Innovation is the new mantra
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Monday, 26 July 2010 13:02

The theatre scene here is growing at a fast pace, whether it’s the number of plays being staged in the city or the increasing number of theatre groups. With the advent of new age techniques like inter-group canvassing and the optimum utilisation of social media, the art form has thrown up a host of intriguing possibilities.

Theatre groups, which have sprung up recently, say that theatre is turning into a great business opportunity. Advaith Ramkumar of Blitzkrieg, a theatre group, says, “Initially, we collaborated with a few existing theatre groups to get a basic understanding and now we are set to roll out our first production. Promoting this art form is an excellent way to pursue my passion, encourage other budding actors and earn a quick buck too, while in a full-time job.”

Innovative marketing strategies are also being extensively adopted to pull in the crowds. Nirmal Kumar of Straight Jacket Productions, says, “Innovative catch lines and posters, even for something simple like auditions, can help boost your play today. We are planning to go to malls and youth hangouts and promote our upcoming play.”

While some of the better known theatre groups, like Masquerade, have been doing public previews (where ‘characters’ of the play reach out to theatre lovers at popular joints), the newer ones are taking a step further by using social networking sites to their advantage. Krishna Kumar, the founder of Masquerade says, “With the evolution of theatre today, we are building our base and adapting to new methods to reach out better to the audience. And that’s why methods like inter-group canvassing - wherein we give a preview of another play during the end of a play - are getting popular.”

Mathivanan Rajendran, the creative director of Stray Factory, adds, “Earlier, there was just a handful of English theatre groups, now we more than 20. There’s increasing competition. So we started the concept of entertainment collaboration through which we network with graphic designers, art directors, etc., from around the world for plays. And to target the net-savvy lot, we have also enabled booking tickets online through Facebook. In fact, we are looking to develop a separate application, which will make booking tickets easy.”

Some theatre groups are evolving with the times but still holding on to their roots. India Nostrum Theatre, for instance, is reviving folk theatre with a modern twist. Kumaran Valavan, founder of India Nostrum Theatre says, “Although we are moving with the changing times, we shouldn’t ape Western theatre. We should revive our folk tales in a contemporary style.”


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