Yesterday I had a chance to watch Perunthachan (The Master Craftsman); the 2nd play by the SF Bay Area Malayalam Literary and Arts group Sargavedi. A much larger production in terms of crew and acts than their first Kattukuthira (Wild Horse) which successfully ran multiple venues in the United States. In my opinion this is a step close to big time serious Malayalam theatre in US.
There are active theatre groups in other non Malayalam Indian languages especially Hindi that I have witnessed and have been amazed by the talent. I always leave the theatre thinking when will we have Malayalam theatre in that space. And I am happy to say that it has arrived. I could have said this last time, but it is always better to say when a second effort becomes successful.
A team comprising of both new and known faces to the Malayalam Art scene this piece also comes with the aim to do good. 50% of profit goes to Kerala flood relief and 50% goes to help an old-time drama artist K.V.Antony. Art and Literature always have a social purpose beyond entertainment and Sargavedi knows it well enough.
I have always been amazed by the dedication of theatre artists. The preparation that goes into making something splendid happen. And I always admit how that long a commitments gives me a shiver. I think as SF Bay Area Malayalees we should all thank the team behind Perunthachan for taking us back in time for two hours.
It was interesting to note that the main characters of both the plays we had were brought to life in silver screen by the Maestro our late Thilakan. And also the fact that both plays were popular plays of yesteryears. I think now the stage is set to do some experimental stuff and new more contemporary theatre. Way to go Team Sargavedi…
I will never say a play is perfect, but all shortcomings are lessons for a 2 play old young group with such amazing talent. I still remember a few people who left the first play mention to me “Damn this is real Professional”.
I heard the same this time from first timers who saw the play and were awe struck because they never knew that we had such a good theatre crowd in Bay Area.
And I said to myself…. there is always a crowd for quality.
Thank You Sargavedi and Team.