Ajit Chitturi's thespian en is presenting their first monoact series with an all-woman cast
Chennai-based theatre group, thespian en is celebrating their 25th anniversary and how! Having started the celebrations earlier this year with The Journey, (a compilation of monoacts adapted from all their productions so far), the group is now set to debut their first mono-act series with an all-woman cast.
Titled Feminage, the one-hour-long series, performed by three women (Shanthi Palaniappan, Vijayshree V, and Geeta Menon) is a collection of dramatised texts taken from the puranas. The first act among the series of three features Draupadi from Mahabharata, who goes on to make a comparison of the troubles and challenges she went through during her time to the contemporary situations, stating that certain things have not changed even after thousands of years.
While the second act features the warrior princess Chitrangada ( again from Mahabharata) who falls in love with a hermit (Arjuna in disguise), the third will show Devi, a modern day housewife as the central character, who feels the power of a goddess within her but faces the need to not use it in order to see to her responsibilities at home.
“thespian en has a wing called Women’s Theatre and they debuted with the play, Wolfgang (by Vithal Rajan), with an all-woman’s cast in 2015. After that, this is the first time we are having a production with just women. This is also the first time I am directing monoacts. So far I have only directed myself or have acted with other directors,” says Ajit Chitturi, the director, adding that while there are no additional backdrops or set designs used, the characters will be seen in contemporary Indian costumes such as saris, ghagra choli and salwar kameez.
“Every production comes with its own challenges. A regular play needs all the cast members to come together for the rehearsals and the scale of the production gets bigger with the number of actors. In the case of monoacts, the onus is on that single actor who needs to handle the audience on her own. The main challenge here is to prepare the actor for it,” says Ajit while adding that it took just one month for them to put the production together.
As part of the evening, thespian en will also facilitate renowned writers and theatre veterans such as Timeri Murari, Vithal Raja, Shreekumar Varma, Chetan Shah, among others, whose work they have staged in the past.
On February 9
8 pm at Shiraz@Tryst, Gatsby Village, Neelankarai