Dealing with risque topics in their first outing, this theatre group is poised to make a grand entrance
SENSUOUS and audacious. That’s how Venu Doddavarapu R describes the first production of his Theatre For Liberation (TFL). Titled Tiny Tetikasa: The Moonlit Tales, it consists of eight famous, and hilarious one-act plays. It begins with A Matter of Husbands (about infidelity), moves to Bond Segment (boys discussing film heroes), and a few others, before concluding with Arty Telephone, the details of which are “top secret”.
Ask the 25-year-old about his choice of scripts, and he says, “Sensuality is a fine art. We have dealt with topics such as men talking about ‘hot’ women in a hilarious manner, without being crude. We want people to be comfortable about watching such things.”
“To come out of cocoons” is a statement he uses multiple times during our conversation. He says, “Theatre lets you open your mind, become comfortable with your body, and makes you courageous. When that happens, it’s a liberating feeling for me, my actors and audience.”
He shares an example from his own life that resonates with the philosophy of TFL, founded last December. “I have a friend, who used to be timid during our school days. In college, he joined a theatre group. One day, a director turned towards him to ask ‘What do you think of this story?’. He told me that he felt important, that his opinion mattered to someone. Today, he is an actor! But, you see,theatre made him confident,” recollects Doddavarapu, who is also a life skill facilitator at a charitable trust. Certified by two clinical psychologists in the UK, as a mentor trainer, he educates college-goers on the best ways to speak to children. As far as his interest in theatre goes, he has always loved being on stage, since school, and has directed a few one-act shows. But this is his first full-length production, comprising four directors, and 22 actors.
His training methods are different. They start during the auditions. He shares, “I asked the participants to use chartpapers, and crayons to make nametags to show me their creative sides. I had them hold each other’s hands, to let go of bodily inhibitions. We also did an exercise to help them think on their feet, if they forget their lines on stage.”
June 11. At Alliance Française, Vasanthnagar. 5 pm & 7.30 pm. Tickets (Rs 250) on bookmyshow.com
— Barkha Kumari