Vivek Vijayakumar’s latest play questions the idea of safety and freedom
The production stars Abhitej Gupta, Kavya Srinivasan, Honey Raza, Shrunga BV and Lakshmana KP in the lead roles
Back in 2020, Vivek Vijayakumar, the director of the production, requested two of his friends to write a play that looked at the dynamics between an individual and a collective. Multiple drafts, three workshops and two and half years later, the play, Imagine a Room, came to life and is now set to be staged. The theatre artiste spills the tea on how he made the play and what one can expect from it.
Written by Shruthi Menon and Prashant Parvatneni, this play by Our Theatre Collective is an absurdist comedy that takes place inside a room — an anonymous location that is not bound by the specifics of time. Speaking about what motivated him to stage the play, the theatre artiste says “the inspiration was to challenge the idea of safety and the comfort one seeks within the walls they build around themselves.”
Employing various metaphorical elements and humour, this political piece criticises the modern-day safe spaces people seek safety and comfort from. It also talks about the freedom that lies within the boundaries people create for themselves. “Through this play, we have tried to raise questions around our notions of security, our lack of imagination for freedom, the choices we make and the comfort we seek in our laziness,” he reveals.
Starring Abhitej Gupta, Kavya Srinivasan, Honey Raza, Shrunga BV and Lakshmana KP in the lead roles, the plot of the production revolves around four people who are confined in a secure room. When this safe space begins to rupture due to the presence of a mysterious spirit among them, the walls come down and the characters are forced to face their fears.
Slipping in and out of the room, the characters confront the outside world through stories, legends, and songs. Elaborating on the storyline, the director adds, “As the characters navigate this constantly shifting space, we are invited to reflect on our own understandings of safety and freedom. It’s an original script and it has been challenging to find logic for all the absurdity in the play.”
As the fifth and final character enters the scene, the play moves through different rooms and stories and experiences a shift of tone in every scene. The props, costumes and sets for this production have been designed to lend themselves well to the shifting tones and scenarios in the play. “After trying various colours, we finalised the props, costumes and sets because we wanted them to have their own narrative in this absurd world we are trying to stage,” he shares before signing off.
Rs 250. November 19, 3.30 pm and 7.30 pm. At Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar