‘Picasso at the Lapin Agile’

STW is in conversation with Vikram Sridhar (VS) at TAHATTO. This unconventional bunch of people, at the helm of Tahatto, are dedicated to learning, practicing and presenting plays that are quirky, topical and, let’s not forget, entertaining. Firmly rooted in the belief that theatre is as much the property of the viewer as it is of the practitioner, Tahatto has no illusions of what we are, and how hard we need to work to be where we want to be. And the fun that comes along, is a bonus!

STW: Tell us about the birth of Tahatto as one of its core and founding members.

VS: Tahatto was born out of a workshop in 2009 attended by about 60 people. Over the last three years some of us pursued theatre and is in the current stage.

STW: How has the performing arts and theatre performances changed your lives, if you had to comment for the whole group. Why is this medium so important?

VS: Performing arts has definitely made us humble and appreciate smaller things around us. Over the period we have met and learnt from various people and this has made us  keep learning. The medium by itself is important as it is part of our culture dating back to so many years ago and it is used as a therapeutic medium for a happy living. And what more, the joy in seeing actual people emoting instead of playing it on a screen, makes this an amazing experience.

STW: Is Tahatto an open group? How could one become part of this?

VS: Like any other theatre group in Bangalore and elsewhere it is definitely possible to work with the group during various productions. That would be the best way to understand the medium and what goes into making a production.

STW: How often do you put up performances and tell us about your most recent one?

VS: Given that we all work full time, we try to bring out a production every 6 months. Our latest has been “ Picasso at the Lapin Agile” , a Steve Martin play directed by another core member Vaisakh Shankar. It is about an encounter between Picasso and Einstein in a bar – and the realization that the art of creation and the science of creation are so similar. It is set in Paris and we performed to 3 full houses in October . And we are going to perform more of the same in December

STW: What inspires every production and despite having busy ‘full-time’ lives and jobs, how do you all make this work?

VS: Tough question 🙂 Its that enteurpreneurial feeling coupled with the joy of performing. And the sense of happiness when we have touched the audience leaving them having made a difference to their evening.

STW: If there was a dream production for Tahatto that would be?

VS: I would not say a dream production but we are trying to bring out one of our maiden works by Prashanth Nair “ Romeo Juliet- No strings attached “ which won the Hindu Metro Plus Playwright award for 2012. We have started working on it and the dream would be in realizing it when we see it on stage over the next few months

STW: What does the future look like for you guys and how has all of this fun and success changed the present for you?

VS: We are growing with each production in terms of scale and quality. We are trying to be more professional with every production. The future does look bright as there is definitely a need for quality performing arts in any city. Just that it has reach the right people. A lot of people still do not add theatre to their list of entertainment. We want to grow and reach as many people as possible at the same time increase our knowledge of theatre.

So the future does look bright for us 🙂 Juggling work and theatre is definitely more fun .

STW: Theatre groups are the pulse of any vibrant city. Your advice to folks just like you, looking to start or be part of something like this?

VS: If you like seeing some thing and want start of, work with other groups in various capacities like backstage, lights, ticketing etc. to understand what goes into bringing out a production. Of course everyone has the acting bug in them. But its just not actors to complete the story of a production. Same would apply to anything else, be it art , products ,social service etc., just know what it is and where your interests lies .

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About Shruti Bharath

Social entrepreneur and developmental writer, passionate about creating workable solutions in the areas of improving employability of youth and women through skill enhancement/training and generation of productive and sustainable employment opportunities.

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