An art with a bend
Bangalore-based playwright Ram Ganesh Kamatham talks to Reema Gehi about the scarcity of Indian English playwrights.art and culture Updated: May 03, 2007 18:09 IST
What was the Crab experience like?
It was born out of the Writer’s Bloc festival in January I even went mountain-climbing as part of my research for writing the script and now I’ve got hooked onto to the sport.
Have there been any changes to the script like what happens to most plays performed after a hiatus?
Well, there is always room for improvement. The director and I have tweaked the script just a little. The cast has been great and I love working with the whole team.
How hard is it for a playwright to surrender his script to the director?
Creative differences will always be there but they must be amicably solved. Arghya Lahiri (director, Crab) and I share a very transparent relationship. We keep bouncing off suggestions. Visually I think Crab has turned out incredible and when I sit at the rehearsals there are moments where I go ...man, I never thought of this.
What’s your take on the current scene of Indian English plays and playwrights?
See, being only a playwright is not commercially viable in India. There are a handful of Indian English playwrights. I think there ought be some sort of collaboration between writers, critics and of course the audiences.
So what made you choose play writing?
I come from the school of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Sarah Kane, Howard Parker and David Greg. For me, playwriting is a craft and it’s wonderful to see how your text shapes up visually . You made your theatre debut with Thespo and now you’re conducting workshops for it.
How has the process been?
It’s been one helluva journey. I made my professional stage debut in 2001 with Dead Metaphor and it was very well received. About the workshop; it deals with structure and composition, and looks at new ways of using matter and shaping text.
With 14 plays under your hat what next?
Writing takes up most of my time. I plan to bring Dancing On Glass – a play that I’ve written and directed – to Mumbai soon. I’m doing a lot of theatre at Rangshankara in Bangalore and yes, I also write for short films.
Crab will be playing at NCPA, Nariman Point on March 31 and April 1 at 7pm. And Ram Ganesh Kamatham will be conducting a play writing workshop at Prithvi Theatre, Juhu, on April 3 and 4.