Theatricals 2016


‘All the world’s a stage and men and women are merely players ’, is the mantra that keeps the Stella Players going. Recently evam collaborated with Stella Maris College to bring back the inter-collegiate theatre festival, Theatricals 2016, with a bang. We kicked off the Fest by reaching out to all colleges in hopes of finding the perfect scripts by the best Wordsmiths in the State.

Once Theatricals was announced, there was a tremendous response of Diverse Scripts, which were initially shortlisted for the Semi-finals. The shortlisted contestants showcased their play along with the teaser and a poster and the Judges selected the teams contesting for finals.The finals was held on the 9th of October at Alliance Française. The Stella Players put up a host performance as well. Theatricals was a platform for the young, budding artists to showcase their talent and passion for theatre.

The day of the finals was filled with a mix of emotions, nervousness, excitement and zeal. Right from the get-go the teams were pumped up, and kept their spirits alive till the final show at 7:30 pm. It truly goes to show the kind of commitment they have to theatre, to be at the venue from 7 am on a Sunday! We had a total of 7 judges coming to critique the performance. The plays collectively got a positive response from the audience and was received with great appreciation. The diversity of scripts really kept the audience engaged, from introspective to comedies to parodies! It was crucial that there be coordination between evam and The Stella Players so that the show went on without any hitches. In the end,show day went on smoothly, with everything running like a well oiled machine.

This was a great opportunity for us as students to learn about the know hows of how to run a live show and we thoroughly enjoyed the entire process. From ticketing, marketing, to running the show day, managing the team, helping out in the backstage. everything was a learning platform for us.  From us approaching evam, to convincing our college to host the event, to inviting over 30 colleges its all been a roller coaster ride and worth the effort.

“A character on stage is the product of a directors instructions, actor’s interpretation, costume designers creativity, script writers instinct, lighting crew’s talent and the make up artists soul. They are not born for the stage; they are created for it”
So thank you to all the participants and the volunteers for putting up such a great show and making Theatricals 2016 a success.
Hopefully the theatre fever catches on and it will be an event twice as big in the coming year!


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Big Hero 6!


John is the Dean of Happy Cow, the children’s education division of Evam. In this blog he is talking about how the idea of Big Hero 6 came up!

One of our relatives came home this holiday season and we went to a famous water theme park in Chennai. They had two sons- 12 year old and 15 year old. The park has a criteria where anyone below 13 was a child and anyone above 13 was an adult. Both of them were frustrated and we had to wind the trip up and go to a different place because none of the rides were of their interest. Children’s rides were too silly for a 12 year old and adult’s rides were too complex for a 14 year old. Our relatives kept cribbing on how bad the boys are brought up and their own parents were embarrassed to even be there.

This kept me wondering why they did what they did. A lot of instances came to my mind on what exactly happens in that age. They start growing from all the child plays, but they don’t step into adulthood; they have their peers who are also in the same dilemma but keep an eye out for what their friends are doing and involuntarily succumb to the peer pressure. They are being advised on whatever they do because the adult community thinks this is the time when they get exposed to all the ‘evils’ of the world and they are right. They don’t want to be advised either. Anyone hates sentences that start with words that will advance into advises. So what do we ‘Teach’ them? Do we teach them at all? When it comes to art, I would say not.

This is the age when they want to explore and experiment on new things. They want to do it all themselves and they don’t want any adult interference. That is where this thought of Big Hero 6 dawned from. It lets them do what they want and figure what they want to do with it. It invites them to come and experience the art form. What they learn out of them is evolved from them. When I think of a puppet and develop its characteristics, I am automatically thinking empathy. When I am standing in the shadow and taking a posture to make people understand what I intend to tell them, I am learning the nuances of body language for better communication. When I am creating a story from nowhere and telling that story through an art or song or a performance on stage, I am getting better at public speaking. They are not taught. They are experimenting and coming up with their own. The art form fuels their need to do new things. Leadership learnings fall into place automatically as they experiment the art form. But hey, if they are part of the workshop interested in the art or leadership, now they have a new peer. A peer who doesn’t have a pressure because they all share a common interest.

