Being Tru

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Vel Subra presents a drama based on the life of revolutionary American writer Truman Capote

Indian born actor and director from Singapore Vel Subru, in association with Samuel French Inc. (New York), presents the drama Tru.

Tru is a 1990 Drama Desk Award-winning one-man play written by Jay Presson Allen (who died in 2006) about revolutionary American writer Truman Capote.

In a radical move to challenge what he describes as a tokenism-addled theatre industry, Vel Subra, apart from directing the play, will also be the first (Indian)non-Caucasian to tackle the gigantic role of Truman Capote under his stage name Ezekiel Day.

He calls it a small revolution that will take place on stage to address the perennial complaint in the industry of a lack of diversity on Australian stage and screen.

Vel Subra started his stage career with World-In-Theatre Research Centre (WITRC), helmed by the late William Teo.

Through his tenure at WITRC, he was exposed to Eastern and Western theatre practices, which honed his skills as an actor. He went on to direct his own productions such as Sophocles’ Elektra, Steven Berkoff’s In the Penal Colony and Kim Morrisey’s Dora- A Case of Hysteria.

He then applied for a post graduate directing course at NIDA and graduated in 2007 with his staging of Monsieur Jean, a reverse adaptation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie. He continued to direct Chekhov and Knipper at Newtown Theatre.

In 2010, he moved to Melbourne and wrote an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoesvky’s ‘The Grand Inquisitor’, which he directed and starred in at La Mama Theatre. His latest acting role was in ‘The Mahabharata of Women’, directed by Indian director K Madhavane.

Subra sees Tru as an opportunity to expand the language of acting and as a first in a series of productions to introduce freshness into the industry.

Tru is a comedy-drama set at the novelist’s New York apartment in 1975. Capote has fallen out with his elite socialite gadabouts after publishing their most intimate secrets through fictionalised characters in Esquire magazine. Soothing himself with pills and booze, Truman muses over his chequered life, novels and friends.

The design and construction of the set will adopt this philosophy; plucking it from the glitz of broadway and using only recyclables for its staging to hammer the issue of environmental cordiality.

Tru is a dynamite theatre piece; entertaining, packed with laughs, as well as provocative.

Directed by Vel Subru, sets have been designed by Wiebe Bereza, lighting by Gianni Wise and sound by Cherian Jacob.

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