Ten minutes of drama

What makes a platter of multiple delicacies better than one massive dosa ? Variety, of course, and the contentment of having tried a little bit of everything. Mini Tiffin, a collection of short plays set to be staged this weekend, aims to offer the same satisfaction.

“Short plays bring in diverse audiences and offer them eclectic experiences. Since this is going to be performed in a sabha — where the typical audience enjoys comedies and entertainers — these plays have been specifically curated to give them a dose of something different, in format and content. It’s a mixed bag; there’s comedy, mime, melodrama, romance and more, to take people through a roller coaster of emotions,” says B Charles, founder, Chennai Art Theatre, who are producing the show.

Stamp of approval

Staged as part of the Svatantra festival, Mini Tiffin is similar in format to the recently-concluded Short and Sweet Theatre Festival. It also hosts some of the winning plays from this year’s edition. But while the international theatre festival is about competition, this will be “an evening to enjoy the pleasure of performance”, says Charles, referring to the flexible time slots that will allow actors to improvise and expand on their acts.

“As an actor, it’s exciting to have the stage one more time because it’s not easy when you are working on a short play. To be part of a paid, curated showcase makes us feel respected and our work, appreciated,” beams Kamatchi Kaleeswaran, who has penned the play, Nilavin Kanavu, and will also take the stage to perform in Kurukshetra .

Karthik Sridhar, who has scripted and directed Tamasha , a monologue about the life of a salesman, says that the content for short plays is born out of a lot of camaraderie. “We all have day jobs in other fields, so we get together in the evenings and come up with a story since the 10-minute format is easy to work with,” he says.

Simple joys

The plays — a showcase of the different formats and ideas flourishing in Chennai — are largely in Tamil, with a smattering of English and Hindi. Kaleeswaran’s play, Kurukshetra, is poetry in classical Tamil, performed with a lot of emphasis on the physical form, using music, dance and different elements of theatre.

An artistic play, it will be served alongside a light-hearted comedy about love in Don’t Call Me Cupid and a fun, heart-warming tale in Oru Oorla , where a father tries to get his daughter to sleep by narrating stories using puppetry and shadow work.

The plays will be staged at Youth Hostel, Second Avenue, Indira Nagar, on August 13, from 7 pm onwards. Entry free. 9841495497

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Printable version | May 16, 2022 6:09:44 am |