John Pradeep

161001 Big Hero

For more details about the upcoming workshops, do call us @ 9840236367 :)

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#VisaDoubleOk Tour has been a penance of sorts – starting with Initial plans of April May getting pushed due to Visa delays, and then realizing itself in Aug-Oct 2016, with 26 shows in a record 47 days! The Penance has been one of realizing this tour – with the right partners, the right content, the right logistics, the right cities, the tour has been exacting in every sense of the word – for the producers, the hosts, and most of all the Performers… but it has all been worth it thanks Just to the Audiences.

The time has come for this new art-form – Standup Comedy with an Indian voice! New young audiences have thronged to our shows all over the USA for a dose of the Indian, the local served up in a form that is both Desi and yet Young and Edgy at the same time… its not Classical, its not Avant garde, its not over Commercial and Massy and yet not so classy that it becomes classic… its rounded just enough and jagged just enough and ugly just enough and simple at the heart of it all!


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We lost our voices, we lost passports, we lost Flasks, we lost luggage – and we discovered a new audience on the other side of the world! An audience that went to the US in the 90s and 2000s and are now either well settled into a US life routine, or are getting their first jobs… their dreams are in Dollars, but hearts compute in rupees, and they are as American as they can get, and yet more Desi than us Indians back home!
We felt like a cultural bridge to their past and to also to an India of the Now – one that they could learn more about, and pass onto their kids, who cannot be served up too much of the old and classical for too long…
This is surely the beginning… and as we end the tour with our last 3 shows in Virginia, Atlanta and Tampa… we are keen to board that plane back to Chennai… with a promise of coming back here… until then lets figure Daylight savings and Time Zones and Jet lags and other Time altering tactics rather than actually waiting a year to repeat this one…
#VisaDoubleOk Toured USA 2016 and covered San Jose, Milpitas, SF, Sacramento, LA Orange County, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Rayleigh, Toronto, Minneapolis, Chicago Shaumburg, Detroit Novi, NYC, NJ Bridgewater, NJ Morristown, Boston, Virginia Vienna, Atlanta, Tampa!
Karthik Kumar
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Brand Communication, at its best!


Vasanth Subramaniam – Division Head of Brandrama. In this blog, he is explaining what Brandrama is about.

Random person: So in your brochure, what is this division called Brandrama?

Me: Well, it is Brand communication made easier and more effective, using theatre.

Random person: Oh, so you will do some play?

Me: Uh … yes.

This is how typically a conversation goes whenever I try explaining what our most niche division does. So figured, let’s talk about Brandrama.

This is our division that provides effective communication solutions, be it internal communication for corporates or external / marketing communication for Brands. It especially works brilliantly when clients have tried the typical modes of communication like e-mails, huge events, paid media, etc. and none of it has shown clear results. To quote the immortal JRR Tolkien, ‘May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.’

Take internal communication for example. The CEO wants a new employee orientation, office culture, message, etc. to be communicated to all the employees. Typical ways for HR to do these would be:

a) Send an e-mailer – Completely free but not everyone reads. Fails to convey importance. Absolutely no recall.
b) Throw a huge event with all employees – This is quite the elaborate affair. Hiring a hotel. Travel for all employees. Bringing everyone together. Full on event setup. Hire entertainment. Etc. etc. But end of the day, no real take away of the core communication that wanted to be conveyed in the first place. Employees remember the fun they had and the experience.

Enter, Brandrama.

A corporate wanted to communicate something as sensitive as ‘prevention of sexual harassment’ and open up relevant and meaningful conversations among its employees. This is what Brandrama did. Check out this video and it is quite self-explanatory:

This got performed in about 20 offices, at the end of the work day.

Customised. Effective. Great recall. No huge expenses of throwing events, etc. Only creating and performing.

Marketing or external communication? A brand has tried news paper ads. Radio, TV, Social Media, Events. In all honesty, it is quite difficult for a brand to stand out amidst all the noise and clutter in todays media. Which brand? What offer? What is the quality? Are we reaching our TG? What is response? None of this is done effectively by traditional channels.

Enter, Brandrama.

