... of love, then definitely play on!

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“We decided on the name because we wanted the troupe to have an Indian identity.”

How does one manage the constraints of a full time job and performing plays? “I started doing plays since my job as a creative director allows me to work from locations outside office.”

Presently, Jimmy and his wife Anne are involved in staging Chapter 2 by Neil Simon - An Indian Adaptation at Jagriti theatre this weekend. “Creating an Indian adaptation is often a difficult task. It may not work well with all plays. We feel that it is important to bring some plays into an Indian setting to ensure that audience interest is maintained. In the age of lowering attention spans, we need plays that connect with the audience at a personal level, else they will lose interest. The biggest task any playwright and actor faces is keeping the audience involved for the entire duration of the play.”

He adds, “For instance, in this play we have substituted the Dallas cheerleaders with IPL cheerleaders, references to the Superbowl have been replaced with references to the IPL. In the case of this play, we wrote out multiple drafts, held many play readings before finalising the draft.”

Jimmy feels that an actor must dwell into a back story to understand his/her character better. “You need to think how the character reached a particular situation. If you are unable to bring out the back story, your onstage portrayal may not be very convincing.”

He adds, “Before getting on stage, you are involved in improvisations with other actors. It is important that if two actors are on the stage, they are on the same page. Building chemistry with fellow actors is vital in theatre. The best part about theatre is that you get to improve on your performance and ensure that the character also grows alongside. It helps a lot in giving a better performance.”

Jimmy considers costumes to be integral for getting into the skin of a character. “Once I get into a costume, I try to tweak my mannerisms and accent like the character I am about to portray on stage. It helps me shake off any potential stage fright and makes the portrayal more convincing to an audience.”

Jimmy feels that as far as audiences go, Bangalore audiences are more receptive and intelligent than their counterparts across the country.

“There are many references that only audiences in Bangalore are able to appreciate. It is an encouraging trend. The only problem is that spaces to do shows in the city are decreasing. Except for places such as Rangashankara and Jagriti, we find it difficult to get returns on investment.”

The rise of the social media and the internet has seen interest in theatre increase. “Tickets are available online, you do not have to spend a ton of money for promotional activities and people are always curious to watch a live performance. I feel that the internet and the social media have been a boon for the theatre industry.”

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