Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam | The Milky Ocean (Parkadal), Kattaikkuttu
Profile of Group & Production
Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

The Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam, or Kattaikkuttu Youth Theatre School, provides a group of thirty rural, underprivileged children the possibility to combine traditional, in-depth training in the Kattaikkuttu theatre with basic education. The school encourages its students to explore their own artistic and intellectual abilities and to turn them into professional skills. This is the first time that girls participate in professional Kattaikkuttu training.

On the occasion of the Kuttu Festival 2005 the young students of the school (5-15 years) will perform three novel plays written by their principal Kattaikkuttu teacher and director, Perungattur P. Rajagopal.

The Milky Ocean (Parkadal)

1 hr 15 mins
Co-production P. Rajagopal (script), Evelien M.A. Pullens, Christa E. Ten Brinke, Hanne M. de Bruin (concept)

The Milky Ocean is a contemporary parody on an old creation myth featuring the churning of the ocean by the gods and the anti-gods. The story begins some timeless time after the deluge of the world.

Two clowns, To Be (Undu) and Not To Be (Illai), crawl out of an egg resting on the banks of the Ocean of Milk. Born as a Siamese twin, their only desire is to possess their own identity. Some time later the Comers and the Goers pass by. They represent two undefined groups of migrants who are in search of material possessions. To Be and Not To Be request them to pull them apart. The Comers and Goers are prepared to do so in return for a material reward only. To Be and Not To Be make up a story that they will disclose the location of wealth after they have been split. The Comers and the Goers divide into two parties and separate the clowns. To Be and Not To Be then assure them that “all precious things are contained in the waters of the Milky Ocean. To obtain this wealth they will have to churn the seas.”

The Comers and Goers agree to share the wealth that the waters will wield equally. On forehand they exclude To Be and Not To Be. They are not allowed to participate. Thereupon the latter declare that they prefer to remain aloof, watching the process from the sidelines and reporting about it to the world's mass media. The Comers and Goers embark on the laborious task of churning the ocean.

After some time a number of things starts appearing from the milky waters of the ocean. First the two clowns fish up a coconut and an empty bottle. Then vehicles and weapons emerge, just as in the mythological story. However, here they have sophisticated shapes and destructive mechanisms and are not meant to be used by the gods but by human beings. Finally a Beautiful Woman arises from the waters, carrying a jar in her hands. She claims that the pitcher contains coral, pearls, gold, poison and nectar giving immortality and immorality to its takers.

The possessions are being divided. The Comers try to appropriate the better half of the wealth recovered from the ocean. They keep the Beautiful Woman and the jar for themselves and allot To Be and Not To Be to the Goers. A feud ensues during which the Goers seize part of the weapons, thus turning the balance of powers in their favour. They drive away the Comers.

Until then the two clowns have been on-lookers to the division of wealth. But when they see this injustice happen in front of their eyes, they grab even more powerful arms and chase away the Goers. The Beautiful Woman suggests that now everything belongs to the two clowns. But To Be and Not To Be, disgusted by the quarrel, throw the weapons back into the ocean and urge the Beautiful Woman to return to her watery abode taking with her the jar with its ambiguous contents. Having restored everything again to its original state To Be and Not To Be withdraw into the egg from which they were born.

The cast of The Milky Ocean, which has recently been taken into production, will be announced later.


The Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam
16/31 Selva Vinayakar Koil Street, Vedasala Nagar, Sevilimedu Post
Kanchipuram 631502, Tamilnadu
Tel: +91 (0)4112-237517, 237525
E-Mail: kattaiku@vsnl.com
Web site: www.kattaikkuttu.org

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