How he made it to the Big Screen: From a stammering student to Shikhar Theaterwala

Case StudyHow he made it to the Big Screen: From a stammering student...

In our recent podcast, Shikhar Mishra, who goes by the name “Shikhar Theaterwala,” shared his inspiring story of overcoming challenges a student battling stammering to a renowned theatre artist, drama therapist and motivational speaker who is making a name for himself in the world of theatre, cinema.

He’s not just an actor, director, and writer; rather a passionate advocate for using theatre as a tool for personal growth and social change.

Let’s delve into his remarkable journey and gain valuable insights from his experiences. His story is a powerful testament to the transformative power of art and the unwavering belief in oneself.

Check out his podcast here.

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Shikhar’s world has always revolved around creativity. He comes from a family steeped in music in Kanpur. Interestingly, his journey with theatre began in his school days when he played the role of Tarzan. This experience sparked a passion for performing, but societal pressures led him to put acting on the back burner.


However, his love for theatre persisted. In his 6th grade, he started working with theatre enthusiasts at IIT Kanpur. This is when he also faced the challenge of stammering, a result of a childhood incident. Shikhar’s struggle with stammering led him to discover the magic of drama therapy. This unique form of therapy uses theatre techniques like role-playing, improvisation, and movement to address emotional and psychological issues.

For Shikhar, the fear of facing the camera stemmed from the fear of judgment, a feeling common to many.

“People aren’t used to being on camera, that’s all,”

he assures us.

“Watching actors like Piyush Mishra and Hritik Roshan, who also stammered, inspired me,” he shares.

Shikhar’s journey wasn’t without its challenges. He lacked exposure to workshops and professional guidance, a stark contrast to the opportunities available in metropolitan cities. But Shikhar was determined and didn’t let these limitations deter him. He started his own theatre group, aiming to make Kanpur a hub for aspiring actors.

Atal: A Dream Come True

His dedication and talent soon paved the way for bigger opportunities. Shikhar landed an audition for the movie ‘Atal,’ a dream come true for someone who grew up listening to stories about the legendary poet Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Working alongside actors like Piyush Mishra, whom Shikhar considers his “Dronacharya” (mentor), was a turning point in his career.

Piyush Mishra

Shikhar believes that

theatre and cinema are two sides of the same coin, each demanding a distinct approach.

While theatre thrives on a continuous flow and instant audience feedback, cinema requires precision and the ability to adapt to the director’s vision.

Shikhar emphasizes that formal degrees don’t guarantee success in the field of art. True passion, coupled with relentless practice and the ability to connect with people, are the key ingredients. He highlights the importance of learning from experiences, both positive and negative. He credits his growth to the challenges he faced, the failures he embraced, and the lessons he learned along the way.

Social Media & Theatrewala

Social media has been a game-changer for Shikhar with an Instagram follower base of more than 77k. He leverages its power to connect with aspiring actors and theatre enthusiasts across the country. His engaging content, presented in a clear and relatable format, has garnered him a loyal following. He strongly believes in authenticity and focuses on creating content that educates and inspires his audience.


Shikhar’s vision extends beyond personal success. Starting a theatre group in Kanpur came with its own set of challenges, but Shikhar was determined. He envisioned his group as a hub for aspiring actors, a place where they could learn and hone their craft in their hometown, instead of having to migrate to bigger cities.

He has envisioned “Theatrewala” as a platform to democratize access to quality theatre education. Through workshops, online courses, and personalized mentorship, Shikhar empowers individuals to explore their creative potential and find their voice through theatre.



Shikhar acknowledges the importance of automation tools like Cosmofeed in streamlining his operations. It has allowed him to manage bookings, schedule events, and personalize his offerings, leading to a significant increase in his reach and revenue.

He suggests others to:

  • Embrace knowledge: Continuously learn and refine your skills.
  • Stay humble: Success should not overshadow your humility.
  • Help others: Use your knowledge and skills to uplift others.
  • Travel and connect: Broaden your horizons by traveling and interacting with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Observe and consume: Actively engage with the world around you, and don’t be a passive observer.
  • Learn from failures: Embrace failures as stepping stones to growth.

As he says,

“This is an ongoing process, and I am constantly evolving. But one thing remains constant – my love for theatre and my desire to share it with the world.”

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