01 May 2022  |   05:15am IST

A SPECIALIST AT WORK

An experienced tiatrist Dorothy Mascarenhas who has played various characters and acted for some of the biggest names in the business, acquired her skills watching her parents, co-stars and people around her
A SPECIALIST AT WORK

 

 

D

ola has had a long innings on the tiatr stage, thus making her a seasoned and matured tiatrist in acting and singing. Dorothy Juliet Mascarenhas, popularly known as Dola on the Konkani stage, hails originally from Sangolda in Bardez taluka, but is presently resides at Aquem, Margao in south Goa.

Born on December 29, 1971, Dola comes from a family of tiatrists where her father, late Valente Mascarenhas was a writer and director of several tiatrs and mother, late Rita Mascarenhas acted in the Konkani film ‘Amchem Noxib’.

As Dola’s father was an employee in MPT, Vasco, she studied in St Teresa’s Institute till class VI, followed by Lourdes Convent High School, Saligao till class X. She joined St Xavier’s College, Mapusa, to complete her higher secondary studies.

When schooling at both the institutes, Dola had ample opportunities to step on stage and showcase her inborn talents. As a youth, she was also part of the church choir at Sangolda, which helped her polish her singing skills.

Besides his job at MPT, Dola’s father, Valente Mascarenhas was also an artist, who would prepare stage panels and provide to tiatr directors. “One fine day his friend, late Anthony D’Sa from Cuncolim brought him into tiatrs and he found a place in one of Saib Rocha’s tiatrs,” she recollected.

As a writer and director, Valente Mascarenhas’ popular tiatrs include ‘Xevott Krimidoracho’, ‘Inam Rogtacho’, ‘Tarvot­teacho Put’, ‘Bim Toxem Bhat’, ‘Guneanvkari’, ‘Kudd’ddo Bhikari’ and others. At the tender age of 15, Dola made her first entry into tiatrs in her father’s tiatr ‘Kudd’ddo Bhikari’.

She was later picked up by A M Araujo from Santa Cruz, who introduced her in the Kala Academy (KA)’s tiatr competition in tiatr ‘Kallim Kupam’, where she won first prize for acting in the female category. She continued with the same director in three tiatrs at the annual tiatr competition, winning first prize in acting consecutively.

Impressed by her acting skills, another noted writer/director, Avito Fernandes from Merces roped in Dola in his tiatrs staged at KA’s tiatr competition. He provided her an opportunity to win prizes in acting and for eight years she was part of the said competition, winning prizes and proving her caliber as an actor on the tiatr stage.

Soon after a short stint in tiatr competition, Michael from Santa Cruz, who was acting in Pascoal Rodrigues’ tiatr, recommended Dola’s name to the director and she made her first entry in commercials in tiatr ‘Ami Munis’, as a substitute. Thereafter, she came full-fledged in Pascoal Rodrigues’ troupe and continued with the same director for 2-3 years.

In 1999 Dola tied the knot with Charles Fernando and she took a long break due to commitments in marriage and family life. “When you have kids around,” she said, “it’s a different responsibility altogether and talent, stage art takes a backseat and family comes first.”

After a gap of seven years, Dola made a comeback on stage in 2007 when she joined comedian Dominic’s troupe in tiatr ‘Sonvsar Sudhorlo’. She continued with the same direc­tor for three seasons, followed by Mariano Fernandes’ troupe during the monsoons.

Till date Dola has acted for almost all the noted tiatr directors, which include Rosario Rodrigues, Prem Kumar, M Boyer, Roseferns, Prince Jacob, comedian Agostinho, Milagres de Chandor, Filipe Almeida and others.

After doling colours to directors’ comedian Dominic and Mariano Fernandes, Dola joined comedian Agostinho’s troupe in tiatr ‘Police 2’. “It was a remarkable and totally different role,” she reminisces, “where heart and soul was put into the character of an honest and upright SP. Every dialogue delivered on stage received audience response and the tiatr fans labelled me as ‘iron lady of tiatr stage’.”

Although Dola wasn’t part of the troupe when tiatr ‘Police 1’ was staged initially, she was roped in when the same production was re-scheduled on stage by public demand. “But ‘Police 1’ was a hit in comparison to ‘Police 2’, hence the re-scheduling at a later stage,” she added.

Dola admits that tiatr directors Prince Jacob, Mariano Fernandes, Milagres de Chandor, comedian Dominic, Agostinho and many other directors have given her amazing roles on the tiatr stage. And as she enjoys playing different characters on stage, she has performed in lead, villain and comedy roles as well.

In comparison to different roles doled out on stage, Dola has exceeded villain more than any other characters and she feels proud of her parents as she has inherited more of ‘tiatristponn’ from her father, who was a pillar of the Konkani stage.

When it comes to females joining the tiatr stage, there are always eyebrows raised and speculations galore, but Dola has a different thought and reasoning about it. “In any career there are always setbacks,” she continues, “negativity will always follow, but it all depends on each individual. If you wish to flourish, you can become big on stage.”

“Performance on stage should never be a career,” Dola opines, “but merely a hobby. Enjoy it as a hobby and passion and never join in only to earn a few bucks. Entry in the field of tiatr should come about in order to establish a name on stage.”

“When an artiste makes an entry in any troupe,” Dola shares through experience, “there’s intermingling of seniors and juniors. And when good advice is provided by the seniors, the juniors should accept it as it’s shared through experience.”

“If you are serious with your talents,” Dola states, “then you can flourish on the tiatr stage. And there are many, who are excelling and doing exceptionally well, as actors and singers.”

Dola was last seen in Irineu Gonsalves’ tiatr ‘Goyche Fuddari’, followed by Fr Nevel Gracias’ Lenten show ‘Tim Dogaim Ek Zatolim’ staged in 2022. “If you have love for the stage, then working under your director will help to do well and scale higher. Though inherited so much from my parents, learning from directors and co-artistes has helped me to become what I am today. Listening and obeying on the tiatr stage is very important.”

When asked about the stage name ‘Dola’, “it was actually my pet name,” she bluntly said, “and when acting in my father’s tiatrs, the name continued and remained there forever, among the directors, co-artistes and the audience as well.”

IDhar UDHAR

Idhar Udhar