7-Ness-10 (Jul – Sep)

Welcome to Seven-Ness, our Third Quarterly Update between July – September 2010

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

For our previous Quarterly Updates, click the following links

2008 – 0-Ness
2009 – 1-Ness to 4-Ness
2010 – 5-Ness to 8-Ness

From the Editors’ Desk
All the pictures used in this edition are images clicked by Pruthvi during the BD show, except Chekov’s and Golden butterfly shows.

The third quarter of 2010 was a classic reach-out

A quarter when we performed for the Media College, then performed for government school children, and orphanage, and then  continued our rigor with Bhagwan Dhoondo.

A quarter when we completed the 4th show of our most recent production, Bhagwaan Dhundoo done in complete the story style, where the audience gets to end the play and that ending is then enacted by the actors on stage.

Shows in the 3rd Quarter (July 2010 – September 2010)

10th July – Life at Campus at COMMITS Communication & Media College
A playback theatre show celebrating life at Campus

17th July  – Golden Butterfly show at Government School, Marthahalli
A series of short stories done in CTS format where children get to participate and end the stories

24th July  – Golden Butterfly show at St. Mary’s Orphanage, Cox Town
A series of short stories done in CTS format where children get to participate and end the stories

25th July  – Natural Swingers at ALMA.
A series of 4 short stories done in CTS format of theatre

29th August– Bhagwan Dhundoo at ADA Rangamandira, Bangalore.
A public show done in Complete the story format.

“ We are really grateful to you people for having come and done this for our kids, because one of the first things that I noticed was that our students identify with the kind of theatre that you are doing, they were able to break their inhibitions and get totally involved in it and in the process what I found was there was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm and in participating what came out was also their brain cells working overtime, which is something that one rarely gets to see; and I think all and all it was not only a rewarding experience for the students, it is already anticipating another level of participation….. “ says Ronita, Principal, COMMITS College

“  We thank you because you have brought a lot of joy to the children here, they not only participated but also enjoyed your show.  For us we see life in you, with so much vibrancy and energy.  Please continue doing what you are doing, the society requires this “ says Fr. Anthony, Principal St. Mary’s Orphanage.

Bhagwaan Dhoondo Show Testimonials
“ No way better to end weekend…awesome management, splendid performance, and left us asking for more…” says Prateek Kotha

“ An eye opener…awe inspiring performances…ultra-brilliant concepts!!! n yes the music was fantabulous…haunting…hats off to AGAM “ Mudassar Khattab

“ superb, brilliant… seein interactive play 4 the 1st time… visual treat and music was lovely… loved d performances… my search is for ur next show !!! “ … says Nitesh Varma

“ Brilliant indeed.. Use of light-shadow, music, theme, performance.. everything was good! It was worth spending 2 hours.. I want to watch it again!…. “ says Guruprasad D Narayana

“ Wonderful play guys!!!!!! thx..for an awakening evening !!! keep up the good work. …  “says Anuja Gupta

“ Mesmerizing !! Spellbound !! Perfect lighting, Awesome music to go with some splendid stage performances. It was just so perfect … “ says Satya Sutar

” Brilliant performance…and such a fine team! Very creative… 🙂 needless to mention about the amazing lighting…Hoping to see more of YT soon..cheers ! “…….. says Aparna Kongot

Spell-bound performance ….. “says Manpreet Kaur ( NIMHANS)

Theatrewallah’s Speak

Dear Yours Truly Theatre, I am M.V.Subba Rao, a retired officer from Hyderabad came recently to this city. I had the pleasure of enjoying your above play on 29th Sunday which gave me immense satisfaction of spending a Sunday evening. The concept of staging different stories as a bunch is innovative, but what I felt so thrilled is the way you discussed the themes of all the stories to arrive at the ending suggested by the viewers.  More astonishing is the way your artists performed the concluding part of the painter & unmarried woman meet episode so instantly without any rehearsal within in a time of five minutes even without listening the viewer’s conclusion for second-time. How you could do it?  It is really Fantastic. I wait for an opportunity to meet you personally to discuss more things. I was a stage artist, acted and directed some plays in my mother tongue TELUGU. But your performance is excellent.  May God bless you to create and perform more more dramas which will be innovative in nature. Yours Affectionately…..M.V.SUBBA RAO (Senior Theatre Artist, Hyderabad)

