Hushed murmurs, the curtains rise as the whispers then fall to a near negligible buzz—performance spaces in India are slowly beginning to garner the respect they deserve, as they grow in number across the nation. There appears to be a revolution of sorts across the art space in India and Delhi appears to be at the forefront of it. A relatively new theatre space has opened its doors and is a rather alternative space for performers; by taking away from the usual stage set-up an audience is accustomed to. Black Box Okhla is Nikhil Mehta’s brainchild, as he attempts to actively break the walls between an audience and the performers.
The new space uses pure simplicity to make its point—four walls covered with black fabric and nothing else. The performers choose their space, choose how to engage with the audience and decide how to incorporate their props. The aim here is to simply focus on art without the additional elaborate theatrical set-up one; thereby giving the performance more depth.
Black Box Okhla has already begun hosting theatrical productions within its space, such as the famed Shakuntala Project. In an interview prior to the production, Nikhil Mehta said of it, “The audience will be seated on the mezzanine level, voyeuristically looking down into the apartment of a man and woman.” While this production may be ending soon, Black Box Okhla plans to host several more in the future.
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