Some real drama

Jul 23, 2013, 09:13 IST | Dhara Vora

Capturing the failure of eight people residing in Mumbai is a new musical play, A Kind of True story. Co-producer Maneesh Verma and director Kalyani Hiwale tell us about this crowd-funded play

Movies might glorify the success found by several hopefuls who come to the city from across the country to find work. But Maneesh Verma of Actors’ Cult Theatre Group had been wanting to show the reality and not just another rags-to-riches story that would make the audience feel superficially happy. Finally, after toying and trying to fund the idea for several years, A Kind of True Story is now ready to be performed on stage.

“I had received a grant from the Ministry of Culture last year and we started our work on the play. We wanted the play to be a musical from the start and as a producer the resources we had were not enough to bring it alive on stage. That’s when we got to know of Wishberry and the whole crowdfunding process. We thought of keeping a steep target amount so that would push us to go forward. However, we crossed the target of `2.8 lakhs in two weeks, and still have 14 days left for the campaign to end,” says Verma.

The play has been created in collaboration with theatre group, Black Boxers, and has a total of 45 people funding the play. While the play’s funding might have been a success, Verma says that he wanted the play to be about people who are still struggling” “The play starts at one point and ends at another. But we wanted to show life as it is. It took us four months to come to the point where we had a solid plot as the play had to be devised.”

The final set of actors for the play were carefully selected from a theatre workshop they had conducted in March. The play, being a devised contemporary musical, was a nightmare at first for director Kalyani Hiwale. “All I knew was the play had to be a musical, so that we could use the power of poetry and music to convey the emotions of these characters. After initial improvisation and ideation, we made all the actors write something from their own lives, and step-by-step the play emerged. The final script was ready on July 10, says Hiwale. “That is why it is Kind of a True Story,” adds Verma.

The characters in the play range from a school teacher, an alcoholic actor on the process of recovery, to a local politician, all tied by a common thread of being residents from the same building that will soon go under redevelopment.

Cast Rahul Bagga / Vishwas Kini, Ankur Ratan, Balaji Gauri / Dilnaz Irani, Asif Ali Beg, Bhushan Vikas, Shruti Sridharan, Serena Walia and Avnish Mehra.
Music Directors Vinayak Neyke and Sabiha Khan
Duration Two hours
On Today and tomorrow, 6 pm and 9 pm
At Prithvi Theatre, Juhu. CALL 26149546 

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