|Mahendra Prasad Singh
When I was 10 years old I acted the direction of my elder brother but about direction I could do only at the age of 18 years in my village during Durga/Saraswati Puja in 1972. I became a casual drama artist of AIR (All India Radio) Patna.
What prompted you to form Rangashree and when it was founded?
When I joined Bokaro Steel Plant in 1975 few drama and Bhojpuri loving people joined together and started performing small script on different occasions in Bokaro Steel City. At Bokaro there used to be a chhandorupa Inter Lingual Festival every year. In 1978 my Bhojpuri play bagged all best prizes and I got the best script writer best director and best actor award. This motivated us and led to the formation of RANGASHREE I came to Delhi in 1993 and formed it 1994 since then we have been presenting Bhojpuri drama over here.
Tell us about your well known play and other which are scripted and directed by you?
Yes “Birju ke Biyah” is the most famous play. Kachot, Basmatia Chaur, Lutki Baba ke Ramleela, Pratikshalaya, Khuda Na Khasta, Paharua etc are my other famous plays. However, Birju Ke Biyah and Kachot are the only two plays which are published. Birju Ke Biyah has been in the curriculum of Universities in Bihar.
Have you ever tried to go for acting in films and serials?
I have never tried but I have been offered roles in serials and film through reference of my artists and disciples who keep on trying and acting in films and serials. They are also keep in touch with Rangashree.
Would you like to tell us about the shows arranged and performed by you in different part of the country?
I acted and directed seven self scripted Bhojpuri plays including Birju ke Biyah, Basmatia Chaur, Lutki Baba Ki Ramleela, Kachot, Paharua and given 300 shows at different places in Bihar and Jharkhand and subsequently at Delhi in different auditoriums including LTG Auditorium, Sri Ram Center, Rajendra Bhawan, SSS Auditorium JNU, Pusha Institute Auditorium, Tal Katora Indoor Stadium, PSK and several other shows on different Nukkads.
We performed more than 100 shows of famous Bhojpuri play Birju ke Biyah and Lutki Baba Ke Ramleela in different cities including Bhilai, Kiriburu, Ranchi, Patna, Ara, Delhi, Dhanbad, Sindri, Renukut (UP), Chhapar, Nagpur etc.
What are the challenges of running the Bhojpuri Repertory theatre group in Delhi?
Getting sponsors for Bhojpuri play is the biggest challenge. Another challenge is finding Bhojpuri speaking female actress in Delhi. My friends used to tell me that people tried to speak in English after landing in Delhi and why I am fighting for Bhojpuri theatre? My answer is to them that my mother and my mother tongue would not change even if I will live in London.