Touching the audience
The short plays by Jayaprakash Kuloor had messages that were subtly woven into the plays.
People pay attention when they are ridiculed. Jayaprakash Kuloor
EXPERIMENTAL PLAYS: Jayaprakash Kuloor's plays were short and simple.
The short plays by Jayaprakash Kuloor were a treat for theatre lovers who thronged Gorky Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram last week. For Kuloor, who scripted and directed these essays in visual form, drama is the ultimate art form of communication.
"We touch the audience," says Kuloor.
Every evening a couple of short plays were performed in connection with the ongoing Soorya Theatre Festival. The duration of the plays was less than 15 minutes. But it was enough to drive home a point or two.
The "messages were embedded" says Kuloor who believes that "a play without a message is not an art form."
Contemporary incidents were used as ingredients for building up the story. One of the plays reflected the atrocities that take place inside a police station but with a humourous take on the incident. "People pay attention when they are ridiculed," argues Kuloor.
It was an unique experience for the audience when the characters in the play became a part of the audience and the spectators became characters in the play. Their opinions were elicited and the play moved forward with the enthusiastic participation of the audience.
In one such play, `Jodi,' the whole auditorium was turned into a virtual festival ground and the audience were asked whether they had seen a lost slipper. A spectator was scolded by a character for using his mobile phone. All part of the drama. It was not just the theme but the treatment that was the most interesting part of the plays. Dialogues seemed to be spontaneous. The performances by the actors were quite brilliant.
In another play `Ottakam' a song was the highlight. `Ottake Pathottakam...' sang the camel keeper with the audience chanting along with him as they clapped their hands along with the character who tried hard to keep his 10 camels from straying.
Sometimes the characters resembled caricatures. Going by the mood inside the packed auditorium, it would not be wrong to say that that there were many takers for Kuloor's experimental magic on stage. For the director, drama is the method to understand him.
"For me people are the ultimate god and my plays are my offering to them," he says.
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu