The city’s first youth theatre carnival paves the way for bigger and better fare. PAYAL CHHABRIA
The theatre scene in Chennai is like old wine. It has taken its time to taste better. However, of late, it seems to be extending its horizons. The recent three-day theatre fest, “MY Theatre Festival”, curated by Prodigy Next in association with Masquerade Youth Theatre, served as a catalyst.
Conceived by Mohamad Faizan, Dushyanth Gunashekar, the festival strung together a handpicked assembly of youngsters under 25. “It is an attempt to craft a youth theatre carnival similar to Thespo festival in Mumbai. We intend to make this an annual affair,” says Mohamad Faizan, Managing Director of Prodigy Next. “Also, it’s a mix of fun and social responsibility as the proceeds go to Rotaract Club Of Madras, Reclaim Our Beaches and Barbara Kelly Home.” The festival, held from February 2-4, satisfied theatre fans with an assortment of plays. Day one had four plays: “Love Follows After”, “Did you see PS 43”, “Deep Freeze” and “Pub Crawl”.
Amitash Pradhan, director of “Love Follows After”, said, “Youngsters are not given full-fledged productions. Drama is considered for older people. We’ve tried to bridge that gap so that youngsters get the exposure they need.” Seven people were trapped by an unusual tale within the closed premises of a room.
And so was the audience on the second evening. “Jerome Bixby’s Man from Earth” saw the concepts of cave men, reincarnation, origins and historical times woven with an extraordinary performance by the protagonist (Nakul Jayadevan) and deep music. Day three offered a mish-mash of mime, dance and theatre highlighting “Vidhuran”, a little known character from the Mahabharata. The performers carried the show on their shoulders. The dance and a monologue by a significant joker were perfect additions. Sravanth Ramani, who performed the monologue, says, “Everyone is always curious about what’s different. We intend to tell them that this is different.” Well, it indeed was.
Payal is a M.A. Communication student at M.O.P. Vaishnav College For Women.
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