A play by Koothu-p-Pattarai

By K. Rajshree

A play titled ‘Life of an actor’ directed by Gil Alon and produced by Koothu-p-Pattarai was staged from Aug.7 to 12 at Roja Muthiah Research Library, CPT Campus, Taramani.

Enacted by the members of Koothu-p-Pattarai, the play depicts the life and hardships of aspiring actors. Inspired by true events and situations, the play gives us an opportunity to connect with the struggle of artistes by giving an insight into their life which is full of fear, joy, hope, aspirations as well as the competition, humiliation and disappointments.

The invitation comes with the warning that the play may contain some crude words and might not be suitable for any one below the age of 17 years.

“Gil Alon is an Israeli Zen master, singer, actor, theatre director and teacher. A Laureate of the ‘World Peace Ambassador 2015’ award, his connection to Koothu-p-Pattarai dates back to 2003, when he directed his first work in Chennai – ‘Prahlada Charitram’, scripted by N.Muthuswamy, the founder of Koothu-P-Pattarai. He has directed the plays – Six characters in search of Author, Woyzeck and Life of an actor in collaboration with Koothu-P-Pattarai,” says Ellaiyakumar, the stage manager.

Despite a simple storyline, the performance put forth by the stellar cast makes the one hour forty five minutes play an amusing experience. The play ends with a power packed dance number by the artists.

“The main aim of this play is to connect with a wider audience with a simple storyline without compromising our roots. We are in the lookout for more venues to stage the play,” says N.Muthuswamy, the founder.

About Koothu-p-Pattarai

Koothu-p-Pattarai is a contemporary Tamil theatre group founded in 1977 by Sangeet Natak Academy winner and playwright N.Muthuswamy.

The place provides training in acting, folk dance, martial arts, yoga and music. They began functioning as a full time Tamil Theatre Repertory from 1987. They have produced more than 100 theatre productions. Apart from theatre, they also promote folk arts of Tamilnadu including Theru Koothu, Thumbudu, Parai and other forms.

They also hold classes and workshops in acting and are involved with various NGOs and institutions to create awareness on social issues. The Koothu-P-Pattarai artiste is trained in a variety of skills: from dialogue delivery to mime, from folk dance to yoga, martial arts and music.

They can be contacted at 65373633.

People and their passion

By K. Manjula

Jack of all trades and also a master of all – is the modified proverb that defines
S. Venkatraaman, an archive and media consultant from Kalakshetra Colony, who specialises in insect photography.

Popularly known as Poochivenkat for his knowledge on insects, he is in-short an encyclopedia on insects. He is releasing next month a book titled ‘Insects-guardians of nature’, which features numerous photos of insects taken by him along with their names and descriptions. Some of the photos in the book were taken as early as 1995. He is a freelancer, who also works on archiving old photographs, slides and negatives.

His interest on insects developed during one of his archiving jobs way back in 1992, when he was working on the slides of Dr. Vijayalakshmi, a scientist known for her study on spiders. There after it grew to such a level that his extensive work on insects eventually earned him the name ‘Poochivenkat.’ He also conducts lectures and demonstrations on insects and ways to photograph them.

This ardent macro photographer is a master in various other areas as well. He has made 54 documentaries and films over the past 10 years. He has created various card models for architects. He is a celebrated freelance photographer and works for many artistes. Last but not the least; he is also an astronomy enthusiast and an expert in astrophotography as well.

‘I want to break the stereotypes of doctors, engineers, lawyers and the likes. My philosophy is to put my 100% into whatever I do, and convert my passion in to a profession and earn money through it,’ says spirited Venkat.

He is indeed an advocate of the saying ‘follow your passion.’