Monday, November 18, 2013

Scenes Behind The Screen Of a Theatre Artiste


Theatre has produced several glorious artistes for our country as well as for our state, while theatre enjoys a sizeable audience, a large number of artist despite being successful in their own right, go unnoticed without their share of fame. Timeout speaks to a theatre artist participating at the ongoing National Theatre Festival on the craft, how artistes prepare for plays, the problems they face and what make them tick.

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"Sometimes we have to practice for months or year for a play and sometimes we have to prepare ourselves in less than a week depending upon the script and circumstances. an artist has to endure a lot of suffering if he want to succeed in theatre." Says Chandradasan, founder of the lokadharmi theatre and one of the directors of Vishwavikhyatmaya Mookku.

Lokadharmi Theatre is based in Kochi, Kerala and has contributed immensely to the growth of the theatre. Established in 1991, the theatre stages play across the country.

"We require different artist across different age groups for a particular play. in our theatre at Kochi, we have around hundreds of artist to choose from for performing in a play. We also have a theatre school and a theatre group for children. Both are the integral part of lokadharmi theatre; children with a desire to act in plays come and join us," Chandradasan said.

On theatre still doing well across the country, Chandradasan a theatre exponent for over 35 years, says that,"It is the love and passion of theatre artistes which has helped the art form survive in our state as well as across the India. there is hardly any good money in theatre but most of our artist have separate source of income and their passion for acting brings them here."

citing the example of national award winning music director Bijibal Maniyil and famous director Roshan Andrews who started their carreers with Lokadharmi theatre, Chandradasan says,"it is not as if overtime, theatre has lost its importance. people still love to watch theatre. Many acclaimed actors, directors and musicians among others have started their carrier from theatre which helped them achieve the peaks of success in their respective fields."

While several steps are being by the state governments to popularise theatre, the National Theatre Festival is actually one of those which serves the purpose of promoting the art form. However it is for the people of the state to decide if we are doing good job or not, say the artist of the lokadharmi theatre.

Vishwavikhyatmaya Mookku is a play directed by Chandradasan and Terry Converse which they staged Tuesday evening at Rabindra Mandap. "The play is staged in malayalam and Gibberish(nonsensical chatter) and around 15 artists perform in 65 minute play. We use gibberish generously throughout our play, as a part of an experiment to show that we can communicate with anyone through signs and body languages.We wanted to convey that language isn't strictly a prerequisite for communicating with others".

The play is about an educated young man who is a foolish simpleton working as a cook in a rich man's house. However he undergoes a transformation after his 24th birthday, and at the end of the play the people around him are shown as the sillier lot  than the cook.

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