April Kids '07 Gang

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Summer Workshops!

Artistes’ Repertory Theatre enters its 25th year in July of this year, 2007. Alongside our many and varied productions, ART’s training programmes have been widely appreciated.

ART-Youth began in 1994 and has subsequently seen many young people take their training forward into all walks of life. Nataka (ART-Kids) was launched in 2004, with a year-long programme of classes every Saturday afternoon. Performances have ranged from simple presentations to full-fledged productions like ART-Youth’s Restless, Alice!, The Insect Play and Nataka’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

Now that ART is about to have its own theatre space, Jagriti, in Whitefield, the earlier programmes have been brought into the Jagriti Education wing as Jagriti-Kids and Jagriti-Youth. The aim of our workshops is to help students acquire the basic skills required for dynamic theatre performance using first their body, face and voice then evolving to the use of simple props and costume. For the youth group this might extend to evolving a script or working on an already written script.

A typical session begins with a warm up & focusing unit followed by more specific games and exercises. The first sessions concentrate on body and face only, using the elements of simple mime. Subsequent sessions incorporate the use of voice – sound effects rather than formal speech for the younger group.

All the exercises are fun but then it really begins to get exciting when we apply everything to short plots or situations (anything that comes from the children themselves) incorporating the use of simple musical instruments, fun props and pieces of costume. Although the emphasis is on skill building, theatre is about performance and so the last session is usually a simple presentation by the children.

The most rewarding part of workshops is to see the change in students during the course of the training. Shy and quiet ones become assertive and confident. Noisy and over confident ones become more sensitive and understand the need for discipline. The magic of theatre training! It prepares you for the magic of theatre itself.

The magic of theatre is that it is immediate. There are no retakes.

Arundhati Raja
Artistic Director & Education Co-ordinator
May 2007

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