The entire ‘Portfolio Week’ has been so insightful and helpful for me as a drama student. I was able to develop skills and techniques that I am planning to use in my performance and even understand the theoretical aspects of it. We were able to get an understanding of how we can put all of our knowledge and ideas together to actually create a performance piece. This was through a lovely meeting with Mr Sidharth & Mr Rahul Thomas who produced a performance called ‘Gajam’ that focused upon the changing relationship of elephants and humans.
Both artists have had about 8-10 years of experience within their respective fields and have formed a company called Rasa Theatre that focuses on talking about issues they want to discuss and especially stories about Kerala.
A fitting conclusion to the week, Friday’s drama class was just as enthralling as any other day in our class. In our final class of the week, we learnt about the value of teamwork. Obviously, in an art form where plays aren’t performed without a huge cast and production crew, it’s essential to learn about teamwork. And with this class, we became one step closer to becoming more understanding theatre practitioners.
Like all the other days in portfolio week, we started the class by adding new information to our written tasks. After a quick breakfast, we hurried back to class to begin an interesting day of activities. We then did a basic physical warmup to get our blood pumping. Soon after that, we started our workshop. We were covering the concept of devising theatre, a type of theatre that would focus on teamwork and would prepare us better for our future theatre interactions and our final performances. Just like our previous classes, we worked with objects and their role in the theatre of the oppressed. We began with understanding image theatre. We created a scene with dynamic freeze: A technique that involves an actor pausing mid-action, to show a scene. After this, we reflected on our performances and created an entire scene. This was our first experience of ensemble performance, we learnt the skills required to create a successful ensemble performance.
We started with another activity soon after our first one. This time, we focused on creating a narrative through devising techniques, but with objects. We were divided into groups of 5 and were given the opportunity to select certain objects that were in the drama room at the time. Through the performance, we were supposed to create a full-fledged narrative. This activity was a great learning experience for me, especially because I had to create a performance using objects. We took 15-20 minutes to plan our entire performance and retired for lunch. After coming back, we performed our pieces and received feedback from our classmates. We spent the rest of the day working on completing our tasks and finalising our task 3 performance. It was a day well spent and an interesting way to develop our skills as actors.