You could say that there’s something innate about theatre in Chennai, maybe
because Chennaites have a little more than just a flair for drama. Whatever it
is, it’s working. The theatre scene has never been as vibrant or as bright as it is
Take the Little Theatre. Founded in May 1991, by Aysha Rau, it reaches out to
children from the ages of 5- 14, introducing a whole new generation to a whole
different kind of theatre. For the past decade, they’ve taken classic fairytales
and spoofed them, sometimes mercilessly, but always enough to keep audiences
in splits. Their annual Christmas Pantomime will have ten performances this
year. From the 14th to the 18th of December, witness Athos, Porthos and Aramis
as never before, as the Little Theatre presents its latest production, the Free
Musketeers at the Museum Theatre, Egmore.
The most remarkable thing about thing about the industry is the way it’s
managed to discover potential in the youth. Students from colleges across the
city have fallen in love with the stage, if a couple of overextended curtain calls
are any proof, courtesy of companies like Masquerade Youth Theatre and Crea-
Shakthi. The enthusiasm has given rise to Dramalogues, touted as one of the
country’s biggest drama competitions ever. Starting from the 9th of January and
ending on the 12th, at the Goethe Institute, companies from all over India will be
at their West End best.
The theatrical experience in Chennai is nowhere near complete without seeing
what its pioneers have to offer. The Madras Players will be staging Water,
translated from its original Tamil, from the 30th of Nov to the 2nd of December,
at the Museum Theatre.
Chennai’s seen everything from epic to tragic to farcical plays on its stages and
has come to love them all. Broadway isn’t just a bus terminus anymore.