Veteran director Ninart Boonpothong shows what his proteges can do in 'I Love Syndrome'
Ninart Boonpothong, the founder and artistic director of Naked Masks, has four young products of his workshops in his newest work, “I Love Syndrome”, debuting tomorrow at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.
One of Thailand’s most prolific directors and playwrights over the past decade – offering a steady stream of original plays and adaptations of Western dramas and novels – Ninart has always run workshops for high-school students, both at his studio on Phya Thai Road and at school drama clubs.
Some of the participants go on to study theatre at university. Some even become actors – like the four in “I Love Syndrome”.
“One of them is still in high school and the others have started university,” says Ninart.
“At the moment we’re interested in dealing with health issues and we’ve been presenting new works in communities and schools. We focus more on the process of creating a stage play in the workshop format.
“So we’ve put together a play about schizophrenia, and we’ve introduced a romantic aspect to it as well. ‘I Love Syndrome’ is an issue-based play, but it’s entertaining too.”
Among the characters are a young man who can never lie and a girl who falls in love with her kidnapper.
“I developed the script from several actual cases of schizophrenic people,” Ninart says. “And then, as with most of Naked Masks works, the script was developed further by the cast through workshops and rehearsals.”
Ninart is grateful to pantomime master Paitoon “Khon Na Khao” Laisakul for the use of the People’s Theatre, his small studio at the Culture Centre where his new play is being presented.
“The place comes with a technical team, and it’s open for any theatre groups. And for the next two months you can propose projects to Paitoon.”
See “I Love Syndrome” (in Thai only) at the People’s Theatre on the third floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre tomorrow through Sunday or November 25 through 27.
Showtime is 7pm and there are 2pm matinees on the Saturdays and Sundays.
Admission is free but donations are welcomed. The studio seats only 30 people, so book early at (080) 281 1968.
Learn more at the “Naked Masks Network” page on Facebook.