Tag Archives: theatre

Powerhouse of talent taking theatre to new heights in Singapore- Shalakaa Karnik Ranadive



“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”- Marc Anthony

Womenlines entrepreneur of this month is the perfect example of this saying. She is an accomplished theatre, TV and film actor with over 20 years of experience. After starring in popular TV serials on leading national channels in India like Swabhiman, having worked for well-known production companies like BR Chopra, Balaji Telefilms, and UTV Productions, she went on to be part of several theatre productions in the UK. Since 2007, she has been based in Singapore and has produced and directed many plays through her theatre company Wecandoitt. Meet Shalakaa Karnik Ranadive who is also the Singapore representative for Anupam Kher’s acting academy Actor Prepares  and read her journey in field of theatre in her own words-

1.Please share with our readers’ little bit about yourself.

I started off as an actor in Mumbai, in the 90’s. During this time, I acted in many popular Hindi TV serials, including Swabhimaan, Astitva and Zara Hatke. After I got married in 1998, my husband and I moved to the UK, where I acted in films and many theatre productions, which traveled around the UK, Europe, and Canada. My family relocated to Singapore in 2007, and I set up my own theatre production company 9 years ago, called Wecandoit. Under this, I direct and produce my own plays. In addition, I run drama workshops for adults and children.

2. So when did you started this venture and what inspired or motivated you to take a plunge into this venture?

My latest venture in theatre is “Dastak”, the first and only Hindi theatre festival in Singapore. We staged Dastak for the first time in 2016, and this year we are staging its second edition. Having worked in theatre in Singapore for over 9 years, I noticed that all the Hindi performances that were staged in the country were overseas productions, and very few were based in Singapore.

My workshops have allowed me to discover a huge talent pool, not just actors, and directors, but also creative writers. I wanted to create a platform for these individuals to showcase their talents, and I wanted audiences to come and enjoy theatre without burning a hole in their pockets. Dastak is not only a festival, it’s a journey in theatre. You learn, you enjoy, you share, and you get to project your talents to an unknown audience. It’s all about creating a beautiful creative community, from all walks of life.

3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced during your initial days?

The challenge for any creative venture is the monetary support. When you have a new idea, it takes time for it to materialize and for others to believe in your vision. I knocked on many doors for funding and support but in vain. Finally, I had to self-fund, and everyone who came on board was pro-bono. I am extremely thankful for all the artists who agreed.

4. So how do you balance your personal and professional life?

The key to balancing your personal and professional life is having a supportive team on both ends. On the personal front, it’s your family, your home that acts like a pillar. Professionally, it’s the creative team or committee who works round the clock with me. It’s a motivated effort on both sides.

5. What would you suggest to other aspiring women who want to venture out on their own?

Don’t wait for the right moment because there is never a right moment or the other way to see- it’s always the right moment! If you have decided to venture out- start now!

6. Is there any person who has mentored/supported/inspired?

Life is a journey and I have met many people who have inspired me through this journey. I don’t read motivational books to get inspired. Every time I meet a new person, rather than scrutinizing their flaws, I only notice their good qualities and that’s my take away. I have stopped being judgemental. This helps me to stay Inspired.

7. What do you have in the pipeline for your venture’s future development?

Plenty! I would love Dastak to go international. My dream is to make Dastak cross boundaries, and for the theatre community to keep growing!
Dastak 2017 will be staged In November this year in Singapore.


Womenlines wishes best of luck to Shalakaa for her bright future and lots of success for all her ventures!




Charu Mehrotra

Promoting excellence in women!

Sparkling with plethora of creativity-Sangeeta Nambiar

A theatre director, scriptwriter, assistant director for travel shows on Zee TV  and Sony Entertainment Television, producer of several Ad films, a music video with legendary singer Asha Bhonsle, director of a 3 part series for Mediacorp, ‘Grill Please”, author of a book Barnabas – Bombay’s First Private Detectiveabout unravelling of a murder mystery set in pre-independent India, …..(wait list is not over)……..She has done a hilarious musical play “Emo! Singapore” delving on ‘emotionless Singapore’.Her first feature film A Gran Plan won her several accolades and got her international recognition and now her latest play The Silent Shadow speaks about domestic and sexual abuse that women face and is getting very positive reviews.Meet multitalented, expert multitasker, and immensly creative Ms Sangeeta Nambiar, sharing her creative journey with Women Lines-


1. Please share with our readers little bit about yourself ?

I started working in television in my mid 20’s. I wrote and assistant directed for a popular travel show called Namaste India, on Zee TV. I then moved on to Associate Producing another travel show called Indian Holiday on Sony TV. I also did a few corporate films before moving on to Associate producing an indie film, “SNIP!” directed by Sunhil Sippy. It gave me the opportunity to work with industry stalwarts like Ravi K Chandran and oscar winner, Resul Pookutty. After that, I did a 2 year stint producing ad films, with Phat Phish Productions. After my move to Singapore, I took a break. I restarted my media career in theatre, with a play I wrote and directed, called MAGIC FOR MAYA. After that, I started Playacting Productions and since then, I have directed 9 other plays, 5 short films and 1 full length feature film. I also direct ad films. I’m also the recipient of the 2012 Mira Nair award for rising female film maker at the Harlem International Film festival.

2. So when did you venture into this venture  and what inspired or motivated you to take a pluge into this venture?

The passion for theatre started 4 years ago but the need to tell a story has been with me for years! I enjoy the many mediums of conveying a message or telling a story. Film is a different animal, as is theatre. And they’re all enjoyable. I wouldn’t say I took a plunge. I’d say I’m enjoying swimming happily in this sea of creativity.

3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced during your initial days?

When I first started work in television, I knew the medium as something I had studied but never dabbled in. So yes, it did feel rather challenging. It was the same with producing. And ditto for directing. Every project brings with it challenges and I think the adrenaline is what makes all of this so enjoyable! I wouldn’t, therefore, restrict challenges to only the early days. It’s ongoing.

4. So how do you balance your personal and professional life?

Running a company means having to sacrifice social and family time. I hardly have a social life to write home about. I do try and make weekends and the weekday 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm time sacrosanct. That’s family time. With my husband. And my daughter who’s in Grade 6 and needs my attention and time. Before 7:30 pm, I belong to Playacting Productions.

5. What would you suggest to other aspiring women who want to venture out on their own?

I know a lot of women who have brilliant ideas. My suggestion: Just do what your heart’s telling you to do. Don’t wait for the money or the time. If you have the inclination, it’ll all come to you. And the path is full of hard work. Which is in itself, quite fun!

6. Is there any person who has mentored/supported/inspired you?

I have a lot of support in terms of family and friends. My husband, Mihir and my daughter, Rhea, are massive supports. My colleagues, Sarah Bloor and Shagun Chand allow me all my idiosyncrasies at work. And that is massive support! I am hugely inspired by J K Rowling. The more I see her films, the more I realize just how supremely clever she is!

7. What do you have in the pipeline for your venture’s  future development?

We have opened the second branch of Playacting Productions at Parkway Centre. It’s going to be a huge challenge to grow it. But we’ve done it before and so we’ll do it again. And of course the 2nd film.

Women lines wish best of luck to Ms. Sangeeta Nambiar for her future initiatives!



Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!