Three bumbling princes, many a well-choreographed fight sequence, song and dance, peppered with a little romance and the ever-lasting battle of good versus evil. Sounds like chaos?
Or an action flick, perhaps? No, dear readers, this, in a nutshell, was KRISHNA –THE SOUL SEEKER,
Chettinad Players’ 7th annual production.
As is tradition, this year our troupe decided to sink their teeth into the life of this mysterious flautist that made entire kingdoms dance to his tunes. Opening with the impending marriage of Rukmini, that is but a set-up to merge two vast domains, to her fairy-tale romance with Krishna, interjected with a catchy song sequence that brings the audience on pace with Krishna’s life so far.
The play goes on to cover the escape of the Pandavas from the jaws of death, the murder of the mighty Jarasandha (a power-packed portrayal by Sabari Vas) and the fateful dice game, in which the fire-born Draupadi was shamed. Providing some comic relief were the three crown princes (played by Pragyan- IX, Siddarth-IX and Uchit-X) who, with their comic-timing and the lively soundtrack (courtesy, Mr. Paul Jacob), left the audience in splits.
As the play progresses, one delves deep into Krishna’s psyche and stands witness as this mind, once as steady as the Rock of Gibraltar, falters and begins to doubt his very decisions. The play ends on the battlefield of Kurukshethra. As the mighty lie as one with the dust, a dialogue between Gandhari (a compelling performance by Disha Vaccher-XI) and Krishna urges this serial romancer to repent his actions and discover life’s true meaning.
This year, simplicity seemed to be the troupe’s watchword as most elements from the sets (by renowned designer Padmashri Thotta Tharani) to the costumes (by our creative head and Principal, Mrs. Amudha Lakshmi) were designed to invoke the mind’s eye to transcend boundaries of time and space.
The script too, by seasoned writers Mr.Elango and Mrs. Deepika Kumaravel was delightful with a blend of Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi to surprise us all. All said and done, the audience never once stopped to feel that the cast was anything but professional. Their driving force - the director, Mr. J.Jayakumar, worked tirelessly for 5 months to prove that this young bunch knows their Epics! The curtain is drawn wit Krishna seeking his soul for answers to questions on the righteousness of actions and the audience leave seeking answers to the same questions with reference to their own actions in life. That seals the success of an epic drama whose purpose is to delve into the dark recess of man’s mind.
At the heart of the Ramayana lies a deep love story between Rama and Sita. This play is interspersed between dharmic laws and the deeply male chauvinistic ethos of those times. It also deals with the deeply questionable behaviour of Rama after his coronation. Sita proves to the world that she is as willful and determined as Rama himself.
CHETTINAD PLAYERS PRESENTS
An epic on stage
A play in English
The driving force behind the success story of the school is undoubtedly the secretary and correspondent, Dr. Meena Muthiah Kumara Rani of Chettinad. Her undying interest in fine arts is the real source of inspiration behind the inception of the very successful Theatre house.
The theatre house from Chettinad Vidyashram provides a platform for theatre enthusiasts. Young talents are being moulded here, under the able guidance of our teachers with tender love and care to set trends in theatre art. Chettinad Players, our theatre group is one such idea which attempts to reach that pinnacle of art where expressions of all kinds are nurtured.
Equipped with a decade of experience and training under the able guidance of reputed directors in the realm of the theatre, the Chettinad Players have carved a niche for themselves.
Chettinad Players – The brain child of the principal Mrs.Amudhalakshmi, Chettinad Players was born in the year 2005-06. The aim of this theatre group is to hone the theatrical skills of the students.
The theatre house of Chettinad Vidyashram is scaling new heights in the arena of theatre. Its earlier productions 'Karna', 'Vaali Vadam', 'Bheeshma' and 'Raavana' had seen spectacular success and had won tremendous accolades from press, media and public. Mammoth sets, authentic costumes and realistic portrayal on stage have won laurels from the media and audience. The cast also includes the alumni who are still part of Chettinad Players.
A few raving reviews to quote:
The Hindu – Metro Plus:
" Feast of colours and sound with moving scenes."
The Mylapore Times:
"An epic play by Chettinad Players engrosses audience."
Thus began the epic journey of "Kurukshethra", the fifth production from the Chettinad Players, our school’s very own drama troupe. This year we adapted scenes from the Mahabharath, while portraying well-known characters in a different light. With the eternal villain Duryodhana, taking on the role of a responsible king, thinking purely about the well-being of his people, rather than one lusting after war. While Krishna, was shown to be someone who influenced the Pandavas who seemed to think war was the only way of avenging the ill-treatment meted out to them.
The success of this magnum opus was purely due to the combined effort of a massive team with the elaborate sets, courtesy Padmashree Thota Tharani. The direction was no cake-walk for coordinating a bunch of 40-odd adolescents and teaching them how to talk, walk and act like ancient characters is certainly a herculean task! Mr. J.Jayakumar has taken the bull by the horns and steered us to the levels of near-professionals.
They say the pen is mightier than the sword, the scriptwriter duo; Mr. Kumaravel and Mrs. Deepika Kumaravel deserve special mention for managing to condense nearly a million verses into a hundred minute play.
The background score! A perfect blend of classical beats with a hint of modernism was truly a brilliant product of the teamwork of our music directors, Mr. Aditya,Mr. Tapass Naresh, Mr. Vikram and Mr. Nithin Subramanian.
The assistant direction and rehearsal direction were taken care of completely by Mr.Nishanth Pio and Mr.Sriram Natrajan who helped us step into the shoes of our characters and truly enter the world of the Mahabharath.
Last, but certainly not least! Our dear Amudha ma’am, a guiding force so powerful, she has encouraged us right from the beginning to give our best shot, come rain or shine. The wonderful rich robes, all a product of her creativity ensured that we played our roles to perfection. Our amazing Bharati ma’am without whose support, we wouldn’t have gotten so far; our wonderful teachers, those who were with us right from the beginning and those in-charge of us on the days of the shows, their dedication is definitely a pointer to all of us.
Not to forget all the elements that helped our play reach, if not surpass, the standards set by our previous productions; the recording by Rajiv Menon studios, lights by Mr.Lawrence and Mr.Nishanth Pio, the make-up artists, tailors and THE CAST!!! Four months of spending most of our waking hours in each other's company, learning, laughing, and enjoying ourselves thoroughly in the process paid off in the end.
-Mithali Vaidyanath IX , CV
Letter of commendation: By Mr. K. Balachandar eminent film director, on Kurukshetra – English play