A chocolate brand, wanted to reach its prime TG, Children. In mass. And wanted the brand name and it’s key selling point to be ‘etched’ in children’s minds that next time he / she is pestering their parent for chocolate, they ask for this brand. Well, we created a customised 20 min musical mime show that went to about 80 schools around Chennai, during assembly time. Here is a reference video which again shows what we did:

At the end of the video, you can literally see 1000 kids saying exactly what the brand wants to hear.

Once again, customised. The perfect TG. Visible recall. Incredibly cost effective.

Now you might be thinking, I’m trying to sell our products in this blog. But the fact is, we simply love what we do in the field of theatre. And we strongly believe Theatre has never been and never should be ‘Shakespearean. In an audi. Trying to entertain people’. It is an art form, meant for communication. An art form meant to say something. And it can be completely customised to suit any need or situation.

So talk to us. Brainstorm with us. And we will come up with an amazing solution, that absolutely will work.

Vasanth Subramaniam

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The Actors Talk – Evam Lab


Its time to know a little about a few of our evam Lab actors. Let’s see what Kalesh Ramanand, Bhargav Ramakrishnan aka Baggy, Saadiya Shireen, Arjun Chidambaram and Vikas has to say

  • Why Acting?

Saadiya Shireen: Because I don’t have the brains to be an astrophysicist or the cooking skills to be an ideal housewife. Also, I’m kinda indecisive. So acting seemed to be the best option. 
Seriously though, long story short; I was a shy, friendless kid that fell in love with stage at age 13. That’s it.

Arjun Chidambaram (He listed out his reasons):

A) The possibility of enjoying and experiencing Alternate realities.
B) Good looks should not be wasted.
C) The world needs more jokers

Baggy: Coz pretending to be other people always felt more interesting than anything going on in my actual life.. Seriously speaking though,  I’m just a glory hog. I love being on stage,  It’s where I feel at home the most..

  •  How was your very first audition like?

Vikas: My first audition was for a tamil play called “Bharathi” in which i played the role of a JOKER. I never felt it as an audition, it was easy for me.

Kalesh Ramanand: My very first audition was for a reality talent show for a Tv channel. I was waiting for the whole day for my turn and by the time I was about to get in, I was literally drained out emotionally and physically. Waiting for 12 hours for your turn to come and wondering what would happen, the anxiety and restlessness had taken its toll by then. But how much ever tired you are, somehow an artist comes alive when he’s asked to perform. It was around midnight and I remember I sang a few songs, I acted out a monologue, I recited an improv poem for a situation they gave, I danced for a tamil song that they played. I did everything I could. I had this mad energy in those late hours of the night just because I didn’t want to lose my opportunity. That night I was really proud of myself. Of-course I got selected for the show, but by the time the show ended after few months I realised there was no reality in those reality shows and decided not to waste my time on them again. Lol.


For stage: 2nd standard. Not too great. I ended up playing one of Mother Mary’s donkeys for the annual Christmas play. Fast forward a few years and in 8th I did my first full length play for school. Audition was flawless, if I may say so myself. Hehehehe. I played Robin Hood (mainly because I was in an all girls convent)
For screen: AMAAAAAAAZINGGG!! The director LOVED me, they said they’ll call me back but they didn’t. A month later I found out that the producer rejected me because I wasn’t “hot” enough. Broke my heart. But one day I’ll break his face. WITH MAH FILMZZZZ!!
  • How is the Evam lab rehearsals coming up?

Vikas:  I love my fellow actors.. all are really talented in there own way.. all the improvs so far were brilliant. Looking forward to the show.

Baggy: Working with some of the most fun actors I know in Chennai.. take such fun, crazy, high energy actors in one place and you’re guaranteed to have rehearsals that are a whole lotta fun and completely unproductive..

Saadiya: I love it!! It’s super fun!! Everyone is just the right amount of looney. Honestly, I’m just waiting for the catch. Nothing in this world can be this perfect.

  • Up at the stage on show day, you forget your line and what would you do?

