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Archive for March 2017

Manohar Mama

Manohar Mama, an eccentric, self-proclaimed detective, has a nose for smelling out ‘conspiracies’ that occur in his small town neighbourhood. Whether it means poking his nose in domestic issues and petty feuds, giving unwanted but warranted advice or tracking down a miscreant who litters the streets in the middle of the night, Manohar Mama, with his niece and nephew as his personal assistants, is the man of the moment. Until one day, when his next door neighbour’s dog mysteriously disappears! Piecing together a set of clues, Manohar Mama is quickly on the trail of what is his biggest challenge yet – to find the missing dog and the culprit!

Directed by: Vikash Khurana

Date: Saturday 6th May 2017
Time: 4 pm & 7 pm Sharp
Venue: Mimosa Hall, 1st Floor, Chitnavis Centre, Nagpur.

Book Tickets on PayTM

Macbeth

Stagecraft: Where the Thespian Art dwells

I am sitting backstage, dressed in a pretty white dress with orange floral prints, anxiously awaiting my cue. My palms are sweaty; my feet are cold; butterflies in my stomach. My heart is thumping quicker than it usually does. A red beam of light reflects through the curtains and penetrates right into me, calming the fluttering butterflies pushing me to step onto the stage and give a spell-binding performance.

My fellow actors at Stagecraft Theatre have become a support system I can depend on, whether it is onstage or backstage. For any team effort to bear maximum fruit, the one thing that is of paramount importance is co-ordination. This, I have noticed is an innate quality in every Stagecrafter. For everyone, it’s the team that matters and not just their specific part in the play. Even the oldest of actors here feel jittery before stepping on the stage which goes to show how we are all equals here in Stagecraft. We have this routine of huddling up together before a play and are given this pep talk about grabbing the audience by its balls. (Figuratively, not literally!!)

The backbone of these grand performances is our unsung heroes – the production team. This includes the sound team, the light team, the people backstage helping actors change costumes, making props available and so on. The foundation of any act is laid backstage after all. Even if I goof up, I can lean on these experienced actors to cover up for me, because of the bond that we have nurtured after all this time. This reminds me of a Jennifer Aniston quote that goes something like this “There is something about having a partner who supports you that kind of allows you to have a real ‘f**k-it’ attitude. I gotta just go for everything cause if I fall down on my face, I got my buddy right here to dust me off and say let’s keep going.”

Here at Stagecraft, I have imbibed in myself some very basic yet profound qualities that have become a foundation I wish to build my life on. The craft, as well as my dear buddies, have helped me evolve into someone who will find opportunities in challenges. Every experience has become a lesson for life. Theatre is something that gives me immense joy and contentment. It’s the only thing that I continue to want to give my all to without the greed of applause. Stagecraft satisfies this urge and an added perquisite is getting to work with these extraordinarily passionate folks.

Gary Oldman once said, “Wanting to be a good actor is not good enough. You must want to be a great actor. You just have to have that.” This is an attitude I have developed here because an actor is not bigger than the act.

 
Written by
Krutika Rangari
Krutika is a student of computer engineering with a penchant for theatre.

Image Source: Stagecraft Archives
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Stagecraft Theatre and Stagecraft Theatre does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Mowgli

The Character’s Actor

“When becoming a character, you have to steal. Steal whatever you see. You can even steal from other actors’ characterizations; but if you do, only steal from the best.”
                                                                                                                         -Michael Caine

Maybe it is best in everybody’s interest to say that acting involves a whole lot of ‘pretending’. The audience pretends that for some allotted time, a set of people are different than them. And the actors pretend to be someone else for that allotted time. But mostly, the actors pretend, that they know exactly what they are doing. To tell you the truth, not one actor has the faintest idea about what he or she is doing.

Maybe it is the time behind the stage, more than onstage, that has made my claim so resolute. It has made it possible for me to know that behind every great performance is a struggle of identity. A battle of ideas. An actor’s nightmare, and an actor’s bliss, at the same time. The backstage has a voice of itself, and if you spend enough time there, you will understand and soon start speaking the language as well. The vibe of several actors telling their inherent character, “Wait, a couple of minutes more, and you can come out.”

To be honest, acting is not just putting on the guise of a character, it has got more to do with thinking about the character. It is not my personal claim of expertise, but a casual observation made over the years. I’ve seen Nandan Majumdar pull off multiple identities in Veronica’s Room by just thinking differently for all three of them. I’ve seen a stalwart like Vikash Sir, struggle with the characterization of Ivan, because he had to make Ivan believable in Uncle Vanya. It’s not a physical struggle, but a mental struggle as you continuously accept and dismiss ideas about the character you are thinking about. The character is what matters onstage, not the actor. The embodiment of that character is the only debt an actor is in when he steps onto the stage.

The actor must forget himself for some time. He must forget his inhibitions, lower his guards and become absolutely vulnerable to bring the character to existence. How to be somebody else altogether? Well, that’s an effort. Because you have to give something of yourself to the character so that it can be built on it. A feeling, an experience, a trait, it could be anything, but something personal has to be shared with the character. The character must matter to the actor, or else there is no value to its existence. The actor must care for the character, only then will it be completely realized. And in the end, the actor has to give in to the character so that it can materialize in front of complete strangers, who have paid to see it. If the actor shares something with the character, the character is fresh every time. But if the actor thinks of the character as just a figment of the imagination, it will stay that way. And that defeats the purpose.

