The second edition of Shensemble brings fresh talents and stories, some funny, others hard-hitting

A lot of the people who are performing this time have actually pushed themselves out of their comfort zone to give this a shot, curator of the show Dakshana Rajaram tells us
Directors Shaan Katari Libby, Snehaa Seshadrinath,
Harini Suruliraj, Vyshali Jeevu, Darani, Sindhuja
and Keerthana PV, with Dakshana Rajaram (centre)
Directors Shaan Katari Libby, Snehaa Seshadrinath, Harini Suruliraj, Vyshali Jeevu, Darani, Sindhuja and Keerthana PV, with Dakshana Rajaram (centre)

When brave women come together to create stories, the stage is set for magic to unfold. The second edition of Poochu's Productions Shensemble will see 40 women across age groups and from diverse backgrounds share stories by all female playwrights. There are new stories across genres — some funny, some hard-hitting, written and directed by fresh talent. “There are seven plays of about 15 minutes each. A lot of the people who are performing this time have actually pushed themselves out of their comfort zone to give this a shot and write their scripts, which is something very special,” says Dakshana Rajaram, curator of the show.

For the second edition, the team made an effort to steer away from including directors from last time, “because there’s so much talent that I felt like let me just push it and reach out to other people who were not a part of the first edition. The six directors from the first edition have, of course, kick-started the Shensemble alumni and the seven from the second edition will soon join them. So, you see, it’s getting bigger and better. Last time, we had about 20 people involved, including the cast and crew; this time we have 40!” says an excited Dakshana.

Directors Shaan Katari Libby, Snehaa Seshadrinath,
Harini Suruliraj, Vyshali Jeevu, Darani, Sindhuja
and Keerthana PV, with Dakshana Rajaram (centre)
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Snehaa Sesh’s play Diana Beauty Parlour draws inspiration from a local beauty parlour she frequently visits. “The unique characteristics and conversations I encountered there sparked the idea of adapting this vibrant world for the stage. Given that Shensemble is an all-female-identifying ensemble, this script felt particularly fitting. Additionally, I was inspired by people close to me whose mothers run their own parlours. I wanted to explore the dynamics and conflicts within this environment. Beauty parlours serve as an escape for many, and I am excited to offer a theatrical glimpse into this captivating world,” says Snehaa.

The cast and crew of Shensemble Edition 2
The cast and crew of Shensemble Edition 2

Sindhuja, who is writing and directing for theatre for the first time, is bringing Thanimayil Inimai, which translates to ‘The Sweetness of Loneliness’. Sindhuja says this was a line in one of her favourite songs penned by Kalki Krishnamurthy and sung by Bombay Jayashri. “I had always been intrigued by the irony of the line. When Dakshana asked me to write, I knew I wanted the theme around this line. My mother is from Mumbai and I’ve grown up listening to stories of the apartment that she grew up in and about her neighbours. That caught my interest. Hence, it became the premise of my play. The main characters are all other versions of my family members and friends, and the situations I have weaved around are actual incidents that I have heard of and witnessed,” she shares.  

Directors Shaan Katari Libby, Snehaa Seshadrinath,
Harini Suruliraj, Vyshali Jeevu, Darani, Sindhuja
and Keerthana PV, with Dakshana Rajaram (centre)
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Talking about the significance of Shensemble, Sindhuja says, “Women supporting women, I believe, is something that merely exists only in writing. Yes, we are in the age where we speak about feminism, equal rights, etc. But the emotional support that a woman could lend to another woman is far stronger and more effective. And when that support is expressed through the form of art, there could be nothing more elevating. Shensemble to me, is just that.”

Agreeing with her, Snehaa adds, “Poochu's Productions has been an incredible platform that embraced me for who I am and encouraged me to explore various aspects of performance. The group is welcoming, warm, and driven by a genuine love for the arts. Shensemble is, in my opinion, their best initiative yet. It provides female-identifying individuals with opportunities to write, direct, act, and participate in lighting, sound, backstage work and marketing, in a fairly male dominated industry. By fostering a community of strong, creative, compassionate, and supportive women within the theatre world, Shensemble is truly paving the way forward.”

Shensemble Edition 2 is presented by Voxtur Ventures, and will also see Juvith Arthi as the lights' designer and Supraja as the sound technician. 


Tickets at Rs 500.

June 23, 4 pm & 7 pm.

At Music Academy‘s Mini Hall, TTK Road.

Email: rupam @newindianexpress.com

X: @rupsjain

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