4-Ness-09 (Oct – Dec)


Welcome to Four-Ness, our Fourth Quarterly Update between October – December 2009

Yours Truly Theatre’s Official Newsletter (giving you updates on our every quarter) 

For update on our First, Second, and Third Quarter Update click on 1-NESS, 2-NESS, and 3-Ness

This Edition Includes:

  • Quarterly Show Update
  • From a Diary
  • Nostalgic Fluids               
  • YT in News
  • Workshop Corner
  • YT Experiments
  • YT Testimonials

 

We enter into the last quarter of 2009. We close the year 2009 with 40 shows.

This was the quarter when YT dabbled with two newer interactive theatre formats; Theatre sports and Mushiara Theatre (developed internally).  A quarter when Adam Dow from the Seattle Theatre group conducted an extensive workshop on theatre sports and Harold. A quarter when YT was involved with 2 Theatre Festivals.

“For us at YT, the year 2009 represents fantastic teamwork above all…” says Ranji David(Artistic Director of YT)

Shows in the IV Quarter (October 09 – December 09)

3rd October – Life @campus at RV college of Engineering, Bangalore.
As part of YTAC (Yours Truly at Campus) initiative.

14th November – Children’s day special at ADA Rangamandira.
A series of short stories done in Complete-the-story format for around 500 children from various schools across Bangalore.

21st November – Children’s day special at Sheshadripuram School, Yelahanka
The Signs team performed a series of short stories in complete the story style of theatre.

28th November – Life AFTER Campus- at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Electronic City, Bangalore.
A show for the annual Alumni meet for current and ex students of Symbiosis.

29th November – Neat Cocktail Show at Government School, Indiranagar.
An interactive theatre by the new workshop batch.  One of the formats was in complete the story style which revolved around the much discussed and debated issue of ragging in colleges.

4th December – “Friends & Foes” at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore
A show for the National Theatre festival organized by NLS at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

12th December – Don’t Make me Laugh show at Nayana auditorium, Ravindrakalesthra.
The theme was centered on humor using Playback Theatre as a style where reactions and stories of audiences are enacted on the spot.

13th December – Mushayara Theatre at Nayana auditorium, Ravindrakalesthra.
An interactive theatre that emerged out of the YT Lab, is based entirely on shayari’s shared by the audience which are then enacted by the actors on the spot using Shayari’s.

20th December –Theater sports (including Harold)  at Nayana auditorium, Ravindrakalesthra
A unique form of improvisation theatre called Theatresports was enacted by the actors amidst games and interactions with the audience.  Performance also included Harold where audience gives a series of one words, which is then made into a play on the spot. .

20th December – Inter-Act at Nayana auditorium, Ravindrakalesthra.
An interactive theatre workshop conducted for students from various colleges across Bangalore.

23rd December – “Life in-between the mountains” at Pune.
As part of the National Theatre Festival.

 “I was blown, the show was truly phenomenal” : Parth – President of CARV (Drama Club of RV) on Life at Campus

“Yours truly was in the truest of sense a performance straight from the heart to, for and of the audience…interactive theatre at one of its highs!”- Namrata ParekhSIMC 2010: National Theatre Festival at Pune

‘Yours truly’ is undoubtedly one of the most exciting theatre performances I have ever seen. It is an experience in itself. As an audience member, I was never once distracted or bored. They had us completely enthralled by their performance and the way they involved the audience in their performance left us speechless and wanting for more. We really hope to see them back again with another one of their performances. – Sneha PadiyathSIMC 2010 : National Theatre Festival at Pune

I was totally mesmerized by the spontaneity with which all the actors were performing on the stage, it was truly breathtaking. Please come to our campus : Asmita, National Law school 

Yours truly performed the closing act for Admit One by NLS was really great and each one of us enjoyed a lot, personally a lot of people came and told me how great it was.
Three things that stands out in my mind about the performance:
One is the Creativity, like –  you have to be smart to do something like this because you are taking those random ideas and putting them together.
Second is the co-ordination, the kind of signaling that happens between the actors on stage,  it takes smartness to come up with and improvise such signals as well.
Thirdly the beauty of it, the aesthetic aspects like music, the lights and the color was brilliant: Bhargavi, Cultural Committee, National Law school

Really wonderful.   So creative, this is the first time I’ve seen such kind of a program in my life. Brilliant music, brilliant show. We look forward to your shows in future.” : Dr. Macharia Stanley Maina, Behavioral Scientist, Associate Prof. of Marketing & Chairperson – Symbiosis Bangalore on Life After Campus show

