And the action begins….

Wow. What a tiring week! There’s been frantic activity happening behind the scenes, with meetings with the crew and prep work for rehearsals, before we jump into everything.

(From right to left) Prasanna: Hmmm, how do I design the different costumes for all the 48 characters? -- Becky: Where do I pick up the cutlery, tablecloths and all the other props that we need? -- Neesh: WHERE THE HELL DO I GET ALL THE MONEY WE NEED FOR THIS????

I know that some of you have been waiting breathlessly (makes for an interesting visual, considering I don’t know what most of you look like yet…) to hear about the casting so let me Β get to that sooner than later.

However, before I let that cat out of the bag, let me mention something that a lot of you wouldn’t know.

WhenΒ we found ourselves faced with the load of talent that we did, we decided to do something unusual, and that is to double-cast certain roles. The idea behind this is to give more people the opportunity to get on stage, but it also provides us a backup in the untoward event that an actor is unable to perform at the last minute.

It is a common practice to cast understudies for roles, but interestingly, even that is not common in our venerable theatre community. Which makes the idea of double-casting even more bizarre. It implies double the work, double the time, double the costumes… you get the idea. But the opportunity to put more people on stage and work with them is a concept that totally thrills me, and by and large, it’s my raison d’etre for doing theatre.

(Okay, have I dilly-dallied enough?)

The casting is 90% done. I say 90% because there’s always the possibility that I’ve missed out on someone’s talent and so I’m keeping that door open. But for now, here are the main roles as they have been announced:

  • Johnny Castle – Cassius Leon
  • Baby Houseman – Aparna Narayan & Pooja Balu
  • Penny Johnson – Aparna Nagesh & Amrita Samant
  • Dr. Houseman – Yohan Chacko
  • Mrs. Houseman – Pushpa Balu
  • Lisa Houseman – Taberah D’Couto
  • Max Kellerman – Sharavana Raghavan
  • Neal Kellerman – Roshan Joseph Mathew
  • Robbie Gould – Rajiv Rajaram

These are the main characters. We still have another 20 to 25 people who are essaying roles of resort guests, waiters, and of course, dirty dancers.

My backstage team is gonna be really important in making a project of this size work successfully, and I’m happy to say that we have an enthu and dedicated team on board. Principal crew members include:

  • Stage management – Nirmal Kumar
  • Properties management – Becky George
  • Technical team – Paul Philip, Pradeep Kalipurayath, Ganesh Swaroop, Charan, & Selvakartik
  • Costumes – Prasanna & Priyabat

“Okay, everyone look busy for the camera…”

There are still more people in the team, and some of the cast members are helping with behind-the-scenes work as well, so all in all, things are chugging on!

More later!


Creative Director


  1. understudies….It’s like we have our very own Broadway! =)
    Though i do recognize two people from mamma mia…i just realised how many people from Chennai, i haven’t even heard of! This should be goooood!

    I was wondering though, since it’s a lot about the dancing…who is to be doing the singing? =)

    • me thinks they have forgotten us! :p

      • Patience, my dear, patience. πŸ™‚

        There’s NO way I would forget my cyberpals out there. It’s just that theatre is not yet my full-time vocation, so between my low paying job, house-hunting (we’re shifting from Chetpet to Gandhi Nagar), tending to domestic chores AND running helter skelter for production work, I’m just not getting time every day to sit down and update. Apologies for that, but in everyone’s interest, including my own, will try my best to keep this going. πŸ˜‰

    • Well truth be told, Dirty Dancing is not even a musical. It happens to be a love story set against a backdrop of dance, that’s all. But we are ensuring that there is dancing and as I have managed to find some good singers, I am going to have the songs sung live instead of using tracks!

      • oops! sorry about the hounding! unfortunately for you, we don’t have jobs or too much to occupy us (clearly! :p)
        Good moving idea though…Gandhinagar..lot more accessible and all the better for activities πŸ™‚

        Yaaay live singing…Joseph and the coat of whatsit recently would have been waaaay better with live singing! πŸ™‚
        so who are the singers? can we know? πŸ™‚

  2. Love the double casting idea! πŸ™‚
    Can’t wait! :))

  3. oh noo i meant phantom of the opera that was done in Bangalore by a friends group!
    sorry, my bad! 😐

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