Theatre

Exploring erotica on the Chennai stage

From season one of Erotica, held in May 2019   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Let’s talk about sex, on stage. That’s the challenge undertaken by four women theatre directors, each presenting an original play on the subject of sexuality and sensuality at Erotica Season 2, which will be staged today at the Alliance Française of Madras. Curated by B Charles, founder of Chennai Art Theatre (CAT), this is the second edition of plays that explore the genre. Though all the plays are new, the format will follow that of 2019’s: four plays, 20 minutes each, over a continuous 80-minute period.

Charles explains that the directors were chosen based on their interest and ability to create plays around the provocative theme. The all-women lineup may have been entirely accidental, but cannot go unnoticed in a year where women directors in film were shut out completely from the awards season. Erotica promises to open up the conversation in many ways.

The directors’ voices

Maya S Krishna

Maya S Krishna  

Puthagam Indri Solli Thaaren Va | Maya S Krishnan: “Through our larger-than-life characters, we talk about serious issues. Our aim is to explore the part of sensuality and sex that makes us whisper secrets to friends, giggle behind closed doors, or shame ourselves for being sexually unaware or experimental. Our rehearsal process was very energetic and inclusive. We improvised various scenarios, and enjoyed the many learnings that came out of it. The hope is to make the uncomfortable a little more comfortable.”

Sunandha Raghunathan

Sunandha Raghunathan  

Yeah Baby! | Sunandha Raghunathan: “Where is the erotic in the mundane? Prateeksha Chandrasekaran and I wrote this play as a fun exploration of the not-so-sexy aspects of long-term relationships and sex. We worked extensively with professionals who do intimacy choreography, which made the rehearsal process easier.”

Vinodhini Vaidyanathan

Vinodhini Vaidyanathan  

The Pet | Vinodhini Vaidyanathan: “Written and performed by Kamatchi Kaleeswaran, this monologue explores a courageous theme — I would not want to give anything away. As women, we are conditioned that our needs and desires are secondary. In this performance, the character does not let anything stop her from getting what she wants.”

Meera Sitharaman

Meera Sitharaman  

Govinda Geeta | Meera Sitaraman: “I was inspired by Jayadeva’s poem Gita Govinda, where Radha reminisces about Krishna. The longings that inspire her imagination were exciting for me — especially in the context of the conflicts we create, between the real and the imagined. Hinged between cabaret and musical theatre, it does not attempt to manipulate or titillate, but rather, evoke memories of passion.”

Today, at Alliance Française, Nungambakkam. Shows at 4 pm and 7 pm, for 18+ only. Tickets at ₹300 on in.bookmyshow.com

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:44:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/exploring-erotica-on-the-chennai-stage/article30941838.ece

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