Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Theatre- Experiences & Lessons Learnt

I can’t remember when I became interested in Theatre. It dates back to my childhood days
when I watched the first play of my life ‘Gadhe ki Baraat’ ( which means Marriage of a Donkey) at my hometown - Roorkee (a small town in north India ).

It was something which I won’t forget for the rest of my life because it created a big impression on me. At that time I was just 14 something. and even at that tender age I was a Theatre Lover.

That was when i was a kid. Belonging to a small town certainly has lot of disadvantages. And such shows or rather plays were not in plenty. So till 17, when i completed my schooling, i had watched only 2 plays !!!

Destiny moved me to College and i could then enjoy plays with my collegues, but as i was not so fortunate, i was still in a small town. So even though i had a lot of interest in watching plays, but i couldnt.

BUT as they say, " If good times dont last, neither would bad times be"
So i got a job in a Metropolitan City - the city of dreams as they say- Mumbai.
Mumbai is a place where dreams are shattered and also fortunes are made.
It was in Mumbai that i could watch what i had been eagerly waiting for all these years !!

I couldnt realize when I started watching and enjoying so many plays in Mumbai- mostly
at Prithvi Theatre at Juhu.

Some of the plays that i can recall:
1. Kabeer:
This was a musical performance by one man ( was a Monologue).
The best thing was that even though there was only 1 person performing on stage for 2 hours-
he was able to maintain the interest of audience for full 2 hrs !!! Amazing Huh...

2. Romeo & Juliet:
World famous Shakespeare play which was beutifully enacted by around 15-20 people.
I had read this play sometime in my school days and was able to recall the complete story
while seeing the play !!
Well it was an awesome experience.. Hats off to Shakespeare !!!!

3. Karodo mein Ek:
I saw this play ‘karodo mein ek’ by Makrand Deshpandey( the guy with shahrukh in ‘yuh hi chala chal rahi..’). He really is an excellent actor, and i say this because this guy made people cry with his awesome emotional acting !!!!
The story revolves around the life of an old person who due to bankruptcy has gone psycho and feels that he is millionarie. The Play shows the condition os the family and how they manage this guy who really proves that he is One in Crore.
His son was enacted by Yashpal Sharma( the guy in ‘babuji zara dheere chalo..’).
Overall a great experience watching it !!!

These are just some of the plays that i watched and feel that whenever i would get time- well yeah, i will go to theatre !!

I would list the things that I feel can be learnt from theatre….

Script writing: Unless the story is great, It wont make a big impression on audience, doesn’t matter how big actors are performing. A good story with even small actors makes a big impression. Content does matters !!!

Team Spirit: Without team spirit, I don’t think any play can be successful. Now this includes synchronization, proper dialogue delivery, coordination et al..

Body language: I think this is one of the most important aspects of any play. That’s because 60% or more of your performance is nonverbal. Also, emotions play a big role in plays. You have to laugh and the next moment, you have to shed tears and have to make your audience feel the same.

Humor: Humor is also very important in a play. Basically, what matters is that you have to take your audience on a roller coaster ride of all kinds of emotions like suspicion, humor, mourning, seriousness, crying, aggression, lambasting, etc.. so humor also plays and important role in plays.

Sets: No doubt, sets form an integral part of any play. You may have to show drawing room, bedroom, kitchen etc. all in the same limited area.

This is what I learnt from the play. Would learn many other things.

Theatre is not for money, it’s a kind of passion for its lovers. Because there is not much audience and not much money in theatre.

But there are many things that only theatre has, not movies. Like:-

Realistic: Theatre is realistic. Everything is done on the spot and infront of your eyes. There is no scope to make any mistake.

Social messages: theatre is one of the best mediums to spread awareness about social issues and what can be done about it. Like child abuse, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence. There are innumerable areas which can be brought into limelight..

Applause: The way you perform and the result you get on the spot is something which only theatre can give you, not movies. That is to say, when the play ends, the standing ovation received by audience is really heart throbbing !!

That’s it for now !!!!

Ankit Arora

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to read about your theatre experiences. You have definitely gained some knowledge about theatres. But I thought you'll mentuion that we saw Karodon mein Ek together :-(. Anyways thanks so much for taking me there as I had always heard about that it's avery good experience watching the actors perform live. And indeed it was a fabolous experience and we had great time there. Hope we'll watch more plays once you come back