Mumbai workshop teachers actors to emote without dialogues

Updated: Jan 30, 2018, 10:32 IST | Shunashir Sen

Attend a workshop that teaches actors how to emote when there are no dialogues being delivered on stage

A production of Harold Pinter's absurdist play, The Birthday Party
A production of Harold Pinter's absurdist play, The Birthday Party

There are a lot of tools that theatre actors have to pull out of their bags to master their craft. One of these is emoting on stage during moments of silence. Someone, for example, might pour you a cup of tea as part of the script, and how you receive it might speak volumes about your character even if you don't utter a word during the exchange. But such situations often involve subtle nuances, and a workshop being organised by the Theatrecian group now aims to help participants pick up the same. Titled The Scream of Silence, the masterclass will include a session on appreciating the theatre of the absurd.

Tathagata Chowdhury
Tathagata Chowdhury

This is because the playwrights of the genre — such as Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Eugène Ionesco — often inserted long and pregnant pauses into the plotline. "In fact, one of the reasons behind Pinter winning the Nobel Prize for literature was his contribution of introducing us to what we now know as the Pinter pause. If you take the example of ellipses to understand it, then the actor has to fill up the vacuum within the three dots with action. And that action is the Pinter pause, where the playwright has not given us any instructions and it's up to the actor and director how they want to interpret it," says Theatrecian founder Tathagata Chowdhury, who will be conducting the workshop.

He adds that the participants will also be given different situations where they will have to perform without dialogues. "What actors from around the world have been doing on stage over the years during moments of silence is what we will examine at this workshop," Chowdhury ends.

ON: January 30 and 31, 7 am to 9.30 am
AT: The Terrace, 2 Chapel Road, Bandra Reclamation.
CALL: 9830875068 to register
COST: Rs 1,500

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