When teenage lives are traded for TRPs on stage
By Akhila Damodaran | Express News Service | Published: 22nd July 2017 08:47 AM |
BENGALURU: Television has today become a part of our familes and has influenced teenagers so much that they take part in reality TV to prove themselves, believes Bengaluru-based theatre director Basav Biradar. But, little do they know how these shows exploit them for TRPs, he adds.
Basav is directing a theatrical reading of the German play ‘Creeps’, directed by Lutz Hubner. He says, “Some parts will be enacted and some will be read. There will music too. I was given 10 to 12 scripts by Max Mueller and I chose ‘Creeps’ as I wanted to work on subjects related to youth.”
The play is about three teenage girls who desperately want to be on a reality TV show. “The teenagers struggle with issues of growing up and think being on TV is an achievement. They want to create an identity for themselves and take to reality shows for instant fame.”
On the other hand, he says, these shows portray the insecurities of teenagers to grab more TRPs. “Indian reality shows such as Roadies and Spiltzvilla have a heavy influence on teenagers. I don’t understand why they would go for audition there. They are not even interviews, sometimes they just test how stupid you are.”
He says the play tries to portray this. “The show ‘Creeps’ is about the personalities of the three 17-year-old girls and how the show depict their lives and insecurities.”
The reality shows of today take in people from village to cities so that they can explore stories of people from different backgrounds and get more people hooked on their shows, he adds.
Basav says the challenge was to get all actors to be on the same page while understanding the script. “We also researched on the history of Germany together”.
He adds, “We looked at a map to understand the difference between the East and West
Germany and their conflicts. So, it took a while to prepare and relate to similar situations in India.”
But the German society is very different from ours, he informs. He explains, “In Germany, teenagers are more influenced by fashion, music and they have the quest to find an identity for themselves as they turn 15 years old”.
“They are more outspoken than Indians about issues such as homosexuality.” In India, even today, many teenagers are okay to be dependent on their parents, he adds.
Basav says as it was difficult to get college students to play the roles, he had to choose actors in 20s to play them. Samudyatha Jayanthi plays a role of a teenager from North eastern Germany.
“I play the role of Mareen who is coned by TV producers along with other two characters. She is so anxious and paranoid about getting a job that she does not realise that her privacy has been intruded while she’s auditioning for an anchor.”
She says it was a challenge to unlearn from the life experiences she has had to act like a teenager.
“It was a fun experience.I use the breath technique for my acting. I breathe according to my emotions that I portray.” Ask how was she like when she was a teenager, the 23-year-old says, “I was a popular girl in the school. I had a group of friends. I was pretty lost and did not care about what’s happening around.”
The dramatised reading of Creeps by Lutz Hübner as part of German Spotlight 2017
will be held at Goethe-Institut Bangalore on Sunday, July 29 at 6.30 pm.