Theater Workshop Till Now - Work in Progress

I have enrolled for a theater workshop which started last Thursday. The workshop is facilitated by Qadir Ali Baig Foundation and conducted by National School of Drama, Delhi. Earlier I had planned to write a day-wise report but that did not materialize because of some reasons. So, here I am writing a synopsis of what has transpired till date - though I am still going to try and give a date to each lesson.

Day 1 Thursday

We were asked to present ourselves an hour earlier than the usual 6 PM. A felicitation ceremony was planned for the inaugural day. As feared, the ceremony started late. Ramgopal Bajaj and M S Sathyu spoke on the occasion. Supriya Shukla, a core part of the faculty for the workshop was also introduced. Once the actual workshop started, Bajaj Sir asked all participants to walk in the hall as if they were walking in a park. We did so. Needless to say, many of us were conscious of others around us. Thereafter, he asked us what we saw. Many described a park and finer details - like trees, butterflies, sky, children playing etc. He caught many of them describing a park they had a conceived at that time of describing and not while they were strolling in the park. First lesson - be honest. If you did not see anything, say so. If you saw children playing on grass, respond to them while strolling.

Day 2 Friday

Bajaj Sir explained the linkage between Desire-Memory-Imagination. When a desire comes to your mind, it evokes a part of your memory (past) which in turn triggers an imagination. E.g. When you desire home cooked food, you will remember the time(s) you had food at home and will also imagine some time in the future when you will go home have food. He also explained that the moment we imagine about the food, this act of imagining becomes a part of our memory. So now, not only do we have a memory of the home-cooked food but also the memory of imagining about the home-cooked food.

Supriya conducted some activities. Form a circle and call throw a wish at another participant calling out his/her name. Call out the name of the person standing next to you. Then there was a round of introduction. Participants introduced themselves and sang songs.

Day 3 Saturday

Bajaj Sir tried playing music but lack of good speakers did not bring the effect that he wanted - plan was postponed.
Plays shown - Qaid-E-Hayat (Prison of Life) and Laila Majnu
Supriya assigned two activities - learn a piece of prose by heart and observe someone with a unique style of walking.

Supriya's activities of walking in park, in a river with pebbles in a desert (full of snakes). Stressed on making eye contact while walking. She also asked us to form a circle. Concentrate on the center of the circle. Therafter, expand and contract your body and try to say something during each phase. Also try the happiness(expanded state) and sadness (contracted state)

Day 4 Monday

Laila Majnu shown again ;)
The walk that we enact should be internalized and it causes an effect on the mind.

Day 5 Tuesday

Laila Majnu

Day 6 Thursday

Bajaj Sir said "In real life you act to hide things. In theater to act to reveal the things that are hidden under the surface of the society". He also said "Language is one of the most unnatural of all achievements of man". So it is ironical to comment on someone saying "He has a natural language". It is just that constant practice has ingrained this unnatural act in such a way that it seems natural.

He asked us to act like an animal - any animal. Some acted like a dog, a lion, a frog, etc. Then he asked us to fuse our actual human self and the animal we were imitating. The point he was trying to make was that we imitate animals even when we talk normally. Our styles of speaking reveal different animal instincts. We need to realize this, observe it and internalize it in such way that we are able to switch styles effortlessly and without actually going into the mental frame of the animal we are trying to imitate. We need to combine the styles of walking with the animal we are trying to portray, etc.,

We were asked to feel fear/anger/love without actually showing it on our face. The beauty lies in the fact that we do not show any emotions externally but still the message of our mental state goes out. We then went into a state of trance or quasi trance.

Participants were divided into two groups and each was supposed to perform a play of about 5 minutes. Participants critiqued the performance of other groups.

Watched a play where Bajaj sir showed us that we should try and use our hand in a manner that it can transition from one state to another smoothly. He asked us to observe people in public and view them in different perspectives.

No comments:

Post a Comment