Tag Archives: magic

To act, enact and be yourself!

A personal experience of what it is to be part of a theatre program –learn, rehearse, act and enact with a team led by theatre stalwart  By Chaitra Pallavi

Theatre has always intrigued me! Way back in college days had got an opportunity to play with my imagination while studying Shakespeare, Dickens and analyzing plenty of poems and sonnets as part of a three-year undergraduate program in English Literature.  Then on, have been watching plenty of plays, but never dared to get into a theatre production group.  This time around, with an urge to do something different and creative I was lucky to get acquainted with ‘Bangalore Little Theatre’ group and Mr Vijay Padaki in particular.

And believe me, this is one the best things to have happened in 2017 and the final show with the advent of the New Year 2018! When we started meeting for SPOT summer program sessions in early October, I went with an open mind, with a view to have some fun and make new friends.  Little did I know then that I would be doing more than just having fun and become part of a play on stage and tour and interact!

SPOT1SPOT was a revelation and the weekends well spent.  We used to start the session with a small brisk walk around the venue followed by stretching, it helped me loosen up.  Further, the physical activity helped my entire fellow SPOTters bond.  As we slowly moved towards understanding how bodies loosen up, the voice modulation exercises came very handy.  And time and again I was so blown over by Vijay’s activities, be it the role play’s, hearing about the anecdotes, which he shared effortlessly and most of the times spontaneously.  Those were little gems. Without our awareness, we were doing a lot of things.  Understanding the folk forms, trying to do some folk dances, experimenting with voice, feeling the basic senses, and importantly trusting the team partners as part of the activities.

SPOT2.jpgSome activities which really broke the ice was moving randomly and taking any form without losing the eye contact with your partner.  This helped the team to trust each other. Other, fondly called ‘Caterpillar’, where we had to trust the team and roll one-self on the grabbing hands. Experimenting with the pitch of voice by increasing the space between the audiences and most of the spotters will agree with me about the blindfolded walk in the vicinity.

At the end of few sessions, I believe, we had almost shed all the inhibitions, where making eye contact and were comfortable with ourselves.  And without our knowledge, we were part of Play Reading a Chinese folktale ‘The Year of Rooster’.  Seldom, I knew much about China, except about the Chinese product dump worldwide, cherry blossoms, and of course Chinese food.  The effort helped me read about their culture, social system and a little about the folklore. As were progressed with the play reading I evinced a mental form taking place.  And with-in very little time we had other theatre enthusiasts and experienced performers as part of the play reading and we were a team!

SPOT3Finally, I learnt that I was playing the role of Lady Whitewaters, a second daughter to Prime Minister of China in the play. With butterflies in my stomach and zero confidence, I employed all the character analysis which we did during college days to understand Lady Whitewaters.  She was married to a gentleman of rank but not of substance, the character had grey shades to it starts off being a snooty, arrogant and patronizing wife in the beginning of the play to a helpless daughter in despair when her husband is to be prosecuted in the closing and final act.

But when on the stage as part of the crew during rehearsals, magically all the comfort level, a command in the voice, pronunciation, the character analysis et all evaporated.  All the years spent in the corporate world, being timid, sophisticated, and aware of surroundings took its position.  That was the biggest challenge for me, to let myself loose and get into a character which was stark opposite to me in real life. But the cast/team played a very big role, particularly the director who instilled faith and helped me in shedding that inhibition.  And today, with a total of 20 shows, a past now and to have performed in 10 odd shows, I have taken that one minuscule step ahead to see myself as a performer.

Looking back, some major takeaways from SPOT and the performances –

First, meeting and befriending people from different age groups, and different walks of lives coming from varied professions. Theatre is such that it will take anybody in its fold and gives an opportunity to irk the imagination and let oneself loose without fear.

Second, learning to face the audience, Vijay asks us to make eye contact with the audience, but believe me easier said than done. The entire process is exhilarating, the immense fear of erring before getting onto the stage, and once on the stage, lines and act happening smoothly.

Third, an understanding of what goes behind putting together a play, and the vision of the person who is directing it. It’s one big team effort, some get the limelight and some don’t.

Finally, doing/acting a character and not getting into it more than skin deep, once the act is over ‘you are who you are’!

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The Year of the Rooster – A review by a Student

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The Year Of The Rooster – Review
On 17th November, Friday, our school, Sishu Griha, took the students from high school- classes 8, 9, and 10 to watch the play ‘The Year Of The Rooster’.
This play is an adaptation of a Chinese folktale, and traditional to the Chinese way of presenting a play, there are few props and stage setting, enabling the audience to use their imagination, and furnish the stage the way they like. The play tells us the story of a strong-willed, firm young woman, Still Waters, who is determined not to marry men like her sisters’ shallow husbands, but an honest, true young man, who happens to be the gardener in her mansion. However, this goes against her father’s wishes. Still Waters leaves her house with her husband in a fit of anger and vows never to return until they become rich and successful.
Through the play, we see how she fulfills her oath, in a humorous and light manner, exaggerating and ridiculing certain aspects of human nature. There are musical moments in the play, which lends it a different effect altogether, and the lack of props and other items onstage lets us imagine to our fullest capability. The actors were wonderful, especially those of the Prime Minister (Still Water’s father), the Tiger General (a sister’s husband), and Still Water’s mother.
The play was ‘run’ by two property masters, and a reader, who played the part of the narrator but also took on certain roles in the play, as minor characters, such as attendants, soldiers, and others.
I enjoyed the play, overall, and since it was an interactive one, it provided us with many chances to feel like we were a part of it. I would recommend watching this play, which would guarantee you around ninety minutes of highly enjoyable time and laughter.

This article has been penned by Gayatri Allamsetty 

Sketch by Supriya Kannan

 

 

 

Magician in Maya Bazaar

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I first got to hear about the auditions for Bangalore Little Theatre’s production Maya Bazaar from a friend who knew I was interested in theatre. It didn’t matter that I had never acted in a play before, apart from the mini-plays we used to stage in school where my most famed role was of Joseph in a Nativity play. I still somehow wanted to step my foot in. So, I went for the auditions thinking it would be a learning experience, an initiation of sorts if nothing else, and somehow a few weeks later, got an email where I found out that I had landed the role of Asambhav, one of the two crazy magicians who form a comedy element in the play.

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My first time in a play and it was being produced by Bangalore’s oldest theatre group, with multi-cast to boot, many of who were already acquainted with one another. It was obvious that I was nervous, especially during the very first rehearsal in September. Twenty people of all ages and possessing vastly different, some might say quirky, personalities, we started off awkwardly, still getting used to each other and the script. As I was new at this acting thing, I remember thinking how we would ever be able to put up a decent play with all the memorizing lines and cues and “blocking” (a term I had learned only then). But as days passed rehearsals started going smoother till one day our director Sridhar rewarded us with an amazing line, “Remember this day’s rehearsal people! This is our benchmark, what we have to match up to and surpass in our shows”.

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We’ve completed around 18 shows around Bangalore till date and each show presents us with more and more insights into the different characters of Maya Bazaar. And also, reveals a bit more of the people who play them. I am proud to say now that along with having the opportunity to get to know this amazing cast and performing for a good cause, Maya Bazaar has been a most rewarding first-time stage experience!

So if you haven’t caught a show yet, here is your last chance to watch it at Rangashankara.

Come be a part of the grand finale of this magical journey.

Book your tickets online https://in.bookmyshow.com/plays/maya-bazaar/ET00048811

This article has been penned by Swati Parasuraman