Playing on theatre

Updated: Jul 26, 2019, 07:28 IST | Dalreen Ramos

At a workshop series and discussion on documentary theatre, Swiss artist Boris Nikitin will deep dive into the act of coming out, while sharing his work

Playing on theatre
Documentary theatre is a counterplay on traditional theatre with personal narratives

What does it mean to find ability in vulnerability? For Swiss theatre director Boris Nikitin, the hidden word is a source of motivation when one has to walk up on stage knowing that whatever is about to be presented is open to critique; there's an element of fear. "It's like a political bet because you go and expose yourself," he says. And starting today, Nikitin will explore more of this notion in a workshop series called Starting Realities on documentary theatre presented by DramaQueen (DQ) in collaboration with Point of View (POV) at the Goethe Insitut. On Saturday, he will also be part of the discussion on Self-Documentation, Power and Vulnerability along with theatre-maker Anuja Ghosalkar of DQ and Bishaka Datta, the executive director of POV.

An international series, the workshop aims to introduce participants to documentary theatre and is curated by Ghosalkar along with German dramaturg Kai Tuchmann. But the main aim is to give birth to Asia's first festival of documentary theatre by 2020. Elaborating more on the concept, Ghosalkar tells us, "It's a counter-form. It questions the politics with which we make theatre. And moreover, it brings out more personal histories." Taking cue from there, Nikitin will investigate the act of "coming out" — and it's not just restricted to sexuality.

Boris Nikitin and Anuja Ghosalkar
Boris Nikitin and Anuja Ghosalkar

"I'm currently writing a solo piece which is about me coming out 20 years ago as well as my father's disease and death three years ago. He openly talked about suicide and that was him 'coming out' for us. It changed our relationship in a big way; suddenly we could trust each other a bit more. It was such a risk for him to do that," he shares, adding that he'll also share clippings of Hamlet, his past production, which is not a Shakespearean retelling. But the first piece remains the primary agenda of his trip to the city. As Nikitin concludes, "This is not my first trip to India but it's my first time in Mumbai. I don't know if I will postpone my flight and stay here longer, but I definitely want to try and finish this text for my soul."

On: Today to July 28, 10.30 am to 6.30 pm (Workshop); July 27, 6 pm to 7.30 pm (Talk)
At: Goethe Insitut, K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda.
Call: 9920340476
Cost: Rs 1,000 (workshop); Free (talk)

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