Theatre

Chennai’s new theatre group, The Art Factory, debuts with a virtual production

Aparna R had no background in theatre whatsoever, except the odd dramatics classes back in school. But this August, the forty two-year-old realised that there is a first time for everything, thanks to a theatre workshop conducted by Chennai-based theatre company Evam, led by actor Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli.

A particular monologue performed in the workshop was the trigger point. Aparna went on to create a pool of theatre rookies and formed a Facebook group, that ultimately became a sounding board for ideas. They named the group with 16 members, The Art Factory. Now, The Art Factory is gearing up for their first virtual anthology of short plays, directed by Chennai-based theatre actor and director Hari Ramakrishnan.

Their self-funded group’s debut production is an anthology titled Cocktail Kadhaigal, featuring five stories: one in English and the rest in Tamil. “Two scripts were given to us by Hari. Three were written by our team members,” Aparna explains. “We started working on the scripts almost one-and-a-half to two months ago.”

While thinking about this production, an outsourced director seemed like the best option. “The beauty of this is that everyone in the group has a unique talent,” she says. “We are taking it slow, one day at a time. We were discussing using our own resources for editing, screenplay, screenwriting and so on, the next time onwards,” she continues.

The idea is to extend a platform to budding artistes who would like to bounce ideas and experiment sans inhibitions. Currently, most of the members have been part of Evam’s workshops at some point. “It started off with three people, and slowly grew. There were people from across the world — the US, Singapore — joining us, even students,” she says.

Producing a live theatre show is their goal for the long run when the situation gets better. But right now, the focus is on creating a strong group and a pool of ideas.

Cocktail Kadhaigal will be performed on December 5 and 6 at 8am and 9pm respectively on both days. For other details, please contact: 9941918704/9884042005 (India) or +1 4025166648/ +1 714 5990207 (USA)

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 12:16:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/the-art-factory-debuts-with-a-production/article33249135.ece

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