Couple on the Konkani stage – Priscilla and Xavier
Xavier Mascarenhas from Maina, Curtorim and Priscilla D’Souza, from Colvale are the husband and wife team that has created quite an impression in tiatr. He is a graduate from MES College, Vasco and she has completed high school through St Xavier’s, Mapusa. The two are presently seen in ‘Housewife’, a fine tiatr written and directed by Comedian Dominic.
From his childhood days, Xavier loved tiatr and the khell-tiatr that are usually performed during the carnival season. He would write and present various folk plays during carnival and also act for other directors. “The sound of the brass instruments played for the ‘khell tiatr’, is something that I enjoy even today and this brings a certain feeling of goodness,” says Xavier when he talks of this form of art. He has been in the profession since 1982, when he directed ‘Rinnkari’, a tiatr written by Anthony Pires. After that he continued writing and directed his own shows that were staged in various villages. Beginning with ‘Mhozo Guneanv’ in 1983, he wrote ‘Roma’, ‘Ghatki’, ‘Bondh Korat’ and ‘Porinnam’ in 1992. Between 2000 and 2008, he took a break from drama, as ‘Krystal Group of Companies’, the firm he works for, transferred his services to Mumbai. In 2009, he returned to Goa and decided that his inning in tiatr must continue.
Priscilla was introduced to Xavier, by Annie de Colvale, in 2009. This veteran had performed with the young actress in folk plays. He needed an actress for ‘Vollkonk Visorlo’ and she fit the role. Soon she became a regular in his shows, love blossomed and the two got married. They have three children, Savannah, Laneesha and the youngest, Russel. Priscilla plays the female lead in folk plays written and directed by Xavier and the cast often includes some of the best actors from the Konkani stage, including Dominic and Luis Bachchan. The couple are also good singers performing solos and duets, at times political at others social, enjoying good response from the audience. Many issues concerning the well being of Goans are highlighted in their songs.
“The director plays a major role in presenting a quality play”, Xavier mentions, “He has to mould the character and tell the actors, exactly, how the character has been envisioned”. He has high regard for Comedian Dominic who he claims directs his cast and knows what he wants. He also loves to perform in the competitions organised by the Kala Academy, where a director faces a big responsibility. ‘We learn more and new ideas are born in these shows’, he continues. Xavier’s efforts paid off with the award that he bagged for best director, when ‘Kanvllea Kiteak Roddtai Daran’, a tiatr written by Amar Sawant bagged the first place in the ‘B’ Group Tiatr Competition 2018 organised by the Kala Academy. Priscilla bagged the award for best actor in a negative role (female) for the same tiatr.
“I really love this profession and enjoy every moment of practice and performance”, says Priscilla. She has even acted in a Marathi drama titled ‘Boli Mansa’ by Sushma Sawant Productions. Many of the practices are held in their house and this has led their daughters, Savananah and Laneesha to also take a liking for the Konkani stage. “They watch and learn”, says Xavier. The two girls have already created a mark on the stage, with Savannah doing well in ‘100%’ and ‘Goodbye Papa’ and Laneesha bagging the award for best child actor (female) at the recently concluded B Group Kala Academy Tiatr competition. She also does a beautiful role in ‘Housewife’.
The couple is thankful to God, for this talent bestowed on their family and wish to continue giving their best to the audience. “Tiatr has to continue and we have to win the audience for the future of the tiatr,” Xavier concludes with a big smile.
Awards: Khell Comnpetition organized by TAG:
1st place in 2013, 2015
2nd Place in 2016.
Best Director for ‘Kanvllea Kiteak Roddtai Daran’ in 2018.
Tiatr acted for:
‘Pojisanv’, ‘Doria’, ‘Viva San Joao’ by Pascoal de Chicalim
‘Modli Vatt’ by Irineu Gonsalves
‘Borun Haddat’ by Rosario Mendes
‘Mhaka Tuji Goroz’, ‘Bhogo Maka’, ‘Mafi Magtam’, ‘Aadhar Card’ and the latest ‘Housewife’ by Comedian Dominic with Luis B.
Kala Academy Tiatr Competition acted for:
‘Porinamm’ (own show) in 1997;
‘Tension’ by Rosario de Aldona in 2013;
‘Aminch Kiteak’ by Manuel Dias in 2014;
‘Ami Soglim Ek Zaum Ieta?’ by Ronny Socorro Productions in 2015.