Thoroughly enjoyed the kids screaming. Liked the fact that it was interactive. Lights and music was good: Rashmi (audience) on Signs done for Children’s Day Special

Good, interactive format was awesome: Srihari (Audience) on Don’t make me laugh:  

It is a nice experience.  I liked the format and the discipline of the actors and also the spontaneity, energy and body language, keep it up, all the best:  Zafar Mohiuddin, Theatre person on Mushayara Theatre


Group Feature: INTERACTIVE THEATRE–Laugh your way through
Date: Dec 22nd 2009
Media Name:  Deccan Herald Newspaper, Bangalore,
The link: Two plays performed in the City recently had the audience in splits
http://www.deccanherald.com/ content/42492/laugh-your-way- through.html

Play Review: A children’s theatre experience with a difference
Date: 17 November 2009
Media Name: Citizen Matters, online magazine, Bangalore
The link: http://bangalore. citizenmatters.in/articles/ view/1549-yours-truly- childrens-play-review

Individual Feature: ‘Crack Up with Chaplin’  Ranji David Featured
Date: 3rd November 2009
Media Name:  Deccan Chronicle, Newspaper, Bangalore
The link: http://yourstrulytheatre.multiply.com/photos/album/200/Yours_truly_Theatre_press_coverage#photo=13

Chapter 2: Stages of a Relationship in Theatre

First Stage (love at first sight with theatre)
I got into the relationship not knowing what was ahead.   Lucky, I hadn’t even watched plays before joining theatre else I would have a black board filled with a lot of scribbling (the do’s and don’t’s of theatre, without even doing theatre).    I was lucky that my black board was empty.  Zero knowledge in Theatre.

Several years later,  I remember sitting near a doorstep watching a theatre group do their rehearsals.  I was just watching the entire rehearsals as a complete stranger (didn’t know who they were, all I heard was “they are big names in Bangalore Theatre”). 

By now, I had done a bit of theatre , hence understood certain ways of working, but I just watched……….. with a hunger to……… just do….. theatre.

Second Stage (Deeply romantically involved with theatre)
After being part of quite a bit of performances, I began to sincerely like what I was doing.  I kept telling myself that I will not get distracted and that I will focus only on practicing theatre and no other masala that comes with it, if any. 

Few years later, I was playing the lead role in a Moliere play.  I remember sitting on a bed which was the only main prop on the rehearsal stage, I was watching the entire play unfold in-front of me, watching the actors get their lines and movement.  Watching and observing the director blocking. 

By now I have done little theatre, and there was a tremendous hunger……… to live……. the moment. 

Third Stage (Married to theatre)
Directing a group of actors.  I remember sitting and watch the actors ( some focused, some absolutely non-focused) go through the play.  I was observing how the actors give life to characters (if they chose to or just being plain actors delivering their lines).  I began to observe how actors get into the skin.  

I have begun conducting a series of workshops in between a production work, to create a newer theatre language for the play.  I realize how important it is to have workshops in between a production work

By now I have done some theatre.  There is a great hunger to create from the outside.  I realize that the most important aspect of dramaturgy happens from the outside, if the inside is good as well. J

Finally
The three stages bring you closer to what you really want and each stage has its learning’s associated.

So in which stage of a relationship are you?

Writer: Ranji David

Workshop:  Neat Cock Tail
 
29th November – A Neat Cock Tail workshop show at GVS school.
Two original shows plays directed by Gaurav and Sumit.

Workshop  Participant Feedback:
” Last  November, I found myself making noises that I had forgotten about, heard myself laughing out loud, saw myself walking, running, screaming not bothering about the boundaries that I had created for myself. I looked into the eyes of total strangers and they were strangers no more. We let our bodies make individual senseless objects which in totality, made absolute sense. We were all part of the Yours Truly workshop….” says ‘Ranjith Raj C R’…. to read more click here

Outside Knowledge by Adam Dow (Seattle)
Dec 5th  and 6th – Outside knowledge workshop by Adam Dow for YT members only
Adam conducts a workshop on Theatre Sports all the way from Seattle specially for YT members. With this YT includes one more new and amazing improvizational format in its kitty

Yours Truly Theatre conducts workshop for people with no prior theatre experience, if you are keen to join our caravan (travel and grow along with us), feel free mail us at yourstrulytheatre@gmail.com

This quarter saw YT indulging in two very new formats of improv theatre; Mushayara and Theatre Sports.

