Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Thespo 14 Award Winners

It was a joyous night to close out Thespo 14 at the NCPA's Little Theatre. Thank you to all who put the night together, gave generous words and shared in the recognition of Ruby & Burjor Patel.

Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Akshay Tanksale in Apradhi Sugandh 

Outstanding New Writing
Bhushan Bhimrao Patil for Naav 

Outstanding Female Actor
Mayuri Kanetkar as Satvasheela Kale in Naav

Outstanding Male Actor
Shardul Bhardwaj as Vinay Bhushan in Line 

Outstanding Direction
Gautam Arora and Neel Sengupta for Line

Sultan Padamsee Award for Outstanding Play

Watch the Thespo 14 film here

Watch the Lifetime Achievement Award film here

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Day Five

Day Four: Festival Recap

Here's the 3rd edition of the Festival run-down compiled by Thespo team member, Aneesha Srinivasan

Friday 14th December, 2012:

10am-5pm: Michael Chekhov Acting Technique workshop by Oorvazi Irani: (Part1) 
This was one long workshop. And it was worth it. Intensive, informative and exciting- this one was for all the actors. The participants were introduced to the foundation of the Michael Chekhov school of acting, and inducted into a series of preliminary activities and exploration exercises to lead them to a better understanding of the technique. There were discussions, clips of Chekhov’s speeches, and games. And at the end, everybody had unwittingly grasped part of a brand-new acting method.

6pm: Tejas Menon:
He spoke, he sang, he played guitar, accompanied by captivating drum-beats. He made the audience laugh, he made them sway, he made them listen hard to his lyrics, and smile to themselves. He created the perfect music for a calm evening at the Prithvi Theatre.

7pm: A Good Play:
Another full house. Another enthusiastic audience. A mélange of ideas, the play fostered thought and discussion for a long while after it was over. Toying with the fourth wall, and culminating in a unique personification of the audience, A Good Play took artistic freedom to a whole new level.

8pm: Proud To Be Indian: 
A performance that was energetic unlike any other. Simultaneously, the group highlighted a number of issues relating to the hypocrisy and futility of directionless nationalism. Thespo’s second play from Bangalore, and the standard remained high!

9pm: Apradhi Sugandh: 
The expectations were pinned on this Natak Company venture. Were they met? Of course. Witty, relevant, and layered in metaphor, this play brought the audiences to the edge of their seats. The first Pune play- a city that brings great expectations too- and it didn’t disappoint. Far from it.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Day Four

Day four was bold and rockous with great vocals from Tejas Menon, A Good Play on the Fringe stage, another high energy ensemble-style platform performance and a stellar production from the venerable Natak Company

Friday, 14 December 2012

Day Three: Festival Recap

Here's the 3rd edition of the Festival run-down compiled by Thespo team member, 
Aneesha Srinivasan

Thursday 13th December, 2012

10am-1pm: Capoeira for Theatre: Abhishekh Saha
This was one workshop that had surprises at each turn. Spin-kicks, handstands, cartwheels, Portuguese fishing songs- the scene was set for an authentic Brazilian session. With the room in Prithvi House chock-full of enthusiastic participants, who readily sang the songs and- quite literally- did the dances, the workshop was nothing short of a huge success.

6pm: Unohu
Original songs, and immense talent. The band was a hit with the crowd that gathered at the Prithvi Foyer, and with the people that continued to filter in when they took the stage. The music was young and vibrant, the energy of the band seeped into the crowd within seconds of their first song, and before you knew it, they were clapping, swaying, humming along to the songs. Unohu was the perfect band for Thespo’s youth community.

7pm: Love Day Loot
This one was a rib-rickler. The audience was in splits in the first five minutes, and the laughter only ended when the play did. Wisecracking characters, and puns galore: all set to the continuous and omnipresent theme of the intricacies of human character. The fifty minutes spent inside Prithvi House had everyone clutching at their stomachs and gasping for air. Needless to say, everybody who watched it, loved it. Did we mention that the room was packed with the largest audience we’ve had for a Fringe performance, yet?

8pm: Facehooked 
Life on Facebook, through song, dance and mime. Amidst the seemingly merry atmosphere, impactful social and personal messages being thrown around- just like they are on Facebook. Clever, engaging and entertaining. By the end, we had people standing on chairs, stools, the tables at the café- to get a better look at the show.

9pm: Being Sartak Majumdar
The play was unlike any other. With layered characters, intensive insights into the increasing addiction to the television, and occasional bursts of television show-mimicry- you couldn’t ignore it. It wasn’t the watch-and-be-entertained-then-forget kind of show. It was the kind that stuck with you for hours after the performance, with the questions it raised, and the mentalities it attacked. The audience was with it every step of the way: and the atmosphere was perfect for the intensity and unadulterated entertainment that show provided. A watch to remember.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Day Three

If you thought Thespo was pretty cool yesterday, well Day Three took the game to a new level. Capoeira with Abhishek got everyone on pace through the day before the night fell and the sounds of Unohu (You Know Who) licked the air with sweet melodies bashing against rock rhythms and heavy base guitars. The night was well under way with a laugh riotous performance by the cast of Love Day Loot and their internet dating spoof, followed quickly by the drum beat march of platfrom performance Facehooked and it's Facebook slam show. After all that, sure enough another house full show in the Prithvi Theatre for the performance of Being Sartak Majumdar.

