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31.07.2017

When you enter the intimate space home to the Barefoot Theatre Company, you are greeted by a photo of one of the founding members, actor Shivam Pradhan, whose words “Theatre is a way of life” continue to inspire the work of the company after his recent demise. Shahpur Jat’s newest performance venue is a space “dedicated to his memory,” says actor Shena Gamat. 

Barefoot Theatre consists of a large, well-lit room, a small kitchenette attached. There is space for thirty audience members to sit on chatais, but fifty can squeeze in for performances, rehearsals, script readings, one-man shows, workshops, film screenings, and plays with small casts. Over August, they’ll be hosting a puppetry workshop, a Habib Tanvir script reading, and a Chaplin movie screening.

Tales From The Script

Gamat and Pradhan helped found Barefoot in 2013 along with Ashish Paliwal and Pranav Bara, two actors well-known on Delhi’s theatre circuit. They’ve been producing theatre for years, with all four doubling up as voice artists, directors, cast, and light designers. If you caught Barefoot’s hugely popular “I Love You, Let’s Have Sex” that did over 30 shows across the country, you’re already familiar with theatre couple Gamat and Paliwal, who put their relationship on stage (Pradhan performed the prelude to the play). 

Now Barefoot finally has a stage to call their own. “This space gives us the ability to be engaged with theatre all the time,” Gamat says. “Our hope is that it becomes a safe and comfortable space, a catalyst and a conduit for theatre for lots of different people.”

Paliwal says they picked Shahpur Jat “for its accessibility for actors and theatre-goers”. He promises that “All languages spoken in Delhi will be read and performed here. I plan to do some Punjabi script readings soon.” And look out for their weekly Sunday afternoon film screenings. “All the films have to do with art in some way,” he explains. Please turn your mobile phones off and enter.

Getting there: 86/1 Shahpur Jat, 2nd floor, 2nd building, near 'The Wishing Chair'. Call +919654214860. Most of their events are free, though workshops and a few performances are ticketed. See their Facebook page here.

This story is contributed by Urvashi Bahuguna, a writer based in New Delhi. 

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