Los Angeles-based Chennaiite, Madhuri Shekar is a playwright who in the past has had success with her acclaimed plays In Love and Warcraft and A Nice Indian Boy. She is now venturing into the world wide web with the series Titus and Dronicus, about two private eyes (played by Zehra Fazal and Corey Walter Johnson) who investigate mysteries within Shakespeare’s plays! If this hasn’t intrigued you enough, Madhuri’s enthusiasm for the series she has co-written and produced with Megan Kelly and Seamus Sullivan, surely will. Currently in the city, she tells us about her love for the legendary playwright and her project.
“Titus and Dronicus was initially a joke Megan made about someone mistaking the title of Shakespeare’s bloody play Titus Andronicus to be a buddy comedy. We loved the idea so much that we decided it would make a great web series. We love Shakespeare and think we can have a lot of fun with him,” she says about where the conception for the show came from. She goes on to say, “We wanted creative control over the process, hence the web series. It was similar to a low-budget film with the funding raised via Kickstarter, production and post-production that involved a lot including sound-mixing by Chennai’s own Kunal Rajan who has worked with A.R Rahman and Kamal Haasan. We put a lot of love, blood and sweat into this project and I’m really proud of the end product.”
The writer/filmmaker who did her schooling and college in namma ooru and counts The Lizzie Bennet Diaries amongst her favourite web series, also has another talent. She reveals this while talking about the city’s theatre scene, “A lot of Chennai’s most talented theatre actors are moving to YouTube! Not surprising, since theatre is rewarding but only artistically, not financially. I’m very excited to hear that Evam will be producing their first Tamil play. I’ve done stand-up comedy with Evam. In fact, the well-known S Aravind and I first tried out stand-up together when I was visiting in 2011.”
The web series has already garnered a lot of attention but that isn’t stopping Madhuri from taking on more projects — even when on a break. “I’m in Chennai visiting my parents but I’ve been home working non-stop. I have a few upcoming projects but I can’t speak about them. Maybe I should get out and see my friends before I leave,” she laughs. You definitely deserve it!...