With T-20 cricket and Twitter ruling the roost, many theatre groups in the city have taken cue and shortened the duration of their plays from two hours to 10 minutes. “Just as cricket swent from test match to 20-20, plays too are going from the average two hours to half-an-hour or even 10 minutes,” says theatre person Feisal Alkazi.
Raviraj Sagar of Dramatech Theatre Group, agrees. Sagar’s latest play, The Weekend Cocktail, is a short play that weaves three distinct stories together. “A production of three or more stories gives more variety to the evening rather than a single play running for two hours,” feels Sagar.
Saurav Padhi of theatre group Merry Go Round, is also game for plays of shorter duration. “I am very clear about my target audience. I do not make plays for the niche crowd of Mandi House, but for the young professionals of metropolis,” says Padhi, whose debut production, 3 spices, will arrive in August.
“Most of the young professionals are on the lookout for something new and creative. Hence theatre is gaining popularity as an entertainment medium. Today, audience comes to watch plays for entertainment and value for money. Staging two to three plays in one evening adds value to the audience’s outing,” says Padhi.
In an effort to help amateurs understand the concept of producing 10-minute plays better, a three-day workshop will be held in the city from July 20 to 22. Playwright Manav Kaul will conduct the workshop. “It is easier for amateurs to begin writing a 10-minute play rather than a full fledged two-hour play,” says Kaul.
The selected scripts will be used for the third season of Short and Sweet Festival for 10-minute plays, to be held in Delhi in November. “The 10-minute format allows the audience to watch 10-15 new plays in a span of two hours,” says Deepak Dhamija, festival Director. “What’s more, if the audience does not like a certain play, they know it will be over in a matter of 10 minutes,” he concludes.