Chennai’s new theater troupe the Art Factory debuts with virtual production

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Chennai-based theater group The Art Factory debuts with anthology of short plays in Tamil and English

Aparna R had no theater training other than a few drama classes at school. But last August, the 42-year-old realized that there is a first time for everything, thanks to a theater workshop run by Chennai-based theater company Evam, run by actor Lakshmi. Priyaa Chandramouli.

A particular monologue played in the workshop was the trigger. Aparna then created a group of theater recruits and formed a Facebook group, which eventually became a sounding board for ideas. They named the 16-member group, The Art Factory. Today, The Art Factory is gearing up for its first virtual anthology of short plays, led by Chennai-based theater actor and director Hari Ramakrishnan.

The first production of their self-funded group is an anthology titled Kadhaïgal Cocktail, with five stories: one in English and the rest in Tamil. “Two scripts were given to us by Hari. Three were written by members of our team, ”explains Aparna. “We started working on the scripts almost a month and a half to two months ago.”

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 going slowly, one day at a time. We were discussing using our own resources for editing, scripting, scriptwriting, etc., next time, ”she continues.

The idea is to extend a platform to budding artists who want to bounce their ideas off and experiment without inhibitions. Currently, most of the members have already attended Evam workshops. “It started with three people and slowly grew. There were people from all over the world – from the United States, Singapore – joining us, even students, ”she says.

Producing a live theater performance is their long-term goal when the situation improves. But right now the focus is on building a strong group and a pool of ideas.

Kadhaïgal Cocktail will be played on December 5 and 6 at 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. respectively on both days. For more details, please contact: 9941918704/9884042005 (India) or +1 4025166648 / +1 714 5990207 (USA)


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