Dear Yours Truly Theatre, A 1000 thanks  to have invited me to watch a play after a very long time, 15 years. The Sunday was most enjoyable and  I  was really inside the play all the time. All the characters, artists, the group choreography  were fantastic.  All the main characters did their job well. Music- no words to speak about it as I am the one who thinks there is no life without music. All the departments like stage, makeup, costume lights were very good and added to the asthetics of the play . More shows of yours are needed now.  Kudos to all your  team members. with best wishes…. says   Balakrishna.T.G. (Director ETV, Ex-Theatre Artist)


Group Feature: In the hands of audience
Date: September 1, 2010
Link: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/92861/in-hands-audience.html

Chapter 30:  In conversation with “Anton Chekhov” – Part One

Ranji:  Dear Chekov, could you kindly let us know a lil bit about where your were born?
Chekov: Well, I was born in St. Petersburg on August 16, 1891 known as Michael, christened as Mikhail Aleksandrovich.  I had a wild and passionate temperament through my childhood.  The picture below that you notice is me with Leo Tolstoy, the photo was taken by Tolstaya in 1901.

Ranji: Wow that nice, Chekov, you’ve been hailed as one of the most extraordinary actors and teachers of the twentieth century. So how did this bug of theatre and characterization begin in your life?
Chekov: Ranji, thank you for your kind words.  I remember, as a kid, I would take the first piece of clothing I came across, put it on and felt “ Who am I ”.  I loved these improvisational acts and enjoyed performing them at my home.  These improvisations were serious or comic, depending on the costume.  No matter what I did my Nanny’s reaction was always the same, she burst into laughter which eventually turned into tears.  These were the early days, which was in some way indications of what was to come later.  My love for characterizations and my deep-rooted interest in the ” how ” of acting. In the last ten year of my life I worked in Hollywood both as an actor and a teacher.

Ranji: Your relationship with Konstantin Stanislavsky, the father of method acting?
Chekov: He was my teacher, and I was one of those radical challengers to Stanislavsky’s own System of modern acting.  My teacher, Stanislavsky referred me as “his most brilliant student”.  We shared our own ups and downs, you will hear them as we continue this conversation.

Ranji: Really, so when was the first time you encountered a tiff with Stanislavsky
Chekov: During one performance of Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid, Stanislavsky reprimanded me for “having too much fun with the part” , the part of a supernumerary physician.  I was obviously shocked with my master’s reaction. I told myself  ” wasn’t the Imaginary Invalid” a comedy?  Therefore wasn’t a certain element of fun called for? While professing perfect belief in Stanislavsky’s System of modern acting, I found myself in trouble with him from the very start. The picture you notice below is me with actors of Moscow’s Artistic Theatre

Ranji: Nice pose, so when did the seed of your style germinate?
Chekov: Thank you, the idea that an actor can “go beyond the playwright or the play” is the first key to understanding my technique.  My impulse “to go beyond” came to me during my early apprenticeship at the Maly Theatre.  During a 1910 performance of Nikolai Gogol’s Inspector General, I watched one of my teachers Boris Glagolin, in a lead part. Suddenly a revelation, a kind of “mental shift” overtook me. It became clear to me that Glagolin played the part unlike others, although I had never seen anyone else in that part.  This feeling “not like others” arose in me.  Over a period of time my acting goals changed, and gave way to a quest for extraordinary character interpretations.  In a sense I had turned Stanislavsky’s acting training on its head.  I wasn’t convinced with his “System”.

Ranji: So did you ever confront or tell Stanislavsky about this?
Chekov: Oh yes I did, I remember this was when we both met at a Berlin Café’, I was explaining the concept of Obeying the Higher Ego, stepping outside oneself to comply with the character’s demands and then Stanislavsky became startled and perplexed.  Furthermore I told him that I really admonished him for creating a harmful system of actor training, contending that his heavy reliance on Emotional Recall devices led actors into uncontrolled hysteria.  Suddenly our roles of  teacher-student were reversed.  I recommended that he replace Affective Memory with pure Imagination.  I told him honestly that only imagination was truly effective in the creation of art.  In the heat of my passionate talk Stanislavsky could only disagree with my thoughts and ideas of a new thought process.