Arjun: React and buy sometime till I get it, improvise.Lets say I forget a line, I will react in silence as the character and look for hints from my co actors. I will communicate my situation subtly to my co actors and improvise with them to get through the situation.Sign language or code words like “oops I did it again” or ” its harder than I thought” would be devised in advance and be my means to communicate to seek support.

Baggy: I never forget my lines, on the rare chance that I do forget my Line, I also forget that I’ve forgotten my line.. So God save my fellow actors!

Kalesh: Well, fortunately that hasn’t happened till now. I’ve mis-placed a prop or I’ve had wardrobe malfunctions etc. This one time during our Bollywood Kee Maa show in Singapore, my pants tore from behind when I did somersault in a scene. But luckily I managed to pull through the climax sequence without no one noticing it. I guess my Co actor Ashank had a hunch because I was walking funnily during the action sequence with him. It was a tedious endeavour on stage but post show we all had a laugh about it. But ya, if I really forget a line then I would probably beat around the bush by saying few lines of my own and by then I would be able to recollect the actual line and eventually manage to give the Co-actor the right cue for his/her line. Obviously I would have given my co-actor, the shock of their lives for a minute as they would be wondering where these new lines come from. Haha!  :P

  •  Pick one of your fellow actor from Evam lab and share the funniest thing u noticed about them at evam lab rehearsals.

Arjun:  1 option not enough

Saadhya – She is always in a parallel universe or in other words spaced out

Shravan and Baggy –  They remind me of a teddy bear siblings. Cute, bubbly and expressive.

Vikas: Cant remember one particular thing. All of us showed our funny side during improvs and games.

Kalesh:  Hmm…I can’t really recollect any one moment. There have been lot of laughter and funny things happening in the past week of rehearsals. But ya, once Amit had given us an exercise where we had to enact like an animal and do one humanly action with it. For eg: I acted like a deer who types the type writer with his horns. So, Akshay acted like a dog and went around smelling everyone and woofing and then went and did the peeing action on the wall and then came and sat down. Everyone clapped and laughed but Amit asked him what was the human element in it. He obviously got carried away with the whole animal act that he had forgotten about the human action. But to his rescue he was smart enough to think and quickly reply “Peeing on the wall was the human element” and everyone broke into a laughter!


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The Hindu Theatre Festival 2016- A recap

Another year goes by and the LIVE from EVAM team has pulled off the 12th Edition of the Hindu Theatre Fest in style. Spanning across Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad over 3 weeks, the Fest hosted 14 shows. Not only did audiences get to watch some of the best English theatre from around the country, but they also had the opportunity to enjoy some quality regional content in the shape of three fabulous Tamil plays in Chennai.

Every year we see wonderful teams coming together in each city, a mix of old and new members, working very hard to make sure it is the smoothest and most fun experience for artists and audiences alike. Here are the teams from Chennai, Hyderabad & Bengaluru.



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The Fest kicked off on 19th August, with plays happening simultaneously in Chennai & Hyderabad seeing over 5000 audiences in a span of 3 days.

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It then moved to the quaint Museum Theatre in Chennai for a weekend of 3 Tamil plays starting 26th August.


Finally, wrapping in Bengaluru at the beautiful Rangashankara theatre starting on 6th September. Despite regional issues, the team was able to pull off a very smooth execution.

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Of course none of this would be possible without the continued support and trust that The Hindu places in us year on year.

As is always with projects of this magnitude, the entire team, although very exhausted, is left with a sudden sense of emptiness, after a month of hard work and long hours. It will be a long wait for next year, but we are sure it will be well worth it.

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First Rush – Alumni Talk!

Evam’s 29th batch of First Rush is happening this weekend at Chennai. Let’s see what our alumni from First Rush club has to say!


Siddhartha Satyabrata Swain, Facilitator at Happy Cow, First Rush (June 2013)

I always wanted to be a performer in front of an audience but the big picture in my mind was i wanted to be an Actor. I had danced, played various instruments, but the only issue was I had never acted in my life. But in India, the states that have strong theatre productions like West Bengal,Kerala, Gujarat,Maharashtra,Tamil Nadu or my own home state of Odisha, they all had one thing in common regarding theatre acting and that is you have to start from the scratch, and to reach to a level where you would have your own production, it would eat up a healthy 2 years of your life and your only glory moments on stage would be static roles like ” A Tree” or ” A Corpse”

But you are really really lucky if you could start your entertainment career through evam’s First Rush like me.
These are the things that First Rush takes care of-
1. They are only looking for the passion to be a performer in you,hence it does not matter if you have performed as an actor before.
2. They will help you set up your own production in 30 days.
3. They will help you build your own team with your batch mates.
4. The best thing is even if this is a group activity, the amount of attention every individual receives is amazing – whether its enhancing your talent, rectifying your acting, or facilitating your inputs.
5. You get to do multiple roles,learn the entire procedure of theatre production- backstage, onstage,makeup,prop design etc.
Trust me with my own experience, all the above mentioned things will happen in your life in the span of 30 days and no one and I mean no one in the entire country will provide you with such assistance and guidance in such a short span of life.
All the best Future First Rushers. May you have glorious career ahead of you.
Akshay Yesodharan, A full time musician, Batch 28th of First Rush


I got to know about First Rush while I was working as a guitarist giving music for a play.The actors there told me about First Rush, and these are guys who are full time actors and are brilliant at what they do. And almost all of them did the workshop at some point in life and they told me how it helped them understand this art form better and I just gave it the “Yeah Yeah!!” and the customary nod as though I knew what they were talking about while I was completely clueless. 

I didn’t have much of an idea as to what I was getting myself into but still I went ahead and signed up and landed at the venue for the first day of the workshop on a hot and bright Saturday morning. Including me there were around 28 people there for the workshop, NONE of the them had any acting background which was a relief because till then I was thinking “I was the only one!!!!”.

I’m sure all of us thought at some point how can someone teach a person how to act over a weekend. But it was all answered by Sunday evening where all of us in different groups had to do a small sketch based on the topic given to us. So basically I met a bunch of strangers yesterday and I was ACTING with them today. And boy did we act. There was a lot of information given to us; a lot of it would’ve been hard to remember but while working as a team with all of them you go through all of it and it stays in your mind for years to come as acting is not just going up on stage or in front of a camera and making faces and delivering the lines given to you. You have to understand and observe each and every little detail of your character and BE a whole new person. You could convince your audience that you are Superman without even flying, there is more to Clark Kent than that. You could be a table and be the best, most beautiful table ever and nobody would question your presence as an object as long as it serves its purpose of getting the message across to the audience. 

Yeah, so… that happened. And after that we were assigned a director and for a month we worked with him and he directed a play for all us which premiered on march 30th, 2016 and from that day we were officially ACTORS, Oh Yeah!!!




Janardhanan Raghavan, Director and a Writer, First Rush (May 2011)

“Tale of a Tall Girl” a play that Evam lab had staged for Short and Sweet festival 2016 was announced as the winner of the festival. All the results were announced except the runner-up play of the festival. The announcer had missed it. I had 2 of my plays in the festival. One that I had directed, written by the person who wrote the very first play that I acted in First Rush and the other that I had written, directed by another First Rush fellow. Both were in the finals of the festival. Both were contesting with 9 other plays in the competition. While I waited for the results I realized evam, that opened me to the world of theatre, the ever so friendly folks, were right behind me giving suggestions and pep-talking for my play all the while. Both my plays won runner-up for the festival. From the shy backstage guy to losing inhibitions and going on stage ready to be anybody I wanted- Life had changed. It is almost 5 years from my First Rush. The rush that I would never forget for the rest of my life.

A play director, a writer, an actor, an executive producer. You could be any or all of these and your gateway to entering the world of theatre is undoubtedly “First Rush”. Not only do you get to go on stage and perform but also you learn the nitty-gritty of live stage productions. And whatever you do during or after your first performance, be assured evam and its people are going to be behind you giving you a push and opening you up to a whole lot of opportunities forever.
First Rush was definitely my window to escape my regular day job and start something so exciting that someday I would end up making a career out of it.
First Rush has most certainly been the best decision of my life till date.
To register for this batch of First Rush , click here–>
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