Theatre is a factory of thought, a prompter of conscience, an elucidator of social conduct, an armoury against despair and dullness, and a temple of the Ascent of Man.
In these days of technology, most of the people are engrossed in their smart phones all the time totally ignoring the surroundings. It is important for an aspiring actor that he observes his surroundings and preserve those images and sensory memories as his database. So from the day one of the training the students are asked to observe their surroundings and make a note of it. It is imperative that an actor’s senses should operate at the highest optimal level.
And a common aspect that is observed among the students is fear of appearing before the public. This aspect is taken care of with some ice breaking exercises and games. The games, they apparently seem silly and childish. They really help the student to become the child again and help him to become spontaneous in expressing the emotions.This phase consists of about ten days.
Learning Goals: Familiarity with other students, space and the faculty. Getting rid of stage fear and fear of being judged.
This phase is for the student to explore his body and voice, the basic tools of expression for actor. Through some exercises they realise how important it is to tune their body and voice for conveying the required emotion. In this phase Voice mechanism, Voice exercise module is introduced. After practicing the module for a week the students are asked to practice the module in their own time, since the training time is limited. It is found that the most of the students are weak in their mother tongue. In this phase they are identified and special care is taken to It is found that the most of the students are weak in their mother tongue. In this phase they are identified and special care is taken to improve their language skills by allotting extra time. In this phase their articulation issues are addressed.
Learning Goals: Becoming aware of the limitations of Body and Voice, Articulation. And possible remedial measures to be taken
Acting is about relationship with the space and the co actor with the help of script. Through games and exercises the students are made aware of the importance of this relationship. Generally the students are exposed to commercial films and they see mostly cliches in place of “ truthful” acting. This problem is addressed from the beginning by strictly insisting on truth in each and every action. Exercises are given to be aware of the truth in all the sensory aspects. It will be insisted not to copy the life that is shown in the masala films but in their day to day lives. Games are played that help the mental and physical agility and imagination. This is done in the 5th, 6th and 7th week.
Learning goals: Imagination, Observation, physical and mental agility.
This phase starts in the 8th week. The students are divided in to groups of 4 or 5 and required to create small scenes from their day to day lives ( not from what they might have seen in the films). They have to imagine Where - the locale of the scene, Who - what is their role in the scene, What - what happens in the scene. After every presentation the teachers and the other students are required to make critical comments about the truthfulness of the scene or otherwise. This work is done in the 8th and 9th weeksLearning goals: Team work, imagination, acting truthfully,
It is important that an actor use his whole body, not just voice, to communicate his emotions. Gibberish is introduced in this phase to address that aspect. Gibberish helps the actor to communicate thro his body. Once they are acquainted with this they are given some passages from plays and are asked to imagine all the given circumstances. By the Method of Physical Actions, they are guided to work on the emotions. They will be asked to act those scenes. These presentations are critically commented by other trainees and the faculty and improvement is monitored. This will be done in the 10th, 11th and 12th weeks.
Learning goals: Emotions, acting with the whole body, using the voice.
All the exercises that are used in the module are generously
Improvisation for the Theatre by Viola Spolin
Impro- Improvisation and the Theatre by Keith Johnstone.
Games for Actors and Non actors by Augusto Boal
Stanislavsky in Rehearsals by Vasili Toporkov.
And most of these exercises and games are written for the western acting students and so they are customised to suit the Indian actor in general and Telugu actor in particular. And some of the games and exercises are evolved during the training process. And the structure of the module being generally same, but is constantly tweaked to suit the needs of the trainees.
And we don’t assure the trainees that undergoing this module will make them a complete actor. Three months is too short a time to expect. An actor’s training is never complete. We strongly advise the trainees to participate in play productions where they practise to apply this training to do different roles in the plays. The more performances one does on stage the more polished will be one’s craft. We have seen in the past some of the guys after undergoing this module they started taking up roles in some projects and they realised that they are not ready yet. Media wants a ready made actor and they don’t have time or resources to teach you. It can happen only in theatre. The more one invests time in theatre, the better actor one can become. And we strongly advise that even after one gets a break in films, coming back and working in theatre will help the actor as a refresher course. Great actors all over the world do that.