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April 18, 2016

Curtain Calls: Parna Pethe

Text by Simone Louis. Photograph by Ankush Maria. Location Courtesy: Ficci Auditorium, New Delhi

Actress Parna Pethe talks about her love of the stage…

“Working on stage — playing make-believe — sometimes leaves you so in tune with the story that, for a few moments, you are in another time, maybe another era. This game of being and non-being excites me a lot.” For Pune-based actor Parna Pethe, it all started while she was studying clinical psychology. “Before college, I was never inclined towards theatre, having been a Bharatanatyam dancer since the age of eight. I dabbled in acting in junior college and also directed some plays, while working with Mohit Takalkar’s experimental theatre group, Aasakta, for a one-act drama which toured Maharashtra.” Around the same time, Parna bagged her first full-length play, Bed Ke Neeche Rehnewali, for Prithvi Theatre’s children’s festival — one that would earn her plenty of praise. A turning point for the young actor was playing the role of Savitribai Phule in G. P. Deshpande’s Satyashodhak. She unhesitatingly lists touring with this production — which completed 100 shows in less than a year — as one of her most memorable experiences.

Parna is a busy bee this year, working with the theatre group Natak Company as well as with her father, Atul Pethe, a respected theatre director. Apart from three commercial Marathi films set to release soon, one can catch the 26-year-old’s performances in A Friend’s Story — an English play written by Vijay Tendulkar and directed by Akash Khurana, and Marathi plays Ashadhatil Ek Divas and Mi…Ghalib that is based on the poet’s life.

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