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Artistic Director of T-Pot Production Trishla Patel on Writing, Direction and Theatre!

Updated: Jun 3





Trishla has been writing, directing and acting in plays for close to 14 years now. Her first professional play was Mahatma vs Gandhi, directed by Feroz Abbas Khan, where she played the role of Gandhi's niece. She started Tpot production, 10 years ago. It has produced memorable plays like: Chaar Small, Jannat Central and Exchange Student. She was mentored into direction by stalwarts like Satyadev Dubey, Makarand Deshpande and Naseerudin Shah.




RAD TIMES: Dear Trishla, thank you so much for chatting with us. Coming to direction. Is it a more creative process directing and making a play for kids than adults? How do you keep your imagery fresh and interesting to the young crowd in Mumbai? Do tell us about your direction for adults too?



Trishla Patel: Different things inspire me to write different plays. Catch-22 was a film I saw when I was a kid. It left such an impression on me. The play Wolf I created when I read an article in the papers about the wolf going extinct. It made me write a play for children.

The play Graduate is another play I saw as a child. I knew I had to do the play and then growing up with The Simon and Garfunkel and you read such stories. It was quite a big thing to read about an affair in those days. And that too an affair with an older woman. So, it was taboo. And things which are taboo inspire me to write.

I wrote the play Exchange Student because I had myself gone as an exchange student. I just wanted to share what it felt like. And I hope other students can get inspired too to go as exchangee after watching this play. And it is more about standing up for each other.

Then my newest play Raat Ki Raaniyan this play is more about friendship and how, friends become family.

Every play has a different kind of inspiration. I love to read mythology and I think Ramayana and Mahabharata are close sources of inspiration to me. I also read lots of Amar Chitra Katha. When I was a kid, I started reading them. And I think I graduated to reading other things. So, India has a plethora of stories to get inspired from and write a play.




RAD TIMES: Would you agree that we need more productions for children in our country?


Trishla Patel: I think it is an understatement when we say we need more productions for children. I feel, we need to be doing so much more and more . What Sanjana was doing for our country was class apart. She did not get much help from private companies and government. They had to close down. But people like Sanjana who was visiting schools, it would help eight-year-olds with arts in their blood when still young. We do need lots and lots of places for children in our country.

I find directing for children challenging both creatively and empowering way. As a director I need to create a safe space for children. As a director I cannot project any biases to them. A neutral approach and you should still be able to get your idea across. And keep the innocence intact. As we grow up, we all become jaded. So, keeping the ideas of innocence within my plays and still talk about very grown-up ideas is for me a very big challenge.

 While directing adults the challenge is much more because you are making sure it feels fresh. We have so much of OTT and CGI and AI, you name it. You are trying to keep ahead of all this and trying to make sure that it is fresh for you as well. I know that if I am boring myself, I am going to bore the audience too. So, it is always a challenge. And direction is something which keeps you on your toes.

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RAD TIMES: Coming to your latest production Raat Ki Raniyaan, that is to premiere at Prithvi Theatre. It feels like a simple story with the complexity of emotions revealed. Could you share something about your journey with this play?


Trishla Patel: My newest play, Raat Ki Raaniyan is about growing up together. Friends grow up together and how such friendships don't end. It is about how friends become family. Sometimes, you become more than family.

It is about all the possible emotions not only that women go through but men too. So many of our plays see male as villain. But, I think there is a villian in all of us, there is an angel in all of us. And we need to keep a balance within ourselves to keep our friendships growing. Let's not point fingers and keep improving ourselves. Thats where friends come in. They really show you your place. They really show you how to become a better version of yourself. And that is what this play is about. Trying friends, when they force you to become a better version of yourself.

They look after you and make you laugh; they make you; and they make you cry.

There is so much joy in writing this play, I can't tell you. The journey of this play started literally a month ago. I woke up and I said, I have to do this play. Literally overnight. And I started writing the play around April, I think, I think 10th.

Every day, I would give a scene to the actors, and they would rehearse for a few days. I would write this next scene and it is the actors themselves who have put light in the lines. I would say it's a very collaborative process. I would write the lines for them also seeing what they are enjoying doing on stage. I have really enjoyed writing this play actually. I hope it does many shows and travels around and comes to Pune too.




RAD TIMES: Could you tell us how long did you take to complete the script...and how did you come about this story? Would you have any plans to take this around the country?


Trishla Patel: This play has taken me three weeks to write and direct at the same time. We would love to tour with this play around the country. I don't know how this production company has survived till now. Yes, it is on good will. My husband helps me a lot with putting this production together. So, I hope we can take it around the country and people invite us. Every play has a certain life to it and so let's see how long the life of this play is. I do hope it brings a lot of joy to all the people who watch it.




RAD TIMES: It was a pleasure chatting Trishla. Thank you so much! Have a wonderful show one of Raat Ki Raaniyan at Prithvi Theatre.


Trishla Patel: Thank you!




Photo Gallery of Trisla's some other plays:





 

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Deepak Sinha is Editor-of-all-things at RAD TIMES and loves chatting stories and bringing out theatre and entertainment industry ideas for the youth and young theatre goers. Over the span of last 5 years he has reported on theatre in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi , Bengaluru and on the Broadway. Some of the newspapers he has contributed to are My Theatre Cafe, IBT TIMES ( Australian Edition as Entertainment Writer ), Loud applause. Some of the notable writers he has interviewed are Shanta Gokhale, Padmashree Ruskin Bond and Devdutt Pattanaik.

He organizes TEDxconferences and has been on the core team of TEDxPune for last 7 to 8 years handling community, conference curation and logistics.

In the world of modelling he has won local pageants like Phoenix Style Icon' 23 ( Runners Up Group C).

He represented Maharashtra-Mizoram at Mr. India Supranational 2023 and won a sub-title.




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