So when it comes to becoming a character’s actor, the secret is, that there is a little bit of Vikash in Ivan, a little bit of Nandan in Conrad and there is a little bit of Onkar in Timothy. The character is and always will be bigger than the actor. And that is all the only thing actors do know and don’t have to pretend of knowing.

 

Written by
Onkar Ghare
Onkar is a law student, who also likes to act, write and direct plays.

Image Source: Stagecraft Archives
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Stagecraft Theatre and Stagecraft Theatre does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Oz

Theatre – Surprising, Delightful & Special!

Being part of a creative cluster is the best thing one can do. No matter what art form it is, the happiness of being capable in performing one is a great joy in itself; because an artist is capable of bringing characters to life and music to identify oneself. One such family of artists is Stagecraft Theatre. It’s been four months since I joined Stagecraft and it’s been spectacular in its own way. There are loads of experiences to share and an ocean of memories to cherish.

It has changed my perspective towards various things enabling me to learn new things and being positive in every walk of life. It has taught me to laugh at myself yet be extremely self-aware; because one thing that is of paramount importance in theatre is to fall on your own, get up and make fun of yourself. All hell breaks loose when you fall, drip, drop and then laugh.

Theatre means one month of practice and its great fun, chit-chatting with fellow actors and making new friends. Since then it has been less of posing and more of smiles and having fun like never before.

It’s great to be around people who are knowledgeable yet grounded. People who take care of everyone around them because it is innate. People who help you and are just a call away. People who you can be proud of and laugh on; at the same time because, FYI- ‘Madness is an absolute pre-requisite to a happy and successful life.’

Nothing matters more once you be a part of this crazy sometimes bumpy ride which takes away all your stress and you go back home refreshed.

Thus, going by the tagline of Stagecraft Theatre, ‘All play, No work’ it is like a picnic where work is subconsciously happening.

 

Written by
Arya Diwakar
Arya is an English Literature student who has a penchant for theatre and writing.

Image Source: Stagecraft Archives
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Stagecraft Theatre and Stagecraft Theatre does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

merchant of venice

THEATRE IS THERAPY!

Going through a rough patch in my life, I was seeking respite and solace. Something solid to hold on to and something that gave sustenance, meaning and dimension to my existence. There are a few angels (I am blessed!) who guided me and helped me then, knowingly and unknowingly, but they had other things to do too and couldn’t be around all the time. I required something that was constant, allegiant and unremitting and in this very pursuit, I stumbled upon THEATRE!
Now, not only have I evolved into a better person, but have also found some amazing people whom I will cherish for the rest of my life (you know who you are!).

Theatre indeed is a stress buster, a teacher, an institution that thrives on your passion, love and sweat. It helps you to comprehend your life on an instinctive, instead of intellectual level and redirects your attention from your very own battles and helps your mind to evolve beyond petty frivolity. It can move you to tears, make you laugh uncontrollably or astound you with wonder. The world will always have a contrarian because somewhere, someone will always be disagreeable, but I stand by with what I write.

Theatre is the best example of ‘Unity in Diversity’. It brings together people, not only from various walks of life but also all system of beliefs, transforming us into humble human beings as we become more accepting of others and less ethnocentric while training the mind and the character. Respecting the rules, following directions, accepting leadership, punctuality, discipline, self-expression and compassion comes naturally to people associated with this medium. It helps us to perceive how the situations in which we live influence our identity and who we will become. Stage reflects life from multiple perspectives, exhibiting parts of truth or the truth that lies underneath the surface or inside the creative energy. This creative energy affects the audience and audience affects the performer and it is this flow of electrifying energy, the actor-audience relationship, the adrenaline rush, passion of theatre that has kept it thriving despite the umpteen number of challenges that a theatre group faces.

Theatre, in a way is the celebration of life. Every action, every word, every motion is a representation of genuine emotions, maybe taken from books, history or even contemporary work which are endeavours to pass a message to the society. Tragedy and comedy, both represent society, and theatre has the magic to deal with any subject with ease. Thus, playing a critical part in our society. Theatre critic Kenneth Tynan once said, “No theatre could sanely flourish until there was an umbilical connection between what was happening on the stage and what was happening in the world.” For any story to be accepted it must be relatable to its readers or listeners. In a similar way, for theatre to be significant and relevant, it must have a strong connection with the society so when the message is passed, it is absorbed and assimilated and nourishes every organ of the society. Yes, theatre is food for the society and has the power to help it grow and improve.

All said and done, theatre is therapy for society, body and soul and in all its uniqueness, it can be very well compared to a Willy Wonka confection, you never know what to expect but mind you, you will not be disappointed either.

 

Written by
Radhika Joshi
Radhika is an ebullient and vivacious personality, who is passionate about everything, including her writing.

Image Source: Stagecraft Archives
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Stagecraft Theatre and Stagecraft Theatre does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.