A walk with Maya Krishna Rao

Jul 26, 2014, 08:04 IST | Nevin Thomas

The multi-faceted artiste will be in Mumbai next week to speak on her creative journey, and the challenges of applied theatre. The session will culminate with her performance, titled Walk, made in response to the gang rape and death of a Delhi student in 2012

School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, is organising an opportunity to interact with renowned theatre artiste Maya Krishna Rao and watch her perform, Walk, through their initiative, Culture Cafe, which is a space for dialogue on issues concerning media, culture and society. The artiste, who is also a stand-up comedian and Kathakali expert, was a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Acting in 2010.

(Above and below) Stills from Maya Krishna Rao’s Walk to be enacted in Mumbai
A still from Are You Home Lady Macbeth

Themes matter
The event will comprise a talk on her creative journey as an artiste with a focus on how theme and medium informed each other in the process of performance-making. What it meant for a solo woman theatre artiste to collaborate with sound and video designers in creating performances of different genres — dance, theatre, socio-political cabaret, comedy and educational theatre. “I want to open up the process of being a theatre performer,” Rao shares. The talk will be followed by Walk, which has been prepared in response to the brutal gang rape at Delhi and the subsequent death of the young physiotherapy intern in December 2012.

(Above and below) Stills from Maya Krishna Rao’s Walk to be enacted in Mumbai
(Above and below) Stills from Maya Krishna Rao’s Walk to be enacted in Mumbai

Theatre and education
Rao explained how drama is essential in education. “Children imagine and construct fictional spaces. Nobody prompts them to do that, and they can remain there for hours. This is how they learn about the world. By fictionalising it,” she says. In 2006, Rao was invited by the NCERT to be a member of a three-member committee to create a drama syllabus for Classes 1-12.

Rao who is famous for her multi-media productions like Are You Home Lady Macbeth and Heads Are Meant For Walking Into, shared more about what multi-media meant in this context, “It is pushing the limits of what can be performed on stage using projection and other audio/visual techniques while never letting the audience forget that they are in the theatre. The actor, the light, the sound, the camera and every other component combines to tell a tale,” she explains.

On August 1, 6 pm onwards
At Room no 5, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (main campus), VN Purav Marg, Deonar.
Log On To www.smcs.tiss.edu

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