This new artiste residency allows young theater professionals to incubate ideas

May 16, 2018, 07:04 IST | Snigdha Hasan

A new artiste residency offers young theatre practitioners the space and scope to incubate ideas and present works in progress

Scenes from Ishq Aaha and Krapp's Last Tape
Scenes from Ishq Aaha and Krapp's Last Tape

In a city where rehearsal spaces come at a premium and most theatre persons get a feel of how a play would come alive at a venue only during its first show, testing out new ideas in a performance space is almost unthinkable. It is with this thought that Studio Tamaasha has launched a residency programme, where young theatre practitioners looking to incubate an idea, develop a new work, or intensively work to bring a project to completion, will be invited to use the studio as a workspace for 10 days at no cost. The artistes, in turn, are expected to design informal sharing of the work being developed with an audience.

The freedom

"The studio has entered its second year, and we were interested in how we could create a space for theatre practitioners who are more interested in immersive work. Under the programme, artistes can use the weekends that fall within their residency period to also showcase an earlier production to give the audience a glimpse of their style of work. What the residency doesn't allow is to use the studio as a rehearsal space for an existing play," says Sapan Saran, co-founder of Tamaasha Theatre.

The first edition of the residency was launched earlier this month, where actor-director Sukant Goel began work on developing a dramatic presentation of a German script, Going to the Sea - Play with Child, by Simon Froehling.

The freedom

"Of late, I have been doing a lot of work for alternative spaces. I had also been looking to direct a new piece, and creating something under the mentorship of [Studio Tamaasha founder and senior theatre personality] Sunil Shanbag is invaluable," shares Goel.

He adds that the script has been translated by Froehling himself, and is a slice-of-life story that portrays how attempts at finding happiness can crumble in the least expected ways. "It offers a peek into contemporary Germany, where the socio-political situation still bears a reflection of the two world wars and the ideologies that divided the erstwhile East and West Germany," he says.

Under the programme, Goel and his team will first present the play as a work in progress before an audience, and later, as a final dramatised reading. Another interesting experience that the audience can look forward to is Goel's sharing of the process of making his musical play, Ishq Aaha, which explores the love legends of Punjab through a mix of qissa, movement, qawalli, blues and nautanki. "We will present certain scenes from the play and then open it up for discussion," he explains.

The freedom

This weekend, Goel will present another work, Krapp's Last Tape, written by acclaimed Irish novelist Samuel Beckett. The play is about an elderly man - who ritually recalls the remarkable events of the past 12 months of his life and recites them into a tape recorder - looks back on his life when he listens to those tapes.

"Though the play was a one-man show, we have experimented and included two actors to play the young and old Krapp. We'd love to see how classic lovers take to this," says Goel.

Saran informs that they hope to make the residency a monthly affair, adding that the artistes to create work at the studio over the next few months include Sheena Khalid and Puja Sarup of Patchwork Ensemble and the Drama School Mumbai alumnus, Abhinav Grover.

ON: May 19, 7.30 pm (Krapp's Last Tape); May 20, 7 pm (Ishq Aaha); May 22 (sharing of work in progress); May 27 (final dramatised reading of Going to the Sea: Play With Child)
AT: Studio Tamaasha, Andheri West.
LOG ON TO: (entry free for sharing of the making of the plays)

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