High-strung emotions wreck a three-course meal at this Dinner Party by Crea Shakthi
T perhaps has to do with the title of the play, but the young team behind Crea-Shakthi’s Dinner Party make quite a few allusions to food. Speaking about the play’s overarching tone, Karthik Ananth Subramanian, one of its three directors, calls it a dramedy—dealing with serious issues but infused with comedy, because one has to ‘serve up a nice platter to the audience’. Incidentally, the seeds for the play were sown over a cup of tea, says Chandini Tandon, one of the trio.
“Last September, Meenu Srinivasan (another director) and I were at a tea shop and we just said we should do a play together. That’s really how it began,” laughs Tandon, a professional makeup artiste, who joined Crea-Shakthi last June. Besides directing, acting and handling make up, she has also designed the costumes for the play. Set in a living room, the minimalist set design has been handled by Victor Paulraj.
All about love
Dinner Party touches upon many prickly points in the relationship bandwidth—from a divorced couple who are rekindling their affections, to the picture-perfect couple and the commitment-reluctant. “There is a lot of chatter about how this generation has forgotten what love is. This play is our take on the subject,” chips in Srinivasan, who has been directing plays since her college days, in between attending her zoology classes. She graduated last year from a city college and took up threatre training at Crea-Shakthi. “But it is not a narrative on society. It is really only a glimpse into the lives of these people. They are real and relatable characters, fleshed out of the people we see around us, people who inspire us—with traits we wished we had, like resilience, their ability to handle different situations,” clarifies Tandon.
With the directors in their early 20s, and the cast—comprising actors who trained with Crea-Shakthi’s Spotlight Initiative last year—not older than 25 years, it is no surprise that Srinivasan says the play is strictly for those between 20 and 30 years. So, how tough was it fielding new actors? “They have all trained in theatre. In fact, they were able to give us inputs in direction, too. As the play is completely related to chemistry, we did a few exercises with them to improve their comfort levels with their partners,” explains Srinivasan. The directors double up as actors too, in this production. Wasn’t that difficult to balance? “We split the play up into modules and each of us took up one that we didn’t have a scene in,” concludes Srinivasan.
January 24, at 3 pm and 7 pm, at the Museum Theatre. Rs 200-Rs 500. Details: in.bookmyshow.com