…Chale Hans ki Chal Delivers a Message
Play Director Avinash Padhye Shares His Insights
…Chale Hans ki Chal, the play being presented jointly by IAGB and Leherein on May 13, is evoking lot of interest in the community. If you saw IAGB’s hit suspense play “Sach aur Sach ke Siva” last year, you have already enjoyed the work of Director Avinash Padhye. IAGB Director and eNews Editor Zehra Khan chatted with Avinash to discuss the play and explore his thought process.

The Right Script is Key
Why did Avinash choose to direct …Chale Hans ki Chal? “Theater is my passion,” begins Avinash. “…Chale Hans ki Chal has a powerful script, which is the first thing I look for in a play. It is also a comedy, which is one of the toughest genres to portray.” Trying not to reveal too much, he explains that the play reflects how society perceives certain individuals to be within certain norms, and how those individuals struggle to keep up with the burden of society’s expectations. “The characters of …Chale Hans ki Chal are a lot like people we encounter in our daily lives.”

Avinash considers identifying the right script to be a challenge. “You basically need a real good script with top-notch humor. It should have a story line that would resonate with the audience,” he observes. “However, comedy is tough to stage because you are walking a thin line. In literature, humor is mostly used to portray the shortcomings of the individual or society. Therefore, it is important to maintain a fine balance, and convey the message without hurting someone's sentiments. I strongly believe the script for this play meets those criteria.”

Convincing actors to get used to a script that may not appear to be a comedy at first glance is also important, as is the tight timing. Avinash considers his directorial approach to have more of a “Maharashtrian” style, and appreciates the fact that he can communicate with several talented Boston-area artistes who respond to his style. Together, they have all worked in approximately 20 plays to date.

An electrical engineer by profession, Avinash is well known in the Boston area’s Marathi theater circles as a director and an actor. He attributes his love of the theater to growing up in Mumbai, the land of Bollywood. Surrounded by a vibrant community of actors and directors, he helped launch a three-day theater festival in Mumbai that is held even today. It is how he met his wife Hirkani, an occupational therapist by profession. They have a daughter, who lives in Richmond, VA.

In Boston, Avinash met people who were enthusiastic about acting and had talent. The interactions motivated him to leverage his Mumbai theater background. He resumed working in plays, and directed and acted in Hindi and Marathi plays, and English skits. Though he had directed IAGB’s suspense play last year, Avinash has worked more in the comedy genre.

More to Come
"A play takes six to seven months to complete, from script selection to presentation and everything in between," summarizes Avinash. "It requires a lot of dedication, and rehearsals every weekend." You can look forward to enjoying more of Avinash's work, when the two scripts he is currently considering come to a stage near you.