Love, Labour and Theatre – A Three Day Workshop in Delhi


A three day theatre workshop was organised by IPTA as a part of the ‘Dhai Aakhar Prem; National Cultural Jatha’ from October 17th to 19th at Harijan Seva Sangh in Delhi.

The first day of the workshop saw an engagement of around 200 young theatre loving artists. Under the mentorship of Prasanna Heggodu, a well known theatre personality and National President of Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA). The workshop started with a knowledgeable interaction where Prasanna discussed fundamentals of acting.

Prasanna’s interaction with the young artists established the interrelation between Shramdaan and acting and culminated in an open question and answer session. The learnings from the interaction was then applied in practical discourse and the young artists were sent outside to clean the surroundings as a form of Shramdaan and feel the bliss of nature for sometime. This exercise he used to close the workshop left the students with a meditative calmness. When the artists returned after doing the Shramdaan, they shared their experiences and interacted with Prasanna on the same. The participants gathered profound learnings and a new zeal to explore theatre through nature.Overall the workshop was very intellectually stimulating and left the students with an amazing memory to take away with them.

The second day witnessed a superfine blend of the artist’s experience and fundamentals of acting as the renowned actor and theatre personality Pankaj Tripathi graced the workshop with his presence. The day started with a mindful interaction between Pankaj Tripathi and the young artists. Answering several inquiries regarding how to strongly portray the given character, he highlighted the importance of imagination by saying “Imagination bhi koi chiz hoti hai.”

The successful actor shared the importance of consistency, fighting failures without getting demotivated and becoming a better version of self everyday. He also emphasised on the fact that acting is reacting by telling the artists a short story containing his personal experience. He concluded his session by answering the cinema vs theatre debate by saying that both have their own importance but soon people will be craving live performances more because the world has become fully virtual which can be monotonous.

After an enlightening session with Pankaj Tripathi, the session was carried forward by Prasanna who divided the artists into groups of 15 people and gave them an activity of preparing a scene work taking the topics from two phrases. The two phrases were “Harijan Seva Sangh” and “Dhai Aakhar Prem”. The artists excitedly started working on their scene works and were back in no time with their creative presentations. Prasanna gave his feedback on each presentation after watching and that helped the artists to recognize their mistakes and learn new tips for further implementation. The day ended on a playful note as Prasanna portrayed the importance of projection through an activity where the students danced on various beats.

The third day of the workshop started with shramdaan where the participants were given a chance to start their day by building a deep connection with nature. As the day proceeded, the remaining scene works from the previous day were performed. Prasanna carefully saw all the scene works and mentored each one on a detailed level. This gave participants the opportunity to improve their mistakes and become a better actor. The knowledgeable session culminated into a few physical exercises that the participants were told to do by Prasanna. These exercises played a crucial role in opening up the participants on a physical level. Overall, Prasanna worked on the mental and physical opening of all participants through shramdaan and some amazing theatrical exercises.

The closing ceremony of the workshop was beautified by a toe tapping musical performance performed by Khel tamasha, a group headed by Rajnish bisht. One of the songs ‘Holi’, which was performed by them saw the most active response as the participants couldn’t stop dancing and enjoying the beats. The workshop had a musical and successful ending and gave all the participants some unforgettable memories that they will cherish throughout their lives.

Report by Anula.

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