Home Chennai Got 10 minutes to spare? Check out Short+Sweet festival

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    The new edition of Short+Sweet will showcase 50 plays and some out-of-town talent

    Ten minutes, 50 plays, one month. Thata��s the calling card of the fourth edition of the short-play theatre festival, Short+Sweet. Raising its curtains next month, the fest promises to be a�?bigger and better, with fresh faces from out of town,a�? says Ranvir Shah, the festival organiser and the founder of Prakriti Foundation. The city will play host to artistes from Pondicherry, Pune, Bangalore, Coimbatore and even Australia.
    Renowned as a launchpad for first timers, Shah says the idea behind Short+Sweet is to create a community of theatre by increasing the number of nuclear writing. a�?It encourages everyone from a housewife to an IT professional to a student to express themselves through their writing and through theatre,a�? he says. A collaboration between Prakriti Foundation and the Blu Lotus Foundationa��in association with the Alliance FranA�aise and the Australian Consulate Generala��the festival ran to full houses in the last three editions.

    Director speak
    According to 25-year-old Sreejith Palliyil, who is directing the play Will (a dialogue between an executioner and a criminal), the 10-minute format is more fun than a regular length one. a�?Trying to squeeze in the story arc, the characterisation, the drama, in these few minutes is so much more challenging. And it wona��t bore the audience,a�? says the Coimbatore-based banker who wants to introduce a similar 10-minute theatre fest in his hometown Palakkad. But for city lad Sathish Shanmugam ita��s the scent of competition thata��s exciting. He is bringing The Zombie Apocalypse, a social satire that he believes everyone will relate to. For Divya Mangwani from Pune, her first visit to Chennai is as exciting as the opportunity to meet the citya��s artistes. a�?I have been conducting rehearsals over Skype so far,a�? says the 27-year-old teacher of drama, whose play 1, 2, 3 – Ready, Set, Go, is based on her own script.

    Themed right
    In the days leading up to the festival, several workshops were also conducted, to a�?improve artistesa�� skill setsa��like the scriptwriting workshop by playwright Ramu Ramanathan, and voice and acting workshop by Vinod Anand (Madras Players),a�? says Meera Krishnan, the festival director, noting that the plays always attract an interesting mix of audience, not just the regulars. Before signing off, Shah says the productions have a very Indian voice. a�?They deal with sexuality, corruption, arranged marriages, poetry and the like,a�? he says, adding that if you sit down to watch 10 plays on an evening, you will get a chance to flip through a gamut of themes, much like flipping through a book of short stories.
    The fest starts on July 3, from 7 pm to 9 pm. At `200 for an evening. Audience can also vote for the a�?Play of the Daya��. Details: eventjini.com

    Surya Praphulla Kumar

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