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Tamil theatre group Dummies Drama turns 25

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Tamil theatre group, Dummies Drama, gears up to celebrate its silver jubilee with a special line up of plays

Tamil theatre group, Dummies Drama, gears up to celebrate its silver jubilee with a special line up of plays

FR Team

Dummies Drama, one of the well-known Tamil theatre groups, turns 25. The troupe has scheduled special events to mark the occasion. “We have four new productions and nearly 50 shows of our plays lined up for a year, starting today and going up till August 2023,” says V. Sridhar, a senior member of the troupe.

The celebration begins with the inauguration of their new play, Veenaiyadi Nee Enakku, to be staged at Mylapore Fine Arts Club auditorium, today, at 7 p.m., with subsequent shows on August 27 (7 p.m.) and 28 (5 p.m.) at the same venue.

Founded in 1998, Dummies Drama is the brainchild of V. Sreevathson, R. Giridharan, and G. Krishnamurthy, who were then pursuing chartered accountancy. Their shared passion for theatre found resonance among their family members and friends, and thus, began their journey in August that year with a full length-comedy, (Wo)Mens Rea.

Over the years, the group carved a niche for itself and built an impressive repertoire of plays based on a wide range of themes. Some of its unique productions include the political thriller, Prathibimbam (2015), based on the Indo-China relationship, and Vaidyashala (2017), a play that revolved around issues pertaining to the healthcare industry. Valai, a corporate espionage thriller, and Hanuman, a story about ISRO, were originally written by V. Sreevathson for Theatre Shraddha, before it was staged by Dummies Drama.

Docu-dramas

‘Vaayu’, Dummies Drama’s docu-drama the story of the Maruti Suzuki 800 CC.
| Photo Credit: K.V. SRINIVASAN

The troupe has also presented docu-dramas, such as Vaayu (the story of the Maruti car, staged in 2016), and Dharaniyin Perumai (staged to pay tribute to legal luminary Nani Palkhivala on his birth centenary in January, 2020).

Vinodaya Sitham, the movie directed by P. Samuthirakani and released on OTT platform last year, is an adaption of one of the troupe’s flagship plays by the same name, inaugurated in 2004. Athithi, premiered in 2009, is another play that is considered the troupe’s calling card. Both these plays have been performed more than 150 times.

Recognising the growing popularity of short plays, akin to the T20 format in cricket, the troupe has more than 10 such productions to its credit. As a conscious effort to introduce new writing, essential to bring in variety and diverse thought processes to the art form, most of these plays have been written and directed by different members of the team. And one of them, is Prasanna Sridharan, who has graduated to writing a full-length script, Minmanigal, which was inaugurated at the Kodai Nataka Vizha in April this year. The troupe has more than 40 productions and nearly 1,000 shows to its credit, with some of them winning awards at theatre festivals.

At the core of its success is a passionate team, built over the years, comprising mostly of working professionals. “This team is always game for challenges, and the way they respond to them has given me the confidence to try new things on stage that would otherwise not be considered easy to execute,” says Sreevathson. He feels that the support extended by family, friends, peers, veterans from Tamil cinema and theatre, and the audience, have played a pivotal role in their journey.



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