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    Experienced and amateur artistes enact short plays on World Theatre Day

    A lot of things are blamed on time—or the lack of it—including the staging of plays. But in 2013, theatre exponents Mathivanan Rajendran and Freddy Koikaran decided they would do away with the excuse as part of their World Theatre Day – Chennai Chapter initiative. Thus was born Kichadi Theatre, an experiment that saw playwrights writing original 10-minute plays in just seven days, before directors drew lots to choose their stories and actors.
    “This year, for our third edition, we have a mix of experienced theatre artistes and newcomers participating,” says Koikaran, adding, “I’ll be emailing the scripts to the directors only this evening and we’ll arrange a venue for them to rehearse for one day, tomorrow, before they perform on March 31.” Giving the writer, director or actor no choice in whom they work with is a deliberate step—to push boundaries and take people away from their cliques and comfort zones. “So you might have a very experienced actor working with a first time director,” he smiles.
    Inclusivity is another goal. “When we first launched our initiative for World Theatre Day (March 27), we invited established groups from across the city. But we realised a lot of people who were not affiliated to any group, or are newcomers, were being left out. So we changed the format,” he says. With many in the city supporting the venture—Spoonbill is sponsoring the food on rehearsal day, Prithvi Audio, the audio equipment, and Spaces, the venue—Kichadi Theatre wants to keep evolving. “Next year could be all about amateurs—an effort to encourage even more people to get on stage. We also want to include regional languages, dance teams and more,” Koikaran concludes.
    On March 31, at Spaces, from 7.15 pm. Details: wtdchennai@gmail.com

    Surya Praphulla Kumar

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