Into its third sequel, Vidiyal 3 is the fresh product of joint efforts by the Indian Cultural Groups (ICGs) of four local polytechnics – Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic. The production which sports the family-centred tagline, “Meet The Menons“, is almost set to take centre stage come 26 March 2016, Saturday at the Tan Cheng Siong Drama Theatre at Anglo-Chinese School, Barker Road.
So, what can audiences expect from Vidiyal 3? What will be different from its previous two productions? Nishmen Nair, Director of Vidiyal 3, makes some time between hectic rehearsals to answer this editor’s questions.
Q: What is the theme for Vidiyal 3, if there is any? If so, are there any reasons as to why it was chosen?
Vidiyal 3 was conceptualized with a sole intention. That is to reach out to each and every individual who has been a member of a troubled family, and also to the teenagers of today who do not appreciate the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with their parents and siblings. With the rise of social media and other factors which directly affect family interaction, many of us often fail to appreciate our families. Vidiyal 3’s storyline is an adaptation of real life events experienced by some families whom I have met. Hence, the theme of the production would be family.
Q: In your opinion, how will this year’s Vidiyal 3 production differ from the previous two editions?
The very first Vidiyal production was purely a variety show which saw the production team setting out alone without the backing of any institutions. It was an experimental production through which I wanted to showcase my performers’ capabilities as dancers and singers.
Vidiyal 2 took on a slightly different approach. This time, I tried incorporating dance, drama and singing all into one production. It was not perfect, but it served as a stepping stone for me to be myself – as a director to my team, as well as a performer.
Both Vidiyal and Vidiyal 2 were staged at Goodman Arts Centre’s Blackbox. They were on rather small scales and we only managed to reach out to an audience of about 300 each time. For Vidiyal 3, we have decided to go with the similar approach of incorporating all three forms of performing arts into one show – but this time, to a slightly bigger audience in order to achieve a wider reach.
Q: What do you think the audience should be expecting from the upcoming Vidiyal 3 production?
This time round, our audience can expect lots of heart tugging moments with regards to the storyline which revolves around a family. They can also expect a wider variety of dance and singing items from dancers from all four polytechnics. The audience should be prepared to ride on a rollercoaster of emotions from the start till the very end of the show.
Q: How have you used the feedback and constructive criticism that followed Vidiyal 2 in order to make the current production a better one?
Following Vidiyal 2, we received lots of feedback with regards to the storyline that had revolved around a mentally disturbed teenager from a broken family. We managed to captivate the audience with our storyline but at the same time we faced quite a bit of criticism with regards to our props and sets.
For Vidiyal 3, we have ensured that we will bring forth realism in each scene – nothing fancy, just realistic. We have taken extra effort to make sure that each scene contains all the necessary aspects to allow the audience to completely immerse themselves into the production.
Q: How many people are involved in this production?
There are about 40-50 performers, including the crew backstage. There are approximately 10-15 of us from each polytechnic.
Q: For how long exactly has this production been in the pipeline for?
We started the rehearsals full force in early February this year. The planning portion began back in January.
Q: How has everyone working on this production been able to effectively juggle both academics (or work) and the arts?
I commenced the rehearsals for the production only after everyone was done with their final exams. This was to ensure that everyone was focused on their academics first before turning their attention to the production.
Q: What are some of the significant challenges faced by yourself or by any of your crew members during the course of this production?
Setting out alone was rather challenging as we are all relatively new to the field of performing arts. Furthermore, without the backing of any government organization or institution, we had several issues with securing sponsorships and booking our venue. However, having considered our previous productions both within and out of Nanyang Polytechnic, we managed to receive significant help from several companies and individuals.
Also, since this production involves performers from four different polytechnics, managing them and getting them to adhere to our rehearsal schedule despite their hectic personal timetables was a challenge. But at the end of the day, each and every performer was gracious enough to juggle their various commitments and give me their valuable time and effort for Vidiyal 3.
Q: Within the Indian community, and in particular with regards to the youth, do you think enough attention is being paid to the arts scene?
There is a certain level of importance given to the arts within our community. However, it solely revolves around independent theatre companies and organizations. As for students, I feel that the support rendered is rather weak and there is a lack of platforms for today’s students to showcase their talents. I personally feel that more effort should be taken to provide tertiary students with more avenues to express themselves in the field of arts.
Q: Complete the sentence, “Everyone should come down to watch Vidiyal 3 because…”
… this show has nothing fancy, but it has lots of heart, soul, talent and hardwork all brought to you on one stage by four polytechnics in the form of a heart-wrenching plot.”
Tickets for the 7pm show of Vidiyal 3 have all been sold out. Only tickets for the 2pm show remain. They are priced at $10 each. Get them before they are sold out! Contact Diyanah at 8328 3249 to purchase tickets.