MUSHAYARA THEATRE
Editor: Mushayara Theatre, A first of its kind in India, well, perhaps the world, blended the poet with an actor. What was the thought behind initiating such an art form which was able to build emotional castles out of thin air?
 Nandini (Artistic Director): Mushayara theatre was culmination of two of my passions, theatre and shayari.
From quite a few years, I have been trying to work on a format which can get them together without losing on their individuality.  With a perfect blend of poetry, theatre, audience interaction & Indian-ness; Mushayara theatre aims to celebrate the rich tradition of Mushayara & kavi sammelan in totally young & contemporary setting.

In India Sher’o shayari has crossed the boundaries of all language or religious biases and has truly become a ‘language of expression’ for many Indians. We are excited, to have created this perfect platform where the common man like us could share self-composed shayaris, listen to others creation and appreciate these forgotten treasures hidden in dusty books of individuals and then watch these enacted into composition by actors using Shayari.  Yours truly theatre is very proud to present a format of theatre which adapts interactive theatre into a completely new Indian avatar.

Sumit (Actor with Mushayara): Poetry/Shayri is always a strong way to communicate the thoughts, feelings and emotions having sensitive messages in few lines which are so pleasent to listen. Poetic touch in any performance takes it to another level where I feel audience connects very well and at the same time appreciates the creations made of words. We had used shayris in our playback performances and we thought why not the same style can be adapted as a whole performance concept itself. We worked and researched on this idea where whole performance is done in shayri style and the challenge was to create shayris on the spot. Taking this idea forward, we were able to evolve Mushaira theatre which involves our own Indian culture.

 THEATRE SPORTS
Editor: Track and field events included Theatre Seminar and Creating Mental spaces Workshop. Was such an event intended specifically for young theatre souls of Bangalore crucial?
 Ranji (Artistic Director): Let me be blunt,
How many theatre groups in India do interactive theatre? 
Who will create the awareness that such a concept exists?
 If theatre groups only perform scripted plays and if auditoriums only encourage scripted plays what happens to contemporary theatre formats like interactive theatre?

Should we practice the same type of theatre that was done 50 or maybe 100 years years back?
Do theatre formats not grow as human beings grow and evolve too?

Theatre sports began in the US in 1960’s Theatre-sports was done in India in Dec 2009; I guess we are way behind. We have lost out on the years, which means we have lost out on the learning and the specialization in it. 

There must be a starting point somewhere.

Nandini (Artistic Director):  Interactive theatre and Theatre sports is very widely popular in west, however India is just waking up to this new revolution in theatre. Theatersports is comedy, improv, theater, and sports all rolled into one! Teams of improvisers create scenes based entirely on audience suggestions.  This show is similar to the popular TV show “ Whose Line Is It Anyway “. The show is result of intensive workshop by Adam Dow (Originally from Seattle Theatersports).  We got amazing responses for this show and we plan to do many more shows on this format in the coming year.



Editor: First public show of the ‘SIGNS’, a YTangle initiative, was participated by various Schools and NGOs throughout Bengaluru. Which part do you remember the most when you look back at this show that captured the imagination of school children?
Ranji (Artistic Director): I feel onstage magic is easier to execute, but the real challenge was to get the children to watch, we got a jam-packed 500 children which talks quite bit.  Regarding the Onstage Magic, the one that had the max claps and whistles by the kids was when there were some special effects done on stage.  The scenes that got connected to the kids were things that the kids usually experience with each other.  To watch the same performed onstage with an option of having their say in the scene was relishing for the kids I guess. 

 Editor: The entire cast of SIGNS and volunteers traveled to the moon for a spell bound show!!! well not actually, but to Yelahanka, far nonetheless. What motivates the team to perform without a care of distance, time or effort, just to dance to the whims of children?
 Vishal: The sounds of laughter, the warmth of smiles, the innocence of young reactions… all these and the satisfaction of imprinting magical memories in young minds is what the SIGNS team is addicted to. The team with its set of volunteers just pack and start the journey, to wherever eager kids await. Hmm… I wonder if there are kids on moon :p

Editor: It was time for the alumni of Symbiosis to ride their nostalgic rollercoaster on a YT Playback Show. Did they scream?
Vidya (Show Manager for Life After Campus) :
Yes they did and how!! and this time it was to the theme of Life AFTER Campus.  Actors were at their creative best when enacting fluids and real life stories of the alumni crowd post their stint with Symbiosis.  It would be apt to say that Yours Truly’s relationship with Symbiosis Institute has gone up a notch.

Editor:  How was the experience of getting the young guns to dance to your tunes?
Gaurav (Director for Neat Cocktail):
Finally the day came and I met this new energetic workshop team. After ice breaking session, we started with the story.  Directing was a totally new experience. As a director, it was very important for me to be aware of each and every moment done on the stage, how to transition from one scene to another, how to take story forward, how to convey the message still keeping the play light and comical, how and where to integrate music etc..etc. At last, but not the least I want to thank the workshop team for their support. 


