And Receives the Padma Shri
Manoj Bajpayee made another visit to graduating members of the BJAS Mumbai Diploma in Film Acting course in late December, 2018. As always, the students appreciated his sincere engagement with students and his honest tales of life as a struggling and then successful actor. Videos of his interaction with students are linked below.
Manoj was conferred with the ‘Padma Shri’ on the 70th Republic Day, 26 January 2019. From Bikhu Mahatre in Satya (1998), to Sardar Khan in Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), from a homosexual professor in Aligarh (2015), to a scheming politician in Rajneeti (2010), actor Manoj Bajpayee has enthralled his fans with a variety of roles in his 25-year-long career in films.
But as he explains, it wasn’t always so easy. Manoj arrived in Delhi from Bihar in the mid-eighties with the passionate desire to become an actor. However, he was rejected from the National School of Drama for 4 consecutive years. Then he met acting coach and famed theatre director Barry John and joined his Theatre Action Group. Impressed by Bajpayee’s acting, John hired him to assist him in his teaching.
Manoj Bajpayee earned his acting credentials doing theatre and is known for his acting sensibilities. He made his feature film debut with a one-minute role in Drokaal (1994), which was followed by a brief but celebrated role in Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen (1994). After a few unnoticed roles, Manoj played the gangster Bhiku Mahatre in Ram Gopal Varma’s 1998 crime drama Satya, which proved to be his breakthrough role. He received the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for the film. He is next seen in Son Chiriya which has an ensemble cast comprising Sushant Singh Rajput, Ranveer Shorey, Ashutosh Rana, and Bhumi Pednekar, among others.
At the end of June, Graduation Day for the six-month, full-time Diploma in Film Acting course (DFA 06-11) in Mumbai featured actor Vineet Kumar Singh. Attended by the full batch as well as the continuing students of the following batch, Vineet gave insight into the daily work and trials of actors in Mumbai. His lively talk – on acting, filming, preparing and more – was greatly appreciated.
When asked “What’s next” most of the graduating students replied, “Stay in Mumbai and get work!” More than a few wanted to continue for another six months!Read More
A major hit! A packed house at India Habitat Centre’s Stein Auditorium enjoyed the latest production of BJAS Theatre’s Baghdad ka Gulaam, the hilarious historical, fantastical comedy based on Carlo Goldini’s The Servant of Two Masters. The story of love, secret identities and the insanity of royal families had everyone in stitches. This production, the Hindi version performed by Barry John’s Theatre Action Group in 1988, will now go “on the road” to other cities in India.
BJAS Theatre Delhi is in rehearsals with a new play to be performed soon.
The Big Night In, a comedy by British playwright Richard Marsh, was performed to a small but appreciative audience by BJAS Theatre Mumbai on April 19 & 20, 26 & 27. Four best friends meet after a long time for a night out. While three of them prefer a big night in, they give in to the idea of a big night out. They become dismayed when they realise that they are getting older, girlfriends are getting serious, while kids, slippers, and mortgages beckon. These four pull you through a show reminding you of your best friends and how it’s not always the best idea to live it large.
BJAS Theatre Mumbai is in production with two more: another English play and a new play in Hindi, to be performed soon.Read More
Young Actors Club is back for the Summer Session, in Delhi and Mumbai. A great activity for kids aged 8 to 15.
In Delhi NCR, dates for most venues are 21 May – 15 June, with performances on Sunday morning, 17 June. Venues include Cambridge School, Noida; Lok Kala Manch, Lodhi Road; Gymkhana Club (members only); Gulmohar Club, Vasant Vihar Club and Select Citywalk in Saket. Timing for these venues is Monday to Friday, 9 am to 12.30 pm.
For Tagore Modern School, Shalimar Bagh, same dates with timing from 11 am to 2 pm. For India Habitat Centre, dates are 28 May to 23 June, timing 2 to 5 pm.
Give us a call at BJAS Studio for details on admissions and fees: 9716114466 or 9999704455.Read More
BJAS Theatre in Mumbai and Delhi is now swinging into high gear with two new performances- and many more to come.
In Mumbai, it’s The Big Night In, an English comedy, on the boards April 19 & 20 and 26 & 27 April at Mise En Scene, Andheri West, Mumbai.