Ranji:  So Imagination is important
Chekov:  Yes Ranji, it is very important.  Just like you have imagined me and brought me alive. Imagination is a key element in my work.

…….. the conversation continues …….

Writer: Ranji David

Workshop Show:  Natural Swingers
25th July– A Series of 4 short stories at the ALMA.
Four original short stories were presented in Complete the Story Format.

Workshop  Participant Feedback:
” I love maths, and am very new to theatre.  While the two may seem worlds apart, I feel that theatre has a lot in common with Maths.  Both are a part of every person, both involve creativity, both reach out to others, both are beautiful and create peace and joy, both are universal arts that transcend time and space, both are infinite worlds to be freely explored.. ….” says Sivagamini’…. to read more click here

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

Editors: Performing and volunteering is there something you have in mind?
Vishal: Being a Yours Truly ‘ian’ has deprived me of the habit of stroking my ego with feedback and false appreciation. Yours Truly has kept with its policy of purposeful inadequate advice for a budding actor.  This is just to let a sapling sprout by itself and find its own share of the sunlight. Under these conditions, I, as an actor, have at times felt helpless and judgmental at my performance. I craved to see photos and videos of me performing. I eagerly awaited claps from the audience and words of appreciation from fellow actors. This phase eventually passed as I realized that these are things that I have to learn, in the process of becoming an artist.  But the craving still remained. Almost as forethought, YT devised and encouraged volunteering.
Volunteering. A true reflection for an actor to see himself on stage even though being offstage. I began to see myself in other projects, in movements, in patterns, in emotions, just by sitting in the audience. All that with the added luxury of contributing to the show, in a substantial way. What better way to get feedback than to know it yourself by volunteering and watching a YT show. Volunteering also delves into the making of an artist. Volunteering helps one spread the roots of theatre so tightly that no matter how tall the plant grows, there will never be a moment of slant in an artist.  A reflection shows oneself, nothing less or more. Volunteering shows an artist.

Editors: Golden Butterfly show at St. Mary’s Orphanage, Cox Town had broken the shells of the audience, were we conscious of this change, if so then when did this process begin.

Sumit Acharya: When we met Fr. Anthony of St. Mary’s Orphanage for the first time, we got to understand that there was discipline, rules and regulations on the kids. And then before the performance, we could witness that kids were totally silent, following the rules and were sitting in the lines in disciplined manner. As soon as the performance started, we could see those innocent serious faces coming out of their shell slowly. They were smiling, laughing, cheering and clapping. The whole performance transformed the environment for kids to enjoy, laugh their hearts out, scream without any inhibitions, tell their reactions without fearing anything. All the three stories touched them and their reactions in CTS (Complete The Story) part were reflecting their lives and reality. I am not sure whether they would have seen any theatre performance earlier or not, but I believe they will remember Golden Butterfly show for a long long time. It was great satisfaction to take theatre shows for those kids who can’t afford to come to fancy auditoriums and watch. It is an effort to bring the change in their lives and also to bring smiles on their faces.

 Editors: Golden Butterfly show at Government School, Marthahalli, how was it
Ameet Bhuvan:  The golden butterfly show was my debut with YT, and hence would always remain special to me. It was under a tree, with a few colored duppatas for a background, that we performed for the first time. The setting couldn’t have been better, and we were an excited bunch of kids-at-heart ready to entertain.
I went back home that day from the show with quite a few lessons learnt. Acting calls for a lot of discipline and focus, irrespective of the fact that all of us do have fun at rehearsals, show days need total focus! It is also quite unpredictable what the audience would find interesting or funny in the performance. We all had our own favorite moments which we were sure the kids would love too, yet, they reacted and clapped at very different parts, which we had never found that interesting. I guess, its all a matter of perspective. It is definitely tough to engage kids, what with their short spans of attention, and their brutally frank reaction process. And for me as a naive new “actor” this show and all others for kids thereafter, have been the real meter for measuring my growth. 🙂

Editors: The 4th show of Bhagwan Dhondoo, how does it feel to have new endings every time to your performance as directors of a play?

