The Tortilla Entertainment Company presents Zip Zap Pow, the country’s first all-women and one-minute theatre festival

After organising the Short + Sweet Festival, which showcases a series of ten-minute plays, Anita Mithra has come up with a new format: one-minute plays that have been written, directed and will be performed only by women.

Titled Zip Zap Pow, the Annual All Women’s One Minute Theatre Festival was conceived by Anita during the Short+Sweet Festival in April this year. “I wondered, why not start something for women in theatre? This is the first all-women festival and the first one-minute theatre festival in the country,” says Anita. It took about two months to put the Festival together. As of now, the number of scripts stands at 55. “I’ve gotten to meet so many new people through this process. The one-minute genre is non-threatening. It creates an atmosphere conducive for people to step out of their comfort zones.”

There is also a team coming in from Chennai, with pieces written and directed by them. “Someone from Chennai had come to Bangalore to participate in the Short+Sweet Festival. I told her that we were planning a one-minute theatre festival and requested her to spread the word. She did. And we got a great response. We received many scripts, out of which 17 will be performed by the Chennai team and five scripts will be performed by actors from Bangalore. It has been a truly collaborative effort.”

How does one show any play at all in a minute? Anita has a quick answer to that: “The performances are going to leave an idea with the audience. We are so used to watching two-hour long plays that we think what can be shown in one minute? It’s not as short a time we think it to be. The average television advertisement is half-a-minute long, but there’s so much packed into it. It’s nice for the audience too as they’re going to see 55 completely different plays.”

Anita adds that the plays touch upon various topics. “The stories range from beat boxing to witnessing a murder.” Anita loves to experiment with different genres. And she found a way to do that by setting up her theatre company, The Tortilla Entertainment Company. “I knew that if I could experiment with genres, it could only happen if I had a group of my own.”

What festivals like Zip Zap Pow and Short+Sweet essentially do, contends Anita, is to bring the theatre community together in one platform. “Short+Sweet didn’t really feel like a competition. We made great connections. Even for Zip Zap Pow, we have other theatre groups joining in, such as Centre Stage and we have emcees from WeMove Theatre and Panchatantra. I think theatre groups should be more collaborative. We could play to each other’s strengths and bolster each other’s weaknesses.”

The One-Minute Theatre Festival has three wings, informs Anita. “In June, we have the women’s round. In July, the men’s round and in August, there will be a face-off between the men and women finalists.”

Zip Zap Pow will held at Opus Palace Road on Friday at 8 p.m., on Saturday at 8 p.m. at B-Flat, Indiranagar, on June 29 at Brewsky, J.P. Nagar at 7 p.m., on July 3 at Sanctum, Residency Road at 8 p.m. and on July 6 at The Humming Tree at 8 pm. For details call: 9986884372.