Freddy Koikaran’s, Stagefright has had 24 different productions in the last decade. Spread across various genres, Koikaran stages short and full-length plays, interactive shows, musicals and more. Combining their 10th anniversary and Valentine’s Day, Koikaran’s wife Neesha is organising a supper theatre event, Love Bite, at Spoonbill, TTK Road. “We approached the restaurant and pitched the idea of performing short romantic comedies for their patrons. It’s a model we have used before, with great results. The show will have three plays of 10-12 minutes each—Arabian Nights, Sure Thing and Time Flies. My wife and I celebrate our anniversary on February 13, and almost every year, we are involved in a Valentine’s Day production. So that’s how we celebrate our anniversary,” Koikaran says.
Though Stagefright started off as a theatre group, today there is more to this endeavour. “It is our dream to be able to offer acting classes. With the help of Aparna Nagesh, a friend and choreographer who has been working with me since 2010, I plan to give potential actors acting and dancing classes to help them make it to the big screen,” he says. Another area that he’s involved in is talent management. From 2012, Koikaran has been managing promising talent under the banner Stagefright Talent Management Services. “We currently work with two bands in Chennai—Tails on Fire and Rusty Moe—and High Kicks, Chennai’s first all-girl dance ensemble. We are also negotiating terms with some solo singers and a budding DJ,” he says. Talking about the theatre scene in Chennai, Koikaran says, “It is buzzing, with multiple groups, festivals, and genres becoming prominent. Proper training is still clearly a challenge, but the enthusiasm is encouraging,” says the director who has been participating in the Short+Sweet festival from its inception in 2011.
Chennai has seen several theatre groups cropping up recently, but according to Koikaran, who has been part of the city’s theatre scene since 1991, Stray Factory is promising. “They are one of my favourites right now. They’ve been doing some unique work,” he says. A fan of Broadway, Koikaran wishes to take his production, A Night at the Musical (2009), to New York. “The show featured excerpts from about 15 different musicals. Each sequence was about 6-8 minutes long, starting with dialogue and ending with a song,” he concludes.
At Spoonbill, TTK Road, on February 14, from 8 pm onwards. Details: 42064442
– Mrinalini Sundar