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    No matter what kind of playwright you aspire to be, Ramu Ramanathan has some pointers

    With the Short+Sweet festival approaching, enrolling for a play-writing workshop with renowned playwright Ramu Ramanathan from Mumbai seems like a good idea. Well known for plays like Shanti and Mahadevbhai, Ramanathan is considered to be one of India’s politically conscious playwrights. In this workshop, he promises tips on how to perfect the plot, characters, time structure, words and cues. “Theatre is a minority art. You need to be as mad as Dario Fo (an Italian playwright) to dream theatrical dreams with exit and entries,” says the playwright, who believes that theatre is a habit.

    DSC_6799“Sometimes a playwright needs just that one insight or one moment of madness. Then that habit can be nurtured. There are a million types of plays and as many playwrights. Some have inborn skills, others are craftsmen, and others work hard. So I guess, to each their own,” he says. Ramanathan is a frequent visitor to Chennai and, when in town, he makes it a point to attend a play or a rehearsal. “What I find most edifying is attending the election rallies of DMK or AIADMK. They are very good on the drama quotient,” he  laughs. About upcoming projects, he says, “I hope I can write at least two plays in 2014. I wrote Postcards from Bardoli last year and a short piece called Ambu and Rajalakshmi. Some of the older plays are having a fresh run or re-runs, so life’s plodding on,” he concludes.

    At  the Alliance Française, on April 20, 10 am onwards. Details: prakritifoundation@gmail.com

    —Mrinalini Sundar

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