The Big Night In, by British playwright Richard Marsh, is the uproarious story of four guys stuck inside with each other for an entire evening. Performed by alumni of Barry John Acting Studio and produced by BJAS Theatre. For ticket info, call 8850408662 or 9821044325. Join us for a sparkling evening of comedy!
Baghdad ka Gulamis a hilarious historical and fantastical comedy based on Carlo Goldini’s The Servant of Two Masters. It’s a tale of mixing love with secrets and the resulting confusion. This production is the Hindi version performed by Barry John’s Theatre Action Group, in 1988 and by BJAS Mumbai Studio in 2008.
Performance is 12 May at India Habitat Centre’s Stein Auditorium, on Lodhi Road, 7.00 PM. Ticket at bookmyshow.com.
BJAS Theatre is the BJAS Theatre in Education Trust (BJAS-TIE), a new non-profit Society that continues the tradition of fine performances by Imago Theatre Group and Theatre Action Group. Its acting and stage management members are graduates of courses at Barry John Acting Studio.
We are now welcoming sponsors. To join BJAS Theatre as a donor member or major sponsor, call us on 9716114466 (Sanjay in New Delhi) or 9967977966 (Rajeev in Mumbai).
At the final day and graduation ceremony at BJAS Studio in Mumbai, we were happy to welcome the famed Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Nawaz was part of a lively exchange of ideas with the students, handed out diplomas, and posed with the students for their class photo.
Nawaz was a student at NSD with Rajeev Gaursingh, who manages (and more) our Mumbai Studio.
We’ve posted photos at our Facebook Page and at Instagram, and a video of the discussion will posted soon here and at FB and Insta.
Great weather, good crowd, and energetic performances by the kids made for a perfect afternoon for the Young Actors from our Studio in New Delhi. The event culminated our 6-weekend workshop, spent entirely on preparation for the outdoor Street Play performances. Both Street plays were about problems and stresses experienced by children in modern-day urban India, and featured songs, rhythmic chanting and “scenes” which created a story.
Coincidentally, just before the performance began, an ex-YAC and Certificate Course student, Simraan Kaur, walked by. She was visiting Dilli Haat with family. Simraan talked for a while with the students about her experiences – she’s now in a daily serial, working in Mumbai.
The students in the YAC program:
Ishani Sinha, Pukit Abrol, Vedika Sethi, Nihal Solanki, Kaashvi Agarwal, Arnav Agarwal, Prarthana Agarwal , Shresht Bajaj, Daksha Amit Sawant, Sharmishtha N. Singh, Viraj Vohra, Anya Grover, Shaurya Grover, Aryan Batra, Dheer, Bharat Suneja, Annvi Tyagi, Isha Kanodia, Rashmi Abeogaonkar
The excellent teachers were Praveen Pithambaran and Gopal Vats.Read More
We’ve assembled a crew for shooting short films in both Mumbai and Delhi, and we’re looking for great scripts. Comedy, drama, a mixture of the two, all OK, but please – no copies of Western or Indian films, and nothing that “has a message” delivered by hammer. We’re looking for well-drawn characters and an engrossing story. The story can be presented in a traditional or experimental mode. Send us ideas from the Film Submission page.
Our first film is from a script by Barry John, and he’ll be directing. On the floor in early March, in Delhi – auditions are an event at the Facebook page.Read More
Theatre groups featuring BJAS graduates are starting up (or continuing) in both New Delhi and Mumbai. We’re now in the process of choosing a season plays (in both Hindi and English, old and new) and auditioning actors who want to join the troupe.
In New Delhi, Sanjay Sujitabh is in charge and can be contacted through Ratika at the front desk on 9716114466 or 9999704455. Rajeev Gaursingh is heading up the group in Mumbai and can be contacted through Arhsiya our casting head on 9967977966 and 9967977967.
BJAS grads can also join as stagehands or other backstage work, inclkuding lighting and sound tech, set design, etc. Just give us a call and come see us.
A few words of caution and challenge for anyone who is thinking about joining a BJAS course. While “acting naturally” may look easy when the pros do it, freshers find out soon enough that it takes talent and training and hard work to create believable characters in a film or stage play.Read More