In Love And Warcraft – Drama Debut!

A scene from Love and Warcraft

A scene from Love and Warcraft

When our daughter was in the final year of her Masters programme in script writing she submitted a play “In Love And Warcraft” for a nationwide competition. This is an annual event conducted by The Alliance Theatre  in Atlanta (http://alliancetheatre.org/) which is a very prestigious institution in the field of Arts and the name of the competition is Alliance Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. All students from premier colleges send their scripts to this competition and Madhuri won the first prize. In addition to the prize money Alliance theater would launch the play as a part of the prize. This is a huge thing for the winner because being produced by them is a great launching pad for the artist.

The winner gets to be part of the selection process in choosing the director and the cast. Madhuri loved the first director she spoke to who was Laura Kepley and she is the director of this play. She has done an awesome job. Madhuri was called from Los Angeles to Atlanta for the audition of actors. When they could not find all the cast members in that audition they had another in New York where she was invited as well and the selection of all actors was finally done. When we saw the play we realised how important the casting was as the actors gave life to Madhuri’s characters and they had done a great job.

a scene from the show

a scene from the show

Madhuri had written another play “A Nice Indian Boy” which had won the second prize in a competition conducted by another great drama company, The East West Players of Los Angeles. So she was involved in the casting and rehearsals of this play as well as the one in Los Angeles. Both the plays were to be debuted in Feb of 2014. One was in Atlanta and the other was in Los Angeles.

Here in the US any changes to the script can be done only by the playwright and the director does not have the liberty to change it as he or she deems it fit. So it was required for Madhuri to stay for the rehearsals to do the rewrites as wanted by the director. So she went to Atlanta twice and almost stayed two weeks each time to do the rewrites. The rehearsals start a t 12 noon and go on till 8 in the night. Atlanta is a seat of culture. Its people encourage arts and are proud of their rich heritage. Art flourishes there because of the considerable donations given by patrons who live there.

The debut of her play “In Love And Warcraft” was on Feb 5th at The Alliance Theater auditorium. The play was at 8pm. At 6.30pm there was a dinner hosted in honour of the 5 finalists of the Kendeda competition of which Madhuri was the winner. Donors and trustees and all those part of the production were special invitees to the dinner to which my husband and myself were also invited. It was a beautiful dinner. The four finalists spoke briefly about how plays contribute to the betterment of the community. Madhuri was asked to speak and she spoke eloquently about her journey upto this point of becoming a playwright. The audience were all Americans with a very few of Indian origin.

Madhuri's speach

Madhuri’s speech

Those in the Alliance Theatre received my husband and me with great love and praised our daughter’s talent profusely. Those who spoke to us were the trustees, donors, those in the selection committee and all those who were part of the production of the play.They had all met Madhuri before. After the dinner we went to the auditorium which is housed in the same building. The drama hall was very nice, very quaint and had history written all over it. I felt that our daughter’s debut drama to be staged there was really a blessing from God! The play started at 8 o’clock sharp.

The Alliance Theatre

The Alliance Theatre

They had done a stupendous job on both set design and on costumes. The sofa and chairs were wired and mechanically operated to be pulled away from the stage to change a living room to a street in minutes. A New York based design house had been hired and the set designing was by Andrew Boyce. Every scene looked authentic and very professionally done.

The stage

The stage

This play involves an interactive computer game called Warcraft. So the actors had to adorn the exact costume that was used in the computer game in certain parts of the drama. Costume designer was by Lex Liang. The costumes were very authentic and out of this world. It just goes to show what a world class production this play is!

costume on the drawing board

costume on the drawing board

Madhuri’s dramaturg (like a drama editor) was Celise Kalke. She was responsible for making Madhuri’s drama a real masterpiece. Madhuri owes a lot to her. There was a standing ovation when the play ended. Actors had done a wonderful job! Since it was obvious that we were Madhuri’s parents most of those who had come for the play stopped by us to tell us a few words of praise about Madhuri and a a lot more about how they loved the play. It was a great moment for us.

The play will go on for two more weeks with one show on weekdays and two shows on weekends. It has got very good reviews from critics in Atlanta and is running to packed houses which is a good sign that the play is very well received. It is a play which will be very well appreciated by the youth of today as they can relate to it very well.

Though Madhuri was born in the US, she grew up in India. Her undergraduate degree was from the Madras University. She went abroad only for her master’s degree. It is highly commendable that she was able to write a play that is mainstream America. Her first master’s degree was in a different area. But she realised that her passion was writing and especially script writing and decided to hone her skills by doing another master’s degree MFA from The University of Southern California in Script Writing. She has secured a very good beginning for her in this field by this debut and I wish her more accolades in the future with more wonderful plays and screenplays for movies as well!

we with the cast, director dramaturg and the playwright

Us with the cast, director dramaturg and the playwright

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ஆ ன ந் த ம் (@anandhame)
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 16:03:34

    It was wonderfully executed play on stage with all the dynamic stage setting & beautiful characters. People can easily relate to each of the characters. Thought process put behind each detail of the scene is amazing. It has a little bit of TV SitCom feel to the real world scenes but the link with the Video Game was very creatively done. All the best to Madhuri for her future endeavours 🙂

    Reply

  2. Rupa Lavanya Sridharan
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 20:47:40

    akka, a good comprehensive blog to give us the background details and process in production. The costumes for the characters in their avatars are truly out of this world! Looking forward to the review of the next play !Best Wishes for all her future creative endeavors!

    Reply

  3. sukanya (@sukanya29039615)
    Feb 14, 2014 @ 05:09:20

    Now I can understand how Madhuri got this talent. Superb Sushi!. May God shower his immense warmth on all of you and fulfill your dreams.

    Reply

  4. தேவா..
    Feb 16, 2014 @ 03:54:33

    Very proud for you and sekar sir for allowing your children to choose what they like and respects their likes,dislikes. BIG SALUTE

    Reply

  5. amas32
    Feb 16, 2014 @ 19:06:38

    Thank you 🙂

    Reply

  6. sathyamurthi
    Feb 19, 2014 @ 05:55:18

    Proud moment for parents and kudos for letting her follow her dreams …

    Reply

  7. amas32
    Feb 19, 2014 @ 18:06:23

    thank you :-))

    Reply

  8. Anonymous
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 14:03:51

    Well done Madhuri.No words to praise her. This must be a proud and special moment for you both as parents. Congratulations to Madhuri and the wonderful team.Raji.

    Reply

  9. amas32
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 19:29:33

    Thank you very much 🙂

    Reply

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