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In talks with AbhijeetSatam, Actor, Producer, Director

Abhijeet Satam, son of Shri. ShivajiSatam talks to us on his latest theatre production – Epic Gadbad. What is Epic Gadbad all about and more on his association with theatre and stars like MakarandDeshpande. Read more:
  1. What is Epic Gadbad all about? 
Epic Gadbad is an unique kind of farcical comedy play written & directed by MakrandDeshpande. It’s the first time Makrand’s play has been bought to Marathi commercial stage and it’s earning praises from audiences and critics all over.

The story is about a dreamy eyed girl from a crazy family who is fascinated by an idea of getting married in a historical style wedding. The plot turns crazier when actual historical characters start popping up in their house, like William Shakespeare and BajiraoPeshwa, one of whom she falls in love with and gets married to. So now you need to watch the play to see who is that one is.

A totally entertaining farce blended with fantasy, poetry, fun and high energy performances by the entire team.
  1. How did it happen? We would like to know how you decided to be a part of it? 
Few friends suggested me to watch Epic Gadbad so caught the Hindi version shows at 
Prithvi theatre. I greatly enjoyed every moment I saw and instantly thought such a fresh comedy should be served for the Marathi masses.

So we teamed up and in a span of just a month we opened Epic Gadbad in Marathi.
  1. You have been in the theatre industry for a very long time, is there a play that really touched your live in someway and changed the way you think? 
Yes, started of pretty early as a performer in theatre. With children’s theatre in school and competitive theatre in college. So when in college I was some what well versed with the theatre circuit. Another additional reason was my actor father ShivajiSatam because of whom could observe things closely since I was a kid.

So when we were in college I produced a Marathi play, Mukkam Post Bombilwadi. Written and directed by PareshMokashi.

Since I started at pretty young age, theatre was more of an adventure than just business and to fuel that drive happened to meet equally passionate team members. This very first play went on to become one of the biggest successes of the times and established me as a producer and then on each play was a  new and learning adventure, still is.

Each venture and person with whom have teamed with, has unknowingly touched upon lot of good things. So, whenever I get a chance to work with such interesting people I jump in coz I feel ventures are more about the people with whom you are teaming up with.
  1. Do you think over the time, plays are losing its audiences are obviously more
Not exactly but yes there is a shift. It’s not only because of films or other new media but also because we haven’t innovated enough in terms of marketing, content, venues or overall experiences.

Am a hardcore optimist and i see lot of new things happening around which should push the whole experience and business to a new level. 

To add to that, we have always liked to do our bit in this through our software and tech businesses. We are producing new tech to promote and distribute content to larger masses. 

Also larger corporates who have entered in are here since they have seen some positive value in this and they would also bring in new growth models.
  1. Movies or theatre - what would you choose and why? 
Both are magical and hence have already chosen both. Also like to add web media to the list which I find super cool. 

Till we keep producing great work for our audiences they would keep enjoying and coming for it. Then it could a play, film, tv or web content or even a mobile app. There are lot of good content creators around and are producing some really cool stuff.

For me the ultimate satisfaction is when the audiences get engaged and that’s the aha moment. 
  1. You had someone from Israel too to watch the was that feeling of reaching out to a broader set of audiences? 
It was a pleasent surprise actually, when a big family from Israel came to watch Epic Gadbad coz someone from the fraternity had suggested them strongly. So they came and thoroughly enjoyed it.

You know it’s always a great feeling when audiences from various regions enjoy the show. I believe that shows that Epic Gadbad are strong enough and have an universal connect. 
  1. Till now the shows are running in Mumbai and was performed once in Satara. When is it going to other cities?
The Marathi version was performed in Mumbai and Satara recently to phenomenal response. And would be taken to more locations across Maharashtra like Pune, Nasik, Nagpur, Goa, Indore etc. 

The Hindi version is getting celebrated outside Maharastra also. Recently the team was invited and applauded at the Jairangam festival in Jaipur.
  1. Epic Gadbad is quite active on social media and has been the means of communication for the audiences. How do you tackle negative feedback? 
In a positive spirit, feedbacks if are helping productively then needs to be considered and negative ones mainly. We want Epic Gadbad to be a highly audience centric play so its our job to not to neglect any reactions good or bad and work on them. Whenever we are producing plays or movies or even apps for that matter we plan to use social media not just for promoting but also as a feedback tool.

For Epic Gadbad we have been getting 95% of positive feedbacks and majority of them are from millennials. This audience which till now was our social media audience is now showing up at theatres with increased footfalls. We are pleased to have a pretty loyal audience coz it’s been just 3 months since we started Epic Gadbad and we already have so many people who have watched the play more than once, we now know them personally through social media.

However big or small you can invest on promotions you should but more important is investing creatively on the content also. May that be theatre, films, web media, apps or rather anything good engaging content has and will always shine with a longer run. Just see the recent entertainment industry landscape, Marathi and Hindi both and you clearly see the change. 

William Shakespeare says in Epic Gadbad 'Words without thoughts never to heaven go’. I think this thought itself sums it up.
  1. Can we look forward to more of such theatrical associations with MakarandDeshpande? 
Yes sure, Mak is a dear friend and a great artist to team up with. He has his own unique way of telling a story and can take you to an altogether new dimension, a new world of his imagination. I have enjoyed teaming up with him on Epic Gadbad and would look forward to more associations.
  1. What is that one thing about any content that catches your attention the most? 
Story, characters and engagement capacity. If the tiny details are taken care of then the user experience can work more, the audience in me looks for these things most of the times. 

Have donned few hats in entertainment industry; actor, director, producer and so learnt lot of things doing each. So if you ask me to say just one thing then, Engaging entertainment.
  1. Message for those reading the blog
Stay Epic and enjoy Epic Gadbad with your friends and families. See you there!

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