Nandini: The beauty of a concept like ‘complete the story’ is the fact that it is so dynamic just like life. It goes through changes and keeps evolving every time.
There have been few audiences who had come to watch the play again just to see how audience ended it this time.
The challenge has still been to convince the audience that the ending is purely improvised and there has been no preplanning from the team. The second part of the play is truly improvised in every sense: the dialogues, the movements, the music & lights along with other effects . Yes it looks and sounds like magic but the truth is there is no single magic formula for improvisation. Its truly the ability of team to work together & collaborate even if they are physically not with each other. The light & music guys are far far away from stage, yet they are so cued into every moment on stage.
The4th show what was interesting was the ending had an overlay of two stories, the painter and girl and what was interesting was audience didn’t go for cliché happy ending, but choose to be more true to the story. The improvisation of this ending on stage was truly work of art. The credit goes to whole BD team who have put in so much of time and effort in the play 🙂

Ranji: Good question, I must say.  Every director aims that things fall in place and ensures that things go impecably well.  However for us its a different journey.  The first part is rehearsed, which is done to perfection, every moment, every movement, every note, every ray of light to every color on costume, every prop, every emotion, every composition, everything is rehearsed painfully perfect under both our eyes and ears.  Above all every actor gives his/her 300%, we cannot settle for anything less than that.

However, during the second part of the show, the entire journey is to create all the above mentioned stuff on the spot and look equally perfect right from actors, music, light, props….. everything, with 300% effort.  Well, doing continuous shows of BD has given us the challenge to take different reactions from the audiences each time, every-time during our interaction with the audiences.   The best compliment is when somebody says “the second part is rehearsed”.  However only the actors and others behind the scene know how hard it is to create those magic moments on stage unrehearsed.The point really is audiences are now getting to see high-end improvisational work , which we are most gladly willing to perform.

In the last 10 years of my improvizational theatre work, I am now (in 2010) a ” one percent ” satisfied with ” how ” improv is performed, no matter which format of improv theatre we do.  But this is not the end.  This is just the begining of our work.  There are higher level of artistic perfection & creativity we can still reach.  We will continue to strive harder and harder.  There is no stopping that.  Currently, we are ready for anything to be thrown at us from the audience and we will ensure that it (those reactions from audiences) will take an artistic shape and coherence on stage along with lights and music which will be improvised on the spot as well.  It is team work.



  1. Thoroughly enjoyed the contents in the newsletter.

    Chekov’s theatre journey and contradiction with Stanislavsky’s method acting is documented brilliantly using imaginary conversation 🙂 . I feel an actor should be open to weigh both the methods.

    Kind words from theatre personalities are highly encouraging and motivating.

    Agreeing with Ranji’s quest for higher perfections in Improvisation, we must improvise the way we do improvisation every time. There shouldn’t be a full stop.

    Kudos to Editors for excellent article and contents !!

  2. awesome!!! — i think the Chekov part was jus too damn creative!! …

  3. This newsletter is a WHOLESOME read, very interesting and engaging. KUDOS to the editors of YT who have brought such innovative layout and writing. I just couldn’t stop reading until i finished it. There are still some sections I’d like to read many times over. Thanks

  4. wow…loved reading the news letter especially the “Nostalgic Fluids”…it made me walk down the memory lane…and ohh i loved it…gr8 job editors

  5. Visually appealing newsletter, thought provoking articles and lovely one thoughts. I always enjoy reading the newsletter and this I found more interesting while reading conversation with “Anton Chekhov”. Kudos to Editors and YT group for this wonderful work.

  6. great work, thanks to the editorial team. Liked the one on Chekhov – I always thought he was a writer but came to know more about him – of course the idea was great – kudos Ranji 🙂

  7. Wow… relived a lot of moments of this year and the vastness of the phenomena I am part of makes me feel proud. Editorial team ‘Good job’ and Ranji… what an interview… what an interview sir ji … 🙂

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