Makarand Deshpande steps on a new stage

Updated: May 08, 2020, 09:58 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

The veteran theatre maker talks about how he has taken to teaching the craft on another medium

Makarand Deshpande
Makarand Deshpande

On the roster of The Foundation Room, a Bandra-based training and performing arts centre, was a workshop by theatre veteran Makarand Deshpande. When the lockdown began, they chose to take these month-long sessions online. With a form like theatre where physicality takes precedence, you'd wonder how beginners and professional training modules will adapt. While Deshpande admits it's a challenge, he is as excited as he would be for regular sessions. "For any performing arts, you need people in the picture. There is a difference between asking someone to do a theatre exercise as opposed to doing it with them," he says.

However, with time, Deshpande has devised a plan. The beginners' workshop, he tells us, will focus on activating the senses, discovering the strengths a person comes with. "S/he has to know her/himself first. It's one thing to want to be an actor, but quite another to know what kind," says Deshpande, revealing that observation and memory exercises will form a part of these modules. As for the advanced sessions, those with any acting experience can apply and the course will focus on existing weaknesses and how to navigate different forms and genres. "What is comic acting? What does it take to have comic timing? And who defines it? These are some of the questions that will be raised," Deshpande shares. "Besides, it is important for an actor to understand what they can do to make an impact. For instance, Irrfan Khan knew it was his eyes," he elaborates.

Both workshops will involve work with text and discussions in a live format. Students will also have access to recorded material for reference. Deshpande will dissect scenes from cinema and theatre to provide a break-down of the craft. He will also address common mistakes that people tend to make on stage and in front of the camera. "There are actors who are constantly busy fidgeting while they act. I call them businessmen and this is something I will talk about," he says.

On May 9 onwards
Call 9920615500 to register
Cost Rs 2800

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