Day Two Festival Recap

Here's the 2nd edition of the Festival run-down compiled by Thespo team member, Aneesha Srinivasan

Wednesday 12th December, 2012:

10am-1pm: Karl Alphonso- Be Prepared! (Part2)
The stage management workshop has a strong second day. The workshop was shaping up to be a far more intensive look into the stage manager’s life, choices and responsibilities. A script analysis, a trip to the theatre and a talk from Toral Shah of Q Theatre Productions were the perfect end to the workshop, and the participants left both better informed, and far more enthusiastic about aspects of the theatre they hadn’t explored before. 6pm: Nigel Rajaratnam/SkyDrops There was electricity. And not just in the music that Nigel played yesterday. It was in the audience. In Prithvi House, where the teams rehearsing for their performances found themselves swaying to the soft ambient electro-acoustic music that filled Prithvi Theatre. The audience watched them (Nigel, and his friend on the bass guitar) in absolute silence and awe. The only other sound we remember, is the applause that burst into the silence when they were finished.

7pm: Ghushi
Intense. Gripping. Perhaps, even disturbing. Ghushi was a performance that shook the audiences in Prithvi House, burned images and dialogue into their skin, ensured that everyone would have something- alien or personal to take away from the play. The performances were the standout. As were the dialogue. Well, if we had something to say about it, there didn’t seem to be much missing. Eyes were drawn to the strong characters and the rural set, attention was drawn towards the impeccable characterization, the authentic accents and the unashamedly blatant dialogue. The audience was transfixed, right to the end. Till a few seconds’ stunned silence was broken by applause that was both awed and appreciative.

8pm: Unleashed
A dance performance that is comparable to any theatrical piece. Symbolism, storylines, irony, humour: Amey Mehta and his troupe did it all. The dramatic dance performance was a sight to be welcomed, and drew audiences from across age groups, who watched it from start to end, captivated. The only official dance performance in Thespo, and it made its mark.

9pm: Line 
A full house. The theatre was packed. Not a seat was empty. And what we can be sure of, is that not one of the members of the audience regretted standing in that line for half an hour, and rushing for their tickets to the show, with the vehemence that they did. They were involved from the word go. The play opened to attentive eyes, and it never lost their attention. The play touched on a variety of subjects, all leading to one focus: how petty we are, as people, fighting for the first spot, struggling to get ahead. The play progressed at the perfect pace, leading to a crescendo, to the final moment, when the five actors on stage were joined by a huge crowd that emerged from the wings, from outside the theatre, from within the audience- all fighting for a place in various lines. It truly was an awakening of sorts. The message was loud and clear, cleverly disguised in the lightness of the humour it brought to the table.

Festival Recap - Opening day

Here's the first edition of the Festival run-down compiled by Thespo team member,
Aneesha Srinivasan

Tuesday 11th December, 2012:  

10am-1pm: Karl Alphonso- Be Prepared! (Part 1) 
What a start to Thespo! A small, yet enthusiastic group filtered into Prithvi House at 10 in the morning, where Karl Alphonso inducted them into the mechanics of stage management. The three hours that followed were informative and interactive: with the responsibilities of SMs were discussed, opinions were exchanged, and some very valid questions were raised. “With actors and directors,” said Karl, “your brilliance lies in the fact that nobody can think of replacing you. But with stage managers, how good a job you’ve done depends on how well the production can run without you around.” The nitty-gritty’s of the organizational aspects of stage management formed the largest chunk of the workshop.

6pm: Naquita D’Souza and Band
With a small, cozy audience and a number of popular song covers, the band performances at Thespo 14 started out at a new level of intimacy. With the lilting tunes, the refreshing vocals and the relaxing sound, the mood was set for the rest of the evening.

7pm: Fringe: Cut
A play within a play within a play. Using humour as a cover for messages far more serious and psychological, Cut confused, intrigued and interested audiences till they were at the edge of their seats: wondering at each instant, what would come next. With every “Cut!”, the garb was peeled off a new layer of the play, inching closer to reality. “We never knew which ‘Cut!’ was going to be the last, and that kept me hooked.”, said a member of the audience. “The last Cut!, that marked the close of the play turned out to be a complete surprise. It took a while to believe that really was the end.” Or was it?

8pm: Platform: Caferati
A platform to tell your stories in your words, in the way you want it to be told. The open mic night was definitely a success. Set aside the courage that so many members of the audience displayed by getting on the stage and reading to a group of strangers, their innermost thoughts; focus on how receptive the audience was to their work. They listened intently, and appreciated generously. What was, perhaps, the most memorable part of the event, was when Mukesh, from Prithvi Café took the stage with his surprisingly insightful, satirical and entertaining verse.

9pm: God=Father
The play. The event everybody had been waiting for. As 9pm drew close, the expectations had peaked. And God=Father lived up to it. With witty, fast-paced dialogue, interspersed with a plethora of direct and indirect messages woven into the storyline, the play was engaging, at the very least. As the protagonist drew from his memories to create the air of pathos of a repressed child, the audience shuddered and gasped, as though right on cue. They giggled like hysterical children to the spiritual baba’s antics. They went silent as statues, when social and personal sensibilities were poked at with hot rods. They loved it. But that was no surprise. The performances were stellar. The script was strong. The direction was brave. The play ticked off all the right boxes. How couldn’t it be the perfect choice for Thespo 14’s opening night?

How about some Capoeira

Abhishek Saha leads an energetic group in this popular martial art form at the Prithvi House. Just one of several different workshops at this year's Festival

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Day Two

Day two brought out the crowds for a night of music, dance and chilling drama with a barrel full of laughter. The Skydrops soothed audiences with their mellow beats and hearty vocals while Fringe Performance, Ghushi, depicted anguish and loss between rival lovers. Platform performance, Unleashed, was graceful, raw and emotional. LINE closed out the night with plenty of laughter, the perfect finish to a healthy serving of artistic genius.