Editor: Could you share one experience of the show that you cannot overlook and would want to inculcate in future shows?
 Ranji (Artistic Director): The festival was organized well by NLS, the challenge was audience management; during a theatre festival where audiences watch performances from morning to evening, it was a challenge for the organizers to let the crowds know what was coming.   I feel connecting with organizers and working with their pain areas; helping, supporting, and solving their problem; makes the whole effort worthwhile.  We told ourselves that we are not only performers but also collaborators.  We wanted to collaborate with the organizers to making it a great experience for the audience.  Together our efforts were directed towards one entity called “the audience”. 

If artists and organizers bond strongly, the people who take home the most is the audience. The “audience” is the reason why we are here, they are valuable.  Hence that coloration is much required. Theatre has always been a team effort.  More and more team effort is good for the theatre community overall.

Editor: Don’t make me laugh, A Playback Show, among the month long Theatre festival celebrated by Yours Truly Theatre. How did the team of new playback actors, performing for the first time in public, fare on the laugh’o’meter?
Ranji (Artistic Director): The journey of young playbackers in 2009 was a very interesting one.  They travelled from college to college in a year and finally landed in-front of a paid audience by the year end.  I guess, they had experienced all that needs to be experienced.  You could say they were ready.  It was of course heartening to see that the team lived up to the challenge.  Very simply put, the team had grown over a period of time with confidence. That made them feel a bit at ease. Maturation in Theatre is important and it takes time.   An actor matures over a period of time and over a period of performances; I am glad we let that process happen smoothly, and watch them grow.

Nandini (Artistic Director)
: The expectations of audiences are were high especially when you publicize it to as Improv comedy. However the team of actors didn’t make any extra efforts to force comedy into Improv, which allowed the real moments come through, these were real, honest moments on stage, some of them were of course funny and few others which made the audience think.
That’s the magic of Improv and playback theatre

 Editor: Yours Truly Theatre putting on a new pair of Magic gloves, and Harold it is called. What were the experiences of actors, using this tool of interactive theatre to create magic, or more aptly put, pulling the rabbit out of the hat?
Ranji: (Artistic Director): Harold is a more complex and tougher format than any improvisational format we have done before.  Imagine, we create a play out of words given by the audiences. 
We need to create a script, dialogues, scenes, compositions, sync and que each other to perfection along with music and lights….. all this on the stage impromptu. Very exciting, but this format is for actors who are experienced improvisational actors, who now like being challenged.

Editor: Yours Truly Theatre was invited to perform the closing act of the National Theatre Festival in Pune, India. It was 3 YTians that made the 600+ audience give standing ovations, 3 times over. Just tell me how?
Ranji (Artistic Director):
After 5 minutes of our act the entire audience got up clapping wildly(first one)
The last dialogue on stage and again the entire audience got up to clap (second one)
After my vote of thanx, the audience got up again and went wild clapping(third one)

Under the guidance of Prof. Ujjwal, the theatre festival Zehen 09 was organized very well, not to mention the fact that they were fantastic hosts as well.

Nandini (Artistic Director): The only thing I can remember is what a senior professor told us post the show, he said ‘Your theatre group is depriving other cities off this new and innovative and interactive theatre’ and added that we must take this to other cities in India.   So hopefully we will try and reach out to as many new cities this year.

 

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Responses

  1. This is a fantastic read !!!! Keep up the good work.

  2. Very Nice article “Stages of a Relationship in Theatre” and non fatty food for thought 🙂 !!

    Kudos to entire Editorial team to come up with 4 Ness in quick time and yet the quality of the content is very good,, Neat !!

  3. Very, very good read. Great job folks.

  4. Amazing work .. Keep up the great work YT Editorial team .

  5. Great Group, Great work, Great insights. I like all the sections, in particular I really liked the section “From a Diary”

  6. “From a Diary” is one of my favourite section of YT news letter. The way in which different aspects of theatre are explained is appealing to ameateurs, proffesional and non-theatre people alike. Not to forget the presentation by the editors is truly great. Can’t wait any further for the next news letter.

  7. I love the Yours Truly newsletter, it gives me a very high awareness into how theatre is practiced in Bangalore. After going thru 1-ness, 2-ness, 3-ness, and 4-ness i realize the section that i like the most is “From a Diary”, simple but powerful insights by Ranji. It would be great if Mr. Ranji could continue writing, which will help people like me(having done theatre) to have a greater understanding and enjoy aspects that i have never thought about.

  8. Very well compiled. Esp the From the Diary section…


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