Not just an act
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Not just an act

Drama graduates get a chance to stage their own productions at Take Off Festival

Not just an act

A common question for liberal arts students is: what does one do after graduating? And it’s with this same question that engenders “Take Off Festival”, a project that gave fresh drama graduates a chance to put on a production and prove that making a living in theatre is not entirely impossible.

Convertal , one of the productions featuring in ‘Take off Festival’.

The project team has invited graduates from universities to send their ideas in and those selected are given a budget and guidance to transfer their plot and characters onto the stage. There are four productions in all (one is a combination of two performances), and the series is currently in its third week with two more shows to go.

“Jarunun Phantachat [actress and recipient at this year’s Silpathorn Awards] came up with this idea,” said one of the festival directors Jatuporn Suwansukhum. “She thought back on when she first graduated and how she was given a lot of opportunities to work by people at Bangkok Community Theatre and now she wants to help those who have just started out.”

The first two productions which have already shown are Kwin Bhichitkul’s Covertal, an experimental play about aliens coming to Earth, and Pataranun Isarankura na Ayudhya’s Not Him But Her, which deals with issues of love and sexuality.

“The agreement is that these participants have to do everything on their own,” explained Jatuporn. “The staff are there just to help productions go smoothly. They never interfere with the production ideas or plot.”

The third show, starting today, is a combination of two performances: dance show Scramble Game by Issara Kaewmuang and Make-Over by Aleena Taechasawat. The production the following week will be The Plastic Girl In The Fantastic World by Pattareeya Puapongsakorn. It’s about a romance between Barbie and Ken dolls.

“Drama graduates tend to doubt if all the things they have learned in university can really be turned into something practical,” said Jatuporn. “This will give them a chance to see what it’s really like — the difference between just doing it as a thesis and the pressure of having to do a production people have bought tickets to see.”

This project was made possible by Office of Contemporary Art and Culture as a major sponsor and even though Jatuporn admitted that it’s still quite difficult to really make a living solely in the theatre industry, he said this will at least pave the way for other career opportunities.

“I want it to be like a market,” said Jatuporn. “I’ve seen quite a few actors who really shine, ones who otherwise won’t be seen outside their campus. I want this to be a chance for people in entertainment industry to come and maybe ask them to join them, perhaps in films or television productions.”

- Scramble Game and Make-Over from today to July 20 and The Plastic Girl In The Fantastic World from July 24-27.
- At 7.30pm, Spark Drama Studio, Jasmine City, Sukhumvit Soi 23.  Tickets cost 300 baht.
- Call 09-5837-4383 for reservations.

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