious about his craft and wants to excel in his career, joining a theatre group in Mumbai is considered the ideal next step.
Theatre Vs Acting School
Yes, you can join a proper acting school too but the kind of exposure you will get on stage, techniques you’ll learn by interacting with fellow artists, and the confidence you’ll get by performing in front of live audience is unmatched. Of course, a film school has its own advantages but nothing beats the realism, unpredictability, and self-belief that a theatre performance gives.
So, whether you are a newbie who wants to learn acting or a professional who wants to hone his skills, these are some of the top theatre groups to join in Mumbai. Be ready for tight schedules and hard work, and most importantly, have patience, your time too will come.
1) Ansh Theatre Group
Founded in the year 1993 by actor and director Makarand Deshpande, Ansh has made quite a name for itself because of its unique plays and marvelous performances. In fact, Makarand’s work has attracted many great artists like Anurag Kashyap, Vishal Bhardwaj, Ratna Pathak Shah and many more. The greatest thing about Ansh is that it gives free workshop to aspiring actors, but expect lot of hard work. The group has performed over 50 plays and some of their most popular plays have been Imli Papita Tarbuz, Karodo Mein Ek, Miss Beautiful and many more.
The group also organizes master classes on acting which are taken by famous personalities like Kay Kay Menon, Sonali Kulkarni, and many more. These master classes are held in places like NCPA, Prithvi Theatre etc. For both wannabe and professional actors, Ansh is certainly one of the best theatre groups in Mumbai.
2) Rangshila Theatre Group
Founded in the year 2008 by Avneesh Mishra, Rangshila Theatre Group is a relatively younger but pretty popular theatre group in Mumbai. Avneesh founded the group with a vision to take theatre to every corner of India, and has a dedicated team of young enthusiasts to make this possible. The group has performed in various prestigious festivals like Bharat Rang Mahotsav, and have also performed in many cities across India. Having performed more than 200 shows across India, Rangshila is a great place for an actor to better his craft.
The group also organizes theatre workshops and acting classes which are mostly held on the weekends. These acting workshops are called ‘Parados to Stage’ which means the side entrance used by actors during a performance. The syllabus of these workshops have been made by experts from NSD, FTII, and BNA, while the training itself is given by master actors themselves. The classes include acting, voice modulation, physical exercise, scene work, improvisation, and much more. Program duration is 3 months, and classes are held every Saturday and Sunday between 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM.
Oakland Park, Lokhandwala
Mumbai – 400053
3) Ekjute Theatre Group
Entertaining audiences for more than 35 years, Ekjute is a well-known theatre group that was founded by NSD alumni and real-life husband-wife Raj and Nadira Babbar. It is considered one of the earliest theatre companies in Mumbai, and is famous for improving the quality and scale of theatre productions. Ekjute has adapted the works of many famous playwrights like Bertolt Brecht, John Osborne, and many more. Having performed all over India at several prestigious theatre festivals, Ekjute is a great place to take your skill to the next level. The group has also performed in countries like UK, USA, Singapore, Germany, Iran, Bahrain and many more.
Ekjute also organizes theatre workshops for aspiring actors and children. These workshops train actors on different aspects like acting, voice modulation, dialogue delivery, costume designing, dance, and much more. The workshops are taken by Mrs. Nadira Babbar and other popular theatre artists, and typically cost around 50,000 Rs for a month’s training. Classes happen for 3 hours every day between 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM.
Ekjute Theatre Group
Nepathya 20, Gulmohar Road,
Swastik Society, JVPD Scheme, Juhu
Mumbai – 400049
4) Motley Theatre Group
The brainchild of the great actor Naseeruddin Shah and his friend Benjamin Gilani, Motley is one of the most famous theatre groups in Mumbai. The group mostly performs English plays, and adapts great works like Ionesco’s The Lesson, Albee’s Zoo Story and many more. The path-breaking moment for the group came with the production of Julius Caesar which was received greatly by the audiences. For the last couple of years the group has also been performing in Hindi to reach out to more people.
From 1979 till date, the group has performed many plays across India and abroad, and has touched almost every genre possible. For any aspiring artist who is looking to join a theatre group in Mumbai, Motley would be a dream come true.
204, Perry Cross Road, Bandra West,
Mumbai – 400050
So you have read our picks for the best theatre groups in Mumbai. If you are really serious about this craft, then joining any one of these theatre groups should be on the top of your list. Be ready to slog it out, and Best of Luck from the team at Bollywood Career.