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The Business Of Drama

Attn: Business Editors

27 December 2001

The Business Of Drama

The worlds of art and business do not always see eye to eye but the reality is that artists have as much need to make a living as everyone else.
Creators of acclaimed plays Krishnan’s Dairy and The Candlestickmaker are now deep in the creative process of developing their new play The Pickle King, which is to premiere in Hamilton in July 2002. Seasons will follow at Downstage Theatre in Wellington in August, and the Maidment Theatre in Auckland in September.
The plays of actor and co-writer Jacob Rajan and director, producer and co-writer Justin Lewis have gripped audiences’ imaginations with their combination of humour and thought-provoking drama, use of mask and music, and cross-cultural themes. Krishnan’s Dairy in particular has won high critical acclaim, been performed to audiences throughout New Zealand and been presented at several overseas arts festivals.
Following their practice of keeping productions in repertoire, Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis restaged Krishnan’s Dairy for sell-out seasons this year in Wellington and Auckland - for an almost unprecedented third time. The Candlestickmaker was also toured through smaller centres including Whangarei, Tauranga, Gisborne, Palmerston North and Napier.
While not compromising artistic standards, The Indian Ink Theatre Company approaches its art in a business-like way. This year it has utilised several Industry New Zealand enterprise awards to help with the successful development of a business plan and an e-commerce strategy, and to build strategies for marketing its productions domestically and internationally.
Justin Lewis has been in the UK recently exploring the possibility of a season there of Krishnan’s Dairy, possibly in 2003. He says that if this takes place, it would be a commercial rather than a subsidised venture, working with capital from private investors. Jacob Rajan would perform the play for a time and then a British actor is likely to be engaged. “But we would want to retain the rights so that it was still a New Zealand production,” says Justin Lewis.

The Pickle King is also to be toured to smaller centres in 2003.


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