On On Theatre

Yes, I know I doubled the preposition, but it’s not what you think.

I recently finished a book called On Theatre by Badal Sircar (which, for some reason, is not on Goodreads, making me doubt it exists, so I may or may not have been reading anything for the past few days). It did not have much in the way of interesting things to tell me until the last few pages.

On pages 148-150, the author talks about several “playmaking” workshops he led among some impoverished residents of various villages, naming two of them as Vishrampura in Gujarat and Rangabelia in West Bengal. Sircar built up to the playmaking exercises after a few days, and his rules were simple: each participant must make a play five minutes in duration, with only ten minutes of preparation. Sircar kicked it off by acting out “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” It took the participants some time to warm up to this idea, but eventually one of them stepped up to narrate a story of his own, and each one followed in turn. Eventually, their confidence grew to create longer plays with more characters, and add props and costumes.

I don’t know why this spoke to me, but it did. Maybe it’s the power of suggestion, or the power of theatre, or some combination thereof.

I think I can definitely work this into an APO workshop.

Oh, and hello to all six continents, after quite some time: North America (Canada, USA, and Trinidad & Tobago), South America (Chile), Europe (UK, Ireland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands), Africa (Kenya), Asia (India and South Korea), and Oceania (Australia and Papua New Guinea).

3 thoughts on “On On Theatre

  1. Hi Jacob!

    I think this sounds like a rather unique and formidable idea.

    Years ago, I was invited to a Toastmasters meeting. Little did I know of the organization, but I would soon learn how valuable this organization was. For those who are unfamiliar, Toastmasters is an International organization that teachers public speaking. Long story, short, I had avoided speaking before a group of people. The mere thought of doing so made me nauseous and I sweated buckets. But, I took the plunge, and what a plunge it was!

    Learning to ‘speak while on your feet’…quickly, and with conviction, opened many a door for me. My confidence soared and my interests grew tremendously.

    This idea of placing a short amount of time before revealing a scene will undoubtedly strengthen skill sets and build confidence.

    Take that plunge! You have nothing to lose and a great deal to gain!

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