They're making a scene

Jul 21, 2013, 05:54 IST | Moeena Halim

And you're welcome to join in. The Nouveau Art Play Reading group meets on alternate weekends to read aloud and enact plays. Their stage? A friendly neighbourhood restaurant

You should come join us!” says Noel Gomes, even before we begin talking about his Nouveau Art Play Reading group. Clearly the Mahadramebaaz, a moniker he sometimes uses for himself, is passionate about theatre and his enthusiasm is infectious.

The group, which Gomes founded just three weeks ago, grew out of a passion he shared with a few colleagues. “I work as a scriptwriter for short non-fiction films and my colleagues and I would often get together after work. One evening, I suggested we do a play reading. We picked The Glass Menagerie and the experience was amazing. On a whim, we decided to go public,” he reveals.

Let’s meet up
With help from his colleagues, Gomes created a virtual group on, shared the idea on other social networking sites, and has already hosted two reading sessions successfully. “The first session on July 7, held at wine bistro Ivy in Khar, had 11 ‘Dramebaaz’ participating. I picked Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire for the session. One of my main motives is to encourage people to be someone else for those three or four hours,” says the 32-year-old, who hopes to include musicals, poetry readings and introduce costume dramas in the future, too.

Each session starts off with the picking of chits to determine the character a participant will play. “We also switch characters around at the end of an act or a scene, so that everyone gets a chance to read. The idea is not to find someone who is perfect, but to involve everyone present,” says Gomes. While readers aren’t always spot on and improvement is encouraged, the group isn’t looking at preaching the perfect way.

Props to you
The second session, a reading of short play Andre’s Mother, involved props too. “It is about a boy who talks about his lover, who has died of AIDS. In the play, the characters release a white balloon, to help them get over Andre’s death. I brought a bunch of white balloons along with me, so that we could release a balloon each, too,” recalls Gomes.

After the play readings, the Dramebaaz often discuss dialogues and shares experiences with each other. “At the second session, for instance, we talked about AIDS and the notions people have about the disease,” says Gomes, adding: “Right now I’m just glad no one leaves the sessions midway, even though they last about three or fours hours,” he laughs.

The group will meet next on July 27 to read Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.
Call: 9930824773 (Noel Gomes) or log onto 

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