Dramatics just took its next step in Chennai. For perhaps the first time in the city, a theatre actor has been selected to represent India at an international youth theatre festival. SCHONE AUSSICHT (Bright View) held in Stuttgart, Germany, every two years is possibly one of the largest such festivals in the world. “I won’t be acting,” clarifies the man of the moment, Dushyanth Gunashekar. Instead, he explains, “I’m representing the country as a delegate and so there will be a lot of chances for discussion and networking with other actors and directors while I’m there.”
Gunashekar was selected by the Goethe Institut at Chennai for the fest, and will be attending it between June 16 and 24 among 2,500 other delegates from across the globe. “This came as so unexpected,” reveals Gunashekar, who is also a founder of the four-year-old Masquerade Youth Theatre (MYT) along with the much reputed Krishna Kumar. There was no competition, no elaborate shortlisting process. Perhaps MYT’s recent stage successes have something to do with it. “It was also perfectly timed. I got the news on March 27 (World Theatre Day)!” he smiles.
With a hectic schedule in place, Gunashekar is gearing up for a heavy dose of world theatre. “I’ll be watching more than two plays a day sometimes,” the actor-cum-director says. That apart from intensive discussions after each performance and multiple workshops by experts in the field. So what is he looking forward to most? “Observing the administrative parts,” he responds unexpectedly. Acting is only a small part of the process, he explains and goes on, “But finding out how they finance plays abroad and also what infrastructure goes into a production — those are pointers that can take theatre here (Chennai) to a higher level”.