The weight of evam’s biggest production to-date falls feather-light on evam’s youngest director, Manasi Subramaniyam.
Manasi is the co-founder and partner at Landing Stage Youth Theatre Group, an independent, amateur youth theatre group. They work with theatre aspirants of the age group 13 to 19, train them (with the assistance of theatre artistes in Chennai) and produce two plays a year for kids.
She’s currently busy directing evam’s latest offering, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I attended my first theatre workshop in 2002 and have been involved with various productions since then. As a theatre artiste, I have gone from being an actor to a lighting designer to a stage manager to a playwright to a producer to a director. I think I’ve even done costumes and makeup at one point! My learning curve has been both steep and fun. I’ve certainly gained a lot from these experiences and now I can handle various positions in a theatrical production with ease.
Relationship with Evam in the past:
I’ve attended almost all their plays – in fact, I’ve attended the very first Chennai show of most of their plays and I have always thought that what they do is pretty fantastic.
Why did you choose The Importance of Being Earnest?
I’ve been wanting to do The Importance of Being Earnest for a long time now. And when Evam offered me the opportunity to direct, it was the first play I put forth. I think it’s a very pleasant, funny, feel-good play that’s ageless and wonderful.
How is it shaping?
It’s shaping up very well. I’m lucky because I have fantastic actors and wonderful producers. It looks good for now and I’m very confident about how it’s going to do.
About the Evam team:
The Evam team is wonderful. My assistant director, Bhargav Ramakrishnan, is like a boon. He completely understands where I’m coming from, he’s incredibly reliable and he’s a wonderfully composed counterpart to me. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him. I’m also grateful to my production head, Sandeep, who’s the light-hearted and chilled out person on this team, and who always remembers to bring food for everyone! My costume designer, Medha, is a god-send. She understands exactly what the play looks for, and she also has an extraordinary capacity to bring a definite sense of her own designs and perceptions into everything she does. She’s dedicated and has great taste as well. Sunil as producer has been very patient with me and I’ve interacted briefly with the rest of the team as well, of course, and it’s been, overall, a pleasant working experience.
Outside of Team Evam, the set designer, Mithran has created magic as always. I love his design and I’m very excited about it. The choreographer, Mani, has been remarkable. He’s created some pretty stupendous stuff. And the music director, Anil Srinivasan, has created wonders once more. I’m very fortunate to have the very best team possible working for this play.
The casting process:
Well, I did go through a very long casting process, but I found the perfect cast at the end of it. So I’m glad I went through all that. I now know how lucky I am to have such a great cast!
Not nervous at all! I think it’s going to be a fantastic show. We’re going to blow everyone’s mind – and that’s the only way to do it!
… and we can’t wait to be blown away! :)
for typos, gravity and other mishaps, check out manasi’s blog-