Ask Srutanjay Narayanan, 21, a Geoinformatics student of Anna University about Theatron’s productions, and he lists it breathlessly, yet effortlessly. He is the creative head and president of Theatron, Anna University’s official theatre club. His list is as chaotic as he describes their practice sessions to be. They have put up five ticketed shows so far and their adaptation of Girish Karnad’s Wedding Album, in 2013, reflecting the hypocrisy of the middle-class in contemporary India was received well by an audience of over 350 people.
They won at The Hindu Lit for Life, a literary festival where colleges adapt works of shortlisted authors to the stage. Dushyanth Gunashekar from Chennai-based theatre group Crea-Shakthi says, “They staged Shovon Chowdhury’s The Competent Authority, a satire on Indian democracy, which was difficult to put up but they did a clever job of it. To put up an entire novel as a play in 30 minutes is no mean feat. The performance was just brilliant. Theatron’s system of choosing actors is what makes it work for them. Their portrayal was over the top and completely unapologetic, which is how satires should be; it had the audience in splits.”
Theatron was founded in 2009 by Amitash Pradhan who is known for his role in the movie Velaiyilla Pattathari. The group explores all kinds of themes and genres from social, satirical, to comedy, intense social drama and street plays. “Our association with Theatron goes back to its founding years when we conducted workshops for them. We have seen it grow over the years. A lot of them can act but to build a base of actors who can appreciate theatre is the difficult part. MY Theatre fest is Crea-Shakthi’s theatre fest for the creme-de-la-creme of campus theatre groups and Theatron is definitely a top notch campus theatre group to watch out for,” Dushyanth says.
Theatron has seen consecutive victories at MY Theatre Fest in the past two years. It bagged four awards in 2012 with Srutanjay getting the Best Actor Award, while Abhiseka Akash and Anantha Venkataraman won the award in 2013. When asked about Theatron’s USP Srutanjay says, “It has produced some of the finest actors in the city who are great professionally.” The club has 200 members of which he says 40 are serious members. Srutanjay mostly writes the scripts with fellow teammate Raghavendra Ramesh. Other members include Siona Balaji, Keshini Udaykumar, Priyadarshini Sivakumar and Mavisha Ramachandran. In terms of funding, they enjoy support from the college as well as Crea-Shakthi.
He describes the team’s experience at IIT-Saarang this year as one of the craziest so far. “We made it to the top eight teams but we scripted, learnt the dialogues and enacted the play all in one night. It was Ayn Rand’s courtroom drama The Night of January 16th. We were calling up violinists and musicians late in the night. There was chaos. It was one hell of a night!” he exclaims. email@example.com