Cinthoorika heads The Hindu Theatre Festival along with her colleague, Vasanth. This is her 9th year of working on the festival and her journey with evam started from the 2009 fest! She claims the best part of the fest is the Pizza party that the hospitality team arranges for the team.
9 years back I was in the phase where you are done with your college and basically sending out resumes to all the places where you want to work and hoping that you will be called in for an interview. Since I had ample time in hand and very less interest in sleep or TV (Yeah! I am odd like that) I had discovered a sudden interest in reading newspapers. And one day, I noticed a small article in Metro plus calling out for volunteers to join the managing team of The Hindu Theatre Festival.
Intrigued, I sent in a mail and got called in for an interview (for once!) Little did I know that the mail would change my life at that point of time. And so I attended an informal interview and joined the team and started working along with a 30 member team.
The Hindu theatre Festival (Then it was called The Metroplus Theatre Fest) is an international theatre festival conducted by The Hindu every year during the month of August. It travelled to 5 different cities – Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi and Coimbatore.
What followed next was one roller coaster ride. The team got divided into different portfolios – Promotion & Marketing, Ticketing, Hospitality, In venue (Show day logistics) and Production (Backstage).
At any point of time, you would have found at least 15 kids camping at evam office doing some work or other based on their portfolios. Promotions started first with the entire team running from pillar to post, putting up posters, giving out flyers, conducting mini activities to promote the fest; Ticketing team glued to their laptops making scores of excel sheets following the trail of every ticket; Hospitality team was scouting cute little giveaways for the different hospitality kits for the performers; Production team getting hold of carpenters & local Ironwalla anna’s contact for the final day setup.
After some one month of prep, the D day arrived and In-venue team started their work regarding the look & feel of the venue. Brochures & tickets were counted and given out; rental furniture were taken up backstage, and standees were taken and put up at relevant positions! I was more curious about whatever happened onstage – setup for the play. Even among the chaos that unfolded backstage, there was one odd understanding & mutual respect among the troupe’s production team.
And finally the moment arrived and it was marked by a huddle conducted by LP (who was the project & city head at that time) I still remember her telling the team – “Treat this event as if it’s a wedding in your family! Wear your smiles at all point. Make small talk and most important of all, Have fun. Enjoy. Watch some good theatre!”
My favourite play of 2009 fest was Hamlet – The Clown Prince (Directed by Rajat Kapur). I remember being amused when the play started with couple of clowns on stage speaking Gibberish!! I was like “Seriously?” 90 mins later, I also joined the auditorium’s standing ovation among the deafening applause. And just like that, I was hooked!
This is my 9th year of working on The Hindu Theatre Festival and as my colleague calls it, Its my Lala Land! I still get to meet 30 odd new team members, work with them and watch some really good theatre – Except I get to conduct those interviews this time & run the festival from evam’s end :)
The 13th edition of The Hindu Theatre Festival 2017 is starting around August 2nd weekend (11th of August) spans across 3 cities this time (Chennai, Hyd, Bengaluru). You can find the schedule and Box office details right here-http://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/stage-right/article19186912.ece
It’s Playtime :)