QUEEN'S ROAD: Bengaluru is a culturally vibrant landscape. The performing arts in particular, be it dance, music or theatre easily find dedicated spaces here.
Artistes also find encouragement and stimuli in the city which not surprisingly is overflowing with artistic talent. Theatre activists in the city are investing ideas and energy in unusual projects to stretch the dimensions of what a theatrical experience can be like.Max Mueller Bhavan/Goethe Institut, in association with Sandbox Collective has been organising a series of readings of important German texts (titled German Spotlight). The initiative invites people from theatre backgrounds to explore the large database of German plays that have been translated and are available on Goethe Institut’s website. The directors then do a dramatised reading of the excerpts from a play chosen from the database.
The objective of the series is to expose theatre enthusiasts to different kinds of scripts and perspectives.
The first play in the series was The Thing by Philipp Lohle which was directed/narrated by Salmin Sheriff. Nimi Ravindran of Sandbox Collective says, “The Thing was performed by Vivek Madan, Anuja Ghosalkar, Surabhi and Roopa Rayappa. The idea was to make the reading interactive and fun and explore possibilities of facilitating future productions.”
The next in the series was a play called Electronic City by Falk Richter, directed and narrated by Aruna Ganesh Ram. The play was read at Max Mueller Bhavan on July 25.
Electronic City told the story of Tom and Joy, a couple living in Electronic City. The characters are lost as they live a mechanised life without stopping to enjoy anything. This play makes a sharp comment on the mistake of equating success and happiness with material gains.
Aruna Ganesh Ram who is a performance director, deviser, designer and founder of the group Visual Respiration, also holds a Masters in Advanced Theatre Practice from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, United Kingdom. She is interested in engaging with audiences in unique ways and creating multi-sensorial performance experiences. She says, “We took excerpts from the play and did a dramatised, rehearsed reading. The play is about the monotony seen in digital era and exploring personal space in the digital age. The script was not in a narrative style. We included subtle movements to captivate the audience for about 40 minutes.”
Shiva Pathak, co-founder of Sandbox Collective says,“We want to extend the scope of performing arts in multiple ways. Nobody knew about the database Goethe Institut has. So German Spotlight is bringing these plays into the mainstream where